Subpar stylus technology on the Dell Venue Pro 8

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Subpar stylus technology on the Dell Venue Pro 8

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Hi, I'm curious to how you guys respond to the criticism of the stylus/clearpad technology on the dell venue pro 8, which is raised in this thread starting on page 32 http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/dell/59202-venue-8-pro-owner-s-lounge-32.html. Are there any ways to fine tune the pen input in regards to hover distance etc? How much of the pen technology is software vs hardware dependent, will we get driver updates/software releases that enable better inking?

It would be great if we could get some information from a dell representative. As it is now, the clearpad stylus input seems to be among the worst active stylus options on the market, far behind wacom and also ntrig.

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  • Looks like they had removed the update a day or two ago and it is now back up, thought they had done a second update but when I installed it it said I already had the latest firmware.  Still not working well at all.  Just wondering are we just stuck with this pen?  Does the screen and pen go hand in hand or could a different manufacturers pen work?  Man I cant wait till this is fixed.  Just a let down right now.

  • Yep. The pen technology is proprietary Synaptics. If it was Wacom you could use a number of different pens. Dell went with Synaptics because it was cheaper than Wacom. Like I said earlier, Dell better get this worked out with Synaptics or this whole Venue Pro line of tablets is going to be a huge mess.

  • My pen has the hovering clicks. It makes it not usable for the legacy windows applications - selecting from menus, toolbars. Could the problem be fixed by a new firmware or  I have a defective pen?

  • Just checking back in, anyone heard anything new yet?  The same patch is still up, you would think knowing it doesn't work even with that update they would take it down.  ANYONE READING THIS AT DELL THAT CAN GIVE US AN UPDATE?

  • What are your symptoms?  Hover clicking or poor writing performance?

    At least for me the firmware update improved the writing performance to acceptable levels.  However, I still suffer from hover clicking, which I believe is the pen itself.  I have 2 pens (the original i haven't sent back yet, and it's replacement) and both exhibit hover clicking still.  Some people resolve this by removing the battery then reinserting.  That doesn't do anything for me.  What works for me is either shaking the pen vigorously or whacking the pen in the palm of my hand.  This is for both pens I have.  Both are going back for a new one.  

    There's definitely a tolerance, quality control issue, or flat out design flaw with the pens.  Also point to the fact that many are experiencing dead pens in a matter of 2-3 days, and everything is pointing to shoddy pen hardware.  The good news is that the tablet screen is probably fine.

    I've got one last theory I'm testing out now.  When I got the new pen it worked fine.  Then it started to exhibit hover clicking.  The only difference is that when I thought it was working fine, I left the battery in the pen.  So far the first time I use it after sitting idle, it gets ridiculous hover clicking, like rapid fire tap tap tap tap tap... and sometimes tap and hold, all without pushing a single button or touching the screen.

    So I'm letting it sit idle again but this time with the battery out of the pen.  If it works upon first use then I believe the issue is building up a charge sufficient enough to generate an electric field that registers as clicking.  If that's the case, it would point to cheap circuitry, poor design (floating ground or improperly ground?), or just poor assembly, or a combination of all.

    SInce some (very very few) people seem to be receiving none hover clicking pens, I suspect it to be the circuitry and assembly.  All circuit components have a tolerance.  The pen was designed to work with certain parameters.  However, if enough of the components are out of spec then the pen won't work as designed.

    If you're getting hover clicking and/or battery drainage, I would say keep exchanging until you get a working one.  Both my pens say REVA00.  Hopefully Synaptics will man up and admit poor build/design and release a REVA01 soon.

  • Yes. The firmware update helped a little with the inking but it is not acceptable for most users that have experienced Wacom or N-Trig technology. Hover clicking is happening for most users at some point.

    Dell and Synaptics need to fix this very quickly. Not only will it destroy Venue 8 Pro sales but it will also affect Venue 11 Pro sales as it uses the same digitizer technology and stylus.

    Once again, we have another manufacturer that doesn't go with the proven Wacom technology to save a little money but they are paying for it now. HP did the same thing with using an ATMEL digitizer and stylus which was  complete flop and deflated their tablet sales.

    Pay attention Dell. If you want to take market share back from Lenovo, Samsung and Microsoft you better start using proven technology and building high quality products or you might as well scrap your tablet products altogether.

  • 4TA23

    Just checking back in, anyone heard anything new yet?  The same patch is still up, you would think knowing it doesn't work even with that update they would take it down.  ANYONE READING THIS AT DELL THAT CAN GIVE US AN UPDATE?

    Hey 4TA23,

     

    The update did address many of the customer concerns with the Dell Active Stylus.  We do understand the firmware update did not address all concerns, so the engineers are currently working on a solution for the rest of you. They tell me they are close! Check the website often for updates.

