Surface Pro 3 pen woes: you just might have your battery installed backwards

Surface Pro 3 Pen woes: you just might have your battery installed backwards

Microsoft's brand new 12-inch Surface Pro 3 tablet is available for purchase and comes with a fantastic stylus called the Surface Pen. The stylus connects to your Surface Pro 3 via Bluetooth and is powered by batteries. If you are having trouble with the Pen's connectivity, you might have the battery inserted backwards.

"When I try to pair the new pen with my Surface 3, it says connected for a second or two, then it says not connected.  Pen doesn't work at all except the purple button on the top will launch OneNote. Any ideas? I've paired it manually several times and it's always the same.  I paired a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard without issue," one Surface Pro 3 owner asks on Microsoft's official support forum.

Sounds like an interesting issue, right? Perhaps a faulty pen? Wrong. The issue was a result of having the battery inserted backwards. Let me explain.

The Surface Pen uses one AAAA battery to feed the digitizer and two small size 319 lithium coin cell batteries, which come pre-installed in the top of the pen, to power the Bluetooth section. The AAAA battery is manually installed by the user and can be accidentally inserted backwards, resulting in issues with Bluetooth connectivity even though the indicator light on the pen will be on. The indicator light might confuse you into thinking the pen is working fine, when it is not.

The solution? Check the AAAA battery and make sure you inserted it correctly. "This is really embarrassing, but I hope it at least helps someone else out there. I just got off of a chat with MS support... the battery was installed backwards.  I can't believe how much time I wasted on this today just because of a backwards battery," the same user stated, after speaking to Microsoft's technical support.

Keep in mind the Surface Pen utilizes Bluetooth to launch OneNote - that's it. The AAAA battery is crucial for the stylus functions, but the two small batteries at the top of the pen are simply for the ability to launch OneNote via the top of the pen. You can turn off Bluetooth and the pen will work fine - except that you will not be able to launch OneNote.

The Surface Pen is quite expensive and runs for $50 if purchased separately. The pen is cased in aluminum, has over 250 levels of pressure sensitivity, and Palm Block technology. This means you can write and draw without worrying about resting your hand on the screen and messing up your creation. 

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