Along with Microsoft’s very first desktop computer, the Surface Studio, the company has also introduced a brand new type of peripheral designed to work with the Studio as well as the Surface Book and the Surface Pro 4.
The Surface Dial is like a cross between a mouse and stylus pen. The device presses flat against a touchscreen and can be used for many typical mouse actions like scrolling and zooming.
When placed on the Surface Studio screen, it will bring up a menu with a set of specific tools for each app that works with is.
An artist would be able to change the color and size of brush tip and never have to move the stylus they were using for drawing away from the screen. Since the Studio’s screen is adjustable and can be flipped back flat, it’s possible to just leave it on the screen.
Developers of several apps used for drawing, drafting, and other apps have included options for the Surface Dial in their apps. Those apps include Sketchable, Mental Canvas, Drawboard PDF, Moho 12, Bluebeam Revu. and music composition app StaffPad You can learn more about how the Dial works by clicking here to watch a video.
The Dial can also be used for things like adjusting the volume in a music app or navigating a map. It works with Microsoft Office apps, Groove Music, Windows Maps, and Ink Replay.
The device provides a physical feedback in the form of vibrations to let users feel the effect of their movement. The device connects via Bluetooth and only on Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, or Surface Studio PCs running the Windows Anniversary Update. It runs on 2 AAA batteries and retails for $99.