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Surface Dial was designed to transform the way you create. It optimizes your workflow by bringing the most used tools directly onto your digital workspace. Store, customize, access, navigate, and reimagine physical tools in the digital world—from concept to creation. Surface Dial helps you focus on your work instead of spending time on keyboard shortcuts, switching between screens, and moving back-and-forth between palette and canvas. Device must support Bluetooth 4.0 or higher (visit Microsoft.com/hardware/compatibility for more details). Surface Dial helps you focus on your work instead of spending time on keyboard shortcuts, switching between screens, and moving back-and-forth between palette and canvas.
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
THis product has great potential but does not have great intergration with One ...
By Pen Name
THis product has great potential but does not have great intergration with One Note. Would love for it to be able to rotate through different pen selections
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
By Eric Milberger
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
Not ready for prime-time for the masses yet.
When Microsoft announced the release of the Surface Dial, I was thrilled. I thought all my years of cursing Microsoft's designers under my breath for shortcomings in Office and Windows had finally paid off. The universe had heard, and Microsoft finally took notice! With this simple silver knob, Microsoft's designers were finally going to give us something to fill in the gaps.
Or so I thought. I assumed from the way the marketing folks debuted the Surface Dial with the Surface Studio that they'd designed it to have deep integration with Microsoft's current crop of software, including Windows 10 and Office 2016. I assumed the most obvious, utilitarian use cases would be covered out of the box, with aftermarket customization and adaptation to special use cases to come later. I couldn't have been more wrong.
It's unfair not to remark on the physical device, so let me confirm this is one great looking and feeling piece of hardware. Like almost everything Microsoft makes (aside from mice and keyboards), the Surface Dial ends up being completely hampered by mediocre software and baffling design choices. Ok, so maybe the most obvious feature / use case for the Surface Dial is Volume Control for media playback. Hooray! They included that feature. How could they not? There are already perfectly suitable rotary volume knobs out there (if mostly USB wired ones), so this was a must-have feature that actually made it into the Surface Dial's repertoire. The first thing I thought when I saw the Dial in the Surface Studio unveiling was "Finally somebody thought to give us a usable input device for horizontal scrolling!" I immediately imagined flying through large spreadsheets in Excel without worrying about dragging scroll bars or having to mash the middle button on the mouse and hope for the best.
Needless to say, side-scrolling control was a must-have feature for the Surface Dial I thought even Microsoft couldn't manage to overlook. I was utterly disappointed when I connected the thing to my system and found out there is ZERO ability to control horizontal scroll with the Surface Dial out of the box.The capability may exist--some materials targeted at third party app developers seem to suggest the Surface Dial can be used in this fashion--but it is NOT built into the existing versions of Windows 10 and MS Office 2016. Only vertical scrolling is available at present, although I have a perfectly functional mouse wheel AND page up/page down keys that already make pretty short work of that task, so I can't really see myself reaching for another device to scroll up and down through pages of text. Bolstering that opinion is the fact that the Surface Dial settings do not allow for hardly any adjustment of scrolling speed. Whatever you've got the mouse wheel set to under the "Wheel" control panel is what the Surface Dial goes by. This is another major miss on Microsoft's part! If the Surface Dial allowed for separate scroll sensitivity settings, one could use it as a fast-scroll device while reserving more granular control for the mouse wheel, or vice versa.
The pain of this oversight is compounded by the fact that the Surface Dial does not have any free-spinning mode. It turns at a specific pace and will stop as soon as rotational force is no longer being applied by the user. In other words, one might have expected it to behave in a kind of loaded-spring type fashion that allowed granular control via low input force and would ratchet up the spin as greater force is applied. One might have also expected to be able to spin the dial and have it continue rotating to some degree even after letting go. Other devices work this way, but not the Surface Dial. It is truly designed only for slow, precise input. In other words, using the dial to scroll vertically through long documents or web pages is an absolute chore unless one adjusts the number of scroll lines setting under the Wheel control panel. But messing with that setting affects one's mouse as well, which may have a completely different design/feel/response than the Surface Dial and may get super jumpy when the number of scroll lines is turned up.
That said, I really want to like this device and I'm willing to hang onto it for a while in the hope that Microsoft will fix the software oversights and omissions. The potential is there, lurking beneath the (pardon the pun) surface.