The headline is what I put into a search engine prior to HP giving me my new laptop to replace my Touchsmart TM2t.  They were happy to say my new laptop had a PEN.  They did not tell me up front what kind of pen it was, just a pressure sensitive pen!  I copied the name down, put it into Google and came up with NOTHING… at first.  I started inputting HP Executive Pen Review and then I found all the complaints.  This was prior to getting it, now that I have it… here goes:

If you are an artist and you are looking for a laptop with a pressure sensitive pen, DO NOT GO TO HP AND DO NOT GET anything that says ATMEL DIGITIZER.  And here is why.  It’s called an ACTIVE digitizer, it’s not.  It does not live up to what they promise and if HP had been smart, they would’ve looked at the youtube promotional videos and figured it out.  This pen is not suitable for writing notes or drawing, even though that’s what they claim it’s good for.  Here’s the youtube video, if you watch it, notice how after they write those first words, they ZOOM OUT.  Do you know WHY they zoom out?  It’s so you can’t see all the wobbles in the lines.  You have to write really large and reduce it and even then, it’s not that great.

NOW, allow me to show off how it looks in various programs like Manga Studio EX 5 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Onenote.  You’ll notice that there’s no smoothness and in some cases, horrible pressure sensitivity.

First, here we have Manga Studio.  Oh.. it hurts.. .and those short lines were supposed to be one long line, but it broke.  (It was even worse before I installed a driver update.:( )

    Atmel HP Executive Pen in Manga Studio EX 5

Atmel HP Executive Pen in Manga Studio EX 5

Next, we have a screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CS6:


Atmel HP Executive Pen  in Adobe Photoshop CS6

Atmel HP Executive Pen in Adobe Photoshop CS6


And here’s Onenote.  I use onenote 2010 a LOT for scripting and thumbnailing.


So again, HP does NOT have ANY machines as of this time that run using anything that any artist can use.  No wacom, not even n-trig, just this Atmel garbage.  Now I’m fretting that I’m going to end up stuck with this laptop I can’t use while I need a laptop with an actual digitizer. 🙁  I used my tablet pc on a daily basis, 10-12 hours a day.  I can use this laptop for one thing… typing… 🙁 🙁  Just a warning to anyone who HP might try to give one of these too.  I saw that someone went through the same process and was offered HP store credit or a laptop and wasn’t sure what to pick.  Don’t let them replace your equipment with something they say is the same, when it’s NOT.  And also, atmel atmel atmel atmel. Avoid atmel.

This post will get buried soon by other stuff, but it’s going to pop up on searches and THAT is what’s important to me right now.  Other artists need to know so they don’t fall for it or buy one of these HP Executive pens.
I almost forgot.  This isn’t even a suitable replacement for a mouse or a finger or a trackpad.  Why?  No indicator of where the pen actually IS unless it is TOUCHING the screen and you have to tap it pretty hard, hard enough I worry about the glass screen.  I spent five minutes trying, through sheer frustration, to grab a window bar in Photoshop so I could change the size of my panel… :(..
– Tiff