     

    -Don D

  • I have both Wacom and N-Trig and I think it's acceptable with the recent firmware, as long as it's not hover clicking the hell out of my screen.  My preference is N-Trig since it's more accurate than Wacom and not as susceptible to pen angle, edges, and distance as Wacom.  I get so frustrated when using my Wacom devices to click on small things because the cursor moves depending on how you hold the pen or how near you are to the screen so I always mis-hit.  . Also, I don't need the pressure sensitivity since I use it for science/engineering stuff, not drawing.

    My only gripe with N-Trig is it's sensitivity to EMI.  I found on my XT3 the phantom clicking was caused by the Intel power saving function dropping the screen refresh rate to 40 Hz.  Disabling that feature completely solved phantom clicks.  Supposedly the new N-Trig tech improves EMI isolationg/performance.  Oh, and I hate how the N-Trig pen can't write/interpolate in the middle of the screen where the digitizer grid is divided.  To my knowledge, all digitizers, whether touch or pen, are divided into halves or quadrants.  Hopefully the newest N-trig solved that issue as well.

    Ooops, I digress.  Anyway, I think Dell's big mistake was to create a single "prosumer" device.  They should have split it like the XPS 10 and Latitude 10.  It's been pretty  clear from the forums than most would have gladly paid more for better pen digitizer tech.  Dell should have released a Venue 8 (no pen) for the target $300 and then a Latitude 8 (with Wacom/N-trig pen) for $350 or something.

  • We've been Dell users since 1990 and stockholders since 1992...this active stylus for the Venue Pro is simply the worst product we've ever purchased from Dell in twenty-three years.

    I've had the tablet since 8 November, am on my fourth battery, have yet to fully understand its switch functions, which seem to change randomly, and am tired by its inability to function as an interface device on a reliable basis... it sometimes works but often doesn't.

    I'm about to return the entire kit, which is a shame, as I like the tablet itself... but my hands/fingers are too large to usefully act as interface devices on several Windows programs.  :)

    It's a shame that Dell did such a good job on the tablet but failed dramatically with the stylus.

  • I been trying to use there online return and no one has sent me a email or to get this started I have sent over 5 website returns request so now I have no choice to put a stop payment on my credit card maybe when they get this back from my credit card they will call me or email me.  IF DELL IS READING THIS HERE  IS  MY ORDER NUMBER <ADMIN NOTE: Phone number removed per privacy policy> CALL ME I WANT TORETURN THIS ASAP!!  AND CAN NOT CALL AND WAIT ON PHONE FOR HOURS!!!

     

    KATHY

  • camelot101

    I been trying to use there online return and no one has sent me a email or to get this started I have sent over 5 website returns request so now I have no choice to put a stop payment on my credit card maybe when they get this back from my credit card they will call me or email me.  IF DELL IS READING THIS HERE  IS  MY ORDER NUMBER <ADMIN NOTE: Phone number removed per privacy policy> CALL ME I WANT TORETURN THIS ASAP!!  AND CAN NOT CALL AND WAIT ON PHONE FOR HOURS!!!

     

    KATHY

     

    I am sorry to hear you are having issues with the site.  Unfortunately any personal information like phone numbers and order numbers, on this forum will be cleared out per terms of use.  If you do not want to call in to correct your issue, you can contact our Dellcares Team online.  Reach out to them using the link below and they will be happy to assist!

    Social Support Team Contact:-
    Twitter - @DellCares (
    http://dell.to/14T7mnW)

    They can help

    -Don D

     

     

  • My stylus arrived today, and it hover clicks my Venue 8 Pro from an inch away.  Complete <ADMIN NOTE: Substitute character removed as per TOU>.  I have a Venue 11 on order - thinking of canceling.  Poor pen operation is a deal killer for me.  Thinking of returning the 8 as well.  :(  Was very excited about these tablets... badly disappointed

    LATER EDIT or UPDATE:

    I found that my stylus worked pretty well after a few minutes, as if the computer and stylus needed to "meet each other" and settle in.

    Upon later trying to calibrate the stylus it became completely unusable, with wild errors causing it's location on the screen to be unpredictable.

    I did a reset of the calibration and the pen then worked pretty well again.  Not perfect, but reasonably well for both inking and clicking. 

    Until Dell issues some final fix and better advice to users, I would highly recommend that users DO NOT use the Control Panel's Pen and Touch calibration function. 

    My stylus is now working well enough that I can accept it with minor irritation.  Not as reliable or accurate as the many pen based systems I've used for 15 years. I've been doing pen computing since 1998, mostly using Fujitsu Stylistic, LIfebook and other products.. 

  • (withdrawn - I combined this post with my earlier post)

  • I have updated to the latest firmware and BIOS. It works fine for awhile then it starts than infuriating hover clicking. I have also noticed that the stylus is going thru batteries like there is no tomorrow. Is this related or should I open a different thread about the battery life of the stylus.

  • I am convinced that the styluses suffer from very poor quality control. I believe the battery does not last long due to poor connectivity in the pen, which prevents the pen from going to sleep. It is this poor connectivity that may be causing the "hover clicks" as well.

    I have purchased two styluses, and neither is without fault.

    I have an open case with Dell, which has been "escalated", and has been open for just over a week now.