We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
74,944 News Articles

Targus Touch Pen adds touch capabilities to any Windows 8 laptop

Proof positive that the pen is mightier than the mouse, this interesting gadget makes Windows 8 easier to live with.

It's official: navigating Windows 8 with your mouse, well, bites. But do you really need to chuck your existing laptop and buy one with a touchscreen?

Maybe not. The Targus Touch Pen converts any laptop LCD into a touchscreen, albeit one that relies on a special stylus for input.

It works like this: You plug a small receiver into one of your laptop's USB ports, then stick it to the side of the display. After a one-time calibration (performed within Windows 8's settings--there's no special software required to use the pen), you're good to go.

The thick, black, comfy stylus could easily be mistaken for a business pen, save for the brush-style bristles on the end. You use it exactly as you'd expect, by tapping and/or swiping on the screen.

And here's the shocker: it works.

I tested it on an a fairly old Acer 17-inch laptop that I upgraded with Windows 8. My swipes and taps were recognized instantly and accurately, giving me a much "truer" Windows 8 experience than I could get from a mouse and keyboard.

That said, you'll have to decide just how valuable pen input is on a traditional laptop (as opposed to, say, a convertible or actual tablet). The real benefit would seem to lie in working with paint apps, though obviously that's not a big (sorry) draw for most users.

Also, I should note that the bristles pick up every speck of dust on your screen. I frequently found myself pulling little dust-bunnies from the tip. Bleh.

At $99.99, the Targus Touch Pen is an affordable way to add touch capabilities to older laptops. It also makes Windows 8 a little easier to live with, and that's no mean feat.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date, price and specs 2014

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 features wishlist: the changes iPhone and iPad users want in Apple's iOS 8

IDG UK Sites

25 Years of the World Wide Web: Happy Birthday, Intenet

IDG UK Sites

Developers get access to more Sony camera features