Microsoft Surface Dial Review: Computer Accessories Reborn

Microsoft Surface Dial is an artistic piece of innovation. Since the advent of smartphones, desktop PCs and Laptops seem to have stopped offering new accessories but the Dial thing proves there’s so much more we can do with personal computers.

Surface Dial reminds us that age of heavy hardware is not dead. The popularity of smartphone accessories had somewhat overshadowed the willingness of hardware engineers to create something new. Microsoft Surface Studio is rethinking computer design with style and luxury, the appeal wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for this small rotatable gadget that looks like a decorate artifact or a paper holder.

It is an amazing input device that we had been waiting for and all it took for the hardware engineers was to just cook it up. The dial is a completely innovative way to interact with the digital world whether it’s painting, art creation, designing or blue printing. The fact that it can serve as a physical knob gives users a pinpoint accuracy to fine-adjust stuff.

In fact, Microsoft Surface Dial can do much more than you imagine.

List of Apps that work with Microsoft Surface Dial

  • Revu
  • Drawboard PDF
  • Mental Canvas Player
  • Sketchable
  • Moho 12
  • Spotify
  • StaffPad
  • Word, PowerPoint, Excel (Office Win32)
  • OneNote (UWP version)
  • Windows Maps
  • Plumbago
  • Sketchpad
  • Groove Music
  • PewPew Shooter
  • Microsoft Photos
  • Paint
  • Adobe Photoshop (basic zoom support)

Surface Dial Made for Windows 10


Microsoft is encouraging Windows users to adopt to Windows 10, because the previous version of its operating system is still in heavy use. Especially Windows 7 that will never lose its charm. The fact that Surface Dial was released on Windows 10 event makes it a specialized hardware accessory that can work with Window 10 apps.

The cylindrical accessory was designed keeping Surface Studio in the mind, but according to the tech giant, it will work with Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Microsoft Surface Book. The standalone wireless knob lets users control a whole bunch of different things with a simple turn, like turning the volume or brightness up or down. But Microsoft will eventually add a wider scope of basic functionalities.

Microsoft Surface Dial designmicrosoft-surface-dial-4

The hardware itself is simple but nice. There’s a smooth feel to its worth of the Apple industry standards. The premium design not only feels good, it also looks breathtaking sitting right next to the Surface Studio family. The base is sticky and remains in position on the screen even if the display is tilted, but you can manually move it in which case it smoothly glides over the touchscreen.

Various uses and functions


The possibilities are endless, it really depends on how software developers want to take the advantage of its clicking and spinning input. To give you an idea, take the gyrometer of smartphones which in different games has been used for different purposes. Likewise, the software shipping with Surface Studio will only demonstrate Surface Dial’s basic potential.

According to the official website, the device can be used to perform scrolling, dragging, rotating and zooming into images, and even performing undo functions. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, it really depends on how app developers program their software. For example, it can act as a dynamic color selector so you can change the color of digital ink as you draw with a surface pen.


No doubt, Microsoft surface dial is the rebirth of fantastic computer accessories in the race of mobile dominated hardware market. Microsoft Store has Surface Dial available for pre-orders at $99.99, but there’s no news about the shipping date.

By Muhammad Waqas

Muhammad Waqas is an active technology journalist and news writer. He keeps his readers entertained with the hot and happening in the world of innovations and delivers the latest news as it breaks.


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