How To Pair Hp Pen With Spectre X360

By | September 3, 2022

During Build 2015 Microsoft handed out a special version of the HP Spectre x360 to attendees and it is a well-built device with terrific performance.  You tin can read Rod’s review of the device here and I wrote upward instructions for how to get updates for the device.

One of the features this device has is back up for not just full x signal touch but also pen input.

Since I have never used a device that supports true pen input I decided to grab the HP Active Pen ($60) and put the x360 through its paces using the pen and inking.

The HP Active Pen is a adept lucifer aesthetically for the Spectre x360. They are both made of similar material and the colors almost match perfectly.

The HP Agile Pen does have a flat side which keeps it from rolling effectually plus it has a magnet on that same side that allows you lot to attach it to the lid of the x360. Unfortunately the sides of the device are not metallic so the magnet does not work in that location.  I accept plant that the front edge of the chapeau, which has magnet on the left and correct sides for holding the lid closed, are the best places to
the pen.

Unfortunately, it is not strong plenty to hold the pen in place if you pick the Spectre up and so while it is handy as the laptop sits on your desk information technology does non provide much functionality past that.

The HP Active Pen comes in the box with an AAAA battery and various documentation.

HP Active Pen AAAA Battery


Setup of the device is simple. Just insert the battery and then ability up your Spectre.  The offset time you lot attempt to collaborate with the laptop using the pen you lot will be prompted to set it upwards although the only step you have is to select whether the pen has i or two buttons.

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HP Active Pen Setup 1

HP Active Pen Setup 2

HP Active Pen Setup 3

The residue of the setup screens simply bear witness you how to use the pen.  The 2nd screen is misleading because the HP Active Pen I received does not take a button/cap at the top of the pen. Information technology is metal like the Spectre case itself and if y’all flipped it over and rubbed information technology against the screen it would most certainly scratch it upward.

I have found in Windows 8.1 that I click the push button to shift between writing and erasing modes with this version of the pen.

The concluding screen confirms that the x360 supports palm rejection so you lot can rest your hand on the screen while using the pen.


Since I have never extensively used a stylus with a tablet/laptop using the HP Active Pen was an entirely new experience.

I had to find what apply cases worked best for me and allowed me to utilise the pen to exist productive and not just as a pen shaped mouse.  It is simply as easy to employ your finger for system interaction and does non demand y’all to take an extra item in your hand either.

I am not an artist so using the pen for drawing is not a usage scenario for me and that leaves using it to write on the device.

Windows 8.1 has an inking input panel that can be selected as the default
when you lot are using a stylus and it pops up on screen someday you tap the pen into a text entry block.

I can fifty-fifty utilise information technology to write this judgement in Microsoft Discussion.

HP Active Pen On Screen Pen Input Panel

Windows 8.1’s handwriting recognition is superb and fifty-fifty interprets my messy on screen penmanship.

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While this is handy for brusque input situations such equally a single judgement in Microsoft Word or a Tweet of less than 140 characters it is not well-nigh as productive compared to using the keyboard.

Of course I too opened up Microsoft’s OneNote and used the inking capabilities and those can be quite useful for marking upwards images and taking quick notes.

One time Windows 10 is released the pen will also testify very useful for using the new inking features to mark up and share web pages from Microsoft Border.

The Spectre x360 is a ii-in-1 device, sometimes called a convertible, and tin can exist used in tent fashion or folded over in tablet style. I have found these are the all-time positions to use the device in when utilizing the pen.

Lesser LINE

During his review Rod discovered that the commercial version of the HP Spectre x360 normally ships with a USB network adapter since the device does non have a concrete network port.  This is due to limitations with the size of the x360’s case which does not back up a CAT5 port.

At the fourth dimension Rod tweeted that the Spectre should include the Active Pen instead of the USB network adapter and I agree with him.  While its cost is comparable to the Surface Pen, which now retails for $50, it is an expensive peripheral that many will skip due to its price.

I call back the usage scenarios are greater for pen apply and so they are for needing wired network admission. With Wi-Fi is so readily available these days the USB network adapter is more than of a niche usage situation then the pen is.

Once you become the pen into people’s hands they will develop their own style of usage and go far work for them.

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For me personally, I am discovering that pen utilise is a great change of pace for when I am casually sitting on the couch in consumption mode with the x360 and doing a little social media related work/tweeting.


Cheers to one of our commenters for pointing out that I did not mention a couple of important areas when considering pen/inking with a device.

One is the performance of the HP Active Pen and the other is how the pen felt confronting the digitizer and if palm rejection worked well.

This addendum will remedy those missing details.


The pen performed well; no lag; smoothly moves across the digitizer with no drag on the screen that I was aware of.  Palm rejection worked well and did not interfere with inking in OneNote or doodling in Fresh Paint.

The ink line on the screen appeared quite close to the tip of the stylus equally I used it and it never missed any of my strokes that I was aware of. Equally I mentioned earlier, Windows 8.1 has some impressive handwriting conversion capabilities, then fifty-fifty if I missed part of a letter it was able to accurately effigy out the word I had intended.

The pen’s shape is quite foreign with the flat bottom on ane side and the button being on the exact opposite side and so I still find myself holding it in weird positions at times because like many of you lot I exercise not hold a pen/pencil/stylus in one position when using it.

I have found that the all-time method for maximum functionality is with the flat function to the left and the push within reach of the index finger on the other side. That allowed me easy access to the button as necessary.