The Lenovo USI Stylus arrived today, giving me the first chance to try a Universal Stylus Initiative digital pen. Historically, digital pens only work with the tablets made by the manufacturer of the pen, and the pens are not portable between tablets. USI is a protocol intended to enable one to use a pen across multiple tablets. Thus, the Lenovo stylus I just got is supposed to not only work with the Lenovo Duet, but other tablets and notebook computers that support USI.

Unfortunately, I don’t have another device that supports USI, but I can say that the stylus I received just worked with the Duet once I got the pen powered up, there was no pairing process. The problem that I have with this stylus is that its tip is too big and round and so writing with it is like writing with a used medium tip marker rather than like a fine point pen. The tip on the Apple Pencil and Microsoft Surface Pen is much more like a pencil or pen so that what you write on the screen does not look like big fat characters.

The upside to the Lenovo USI is that it only cost me $31, which is considerabily cheaper than the Apple Pencil. However, even if it is cheap, the fact that one cannot really write digital ink that approximates a fine tip pen will hinder its usefullness.