The Universal Stylus Initiative is SUPPOSED to be the future PC pen tech. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a handful of Chromebook launches that support the cross-device stylus standard but with the exception of the HP Chromebook 12b review unit we have, getting our hands on one of these pens has been impossible. The USI website lists a handful of white-label manufacturers that will produce the pens for OEMs and ASUS even said that the USI-compatible Flip C436 would have an optional ASUS-branded USI stylus. Alas, we haven’t seen a single one.
Well, thanks to a tip from a ready, it now appears that you can pick up HP’s rendition of the USI stylus. This pen is identical to the one we received with our review unit. It features compatibility with, fingers crossed, any USI supported device and is rechargeable via a USB-C port that is discretely hidden behind a sliding panel at the back end of the stylus. We’ve tested the HP USI pen out on three different Chromebook models up unto this point and I have to say, the experience has been less than favorable. USI is still a very new tech as it pertains to the consumer market and it looks like there are still some kinks to work out. That’s not to say the pen isn’t usable. It just feels like a step backward at the moment. There is a distinct lag when using the pen and for whatever reason, palm rejection is hit or miss at the moment. Hopefully, this will be addressed in future Chrome OS updates as USI becomes more prevalent.
If you’ve been hunting for a USI stylus, the HP version is available today but it will set you back $70 and don’t forget, this pen is designed to work with USI-compatible displays. Currently, only the ASUS Flip C436, HP x360 12b and Lenovo 10e carry that specification. You can find the HP USI stylus in the HP Store at the link below.