Hands-on: Surface Dial could be Microsoft's next cult classic

The Surface Dial probably isn't for everyone, but a passionate niche of digital artists will probably love it.

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Move over, mouse and keyboard. Take a seat, Surface Pen. Microsoft has a new input device: the Surface Dial, a silver hockey puck designed to make life simple for digital artists.

Mice move, pens draw; the Dial turns. Tap the Dial, and a radial menu appears. Turn the Dial, and you can quickly access the corresponding shortcut. It’s as simple as that.

The $100 Surface Dial (already available for preorder) was designed as a peripheral for the Surface Studio. It will work with the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book as well, but with the Studio, it can control the tablet while resting on the screen—an interaction that simply isn’t there on the older tablets.

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