The new HP Spectre 13 x360 is a high-end convertible Tablet PC that uses a Synaptics digitizer – but it also offers a very interesting and exclusive software that allows user customization of pen’s side buttons.
Inside the Hewlett-Packard website there is an hidden, interesting and unique application – that allows the customization of the Synaptics pen used on new HP Spectre 13 x360 Tablet PC.
According to the datasheet, the HP Spectre 13 x360 does not have an active digitizer – and the application we are talking about, called “HP Active Pen Control Software“, has not even been pre-installed on the device: the user have to download it from the HP website, in the Spectre drivers page.
It is an extremely simple, 2 MB-heavy software that, once installed, creates a Desktop icon (it is not available from Windows Control Panel) that opens a two-tabs window: the first tab allows to customize, via a drop-down menu, the two pen’s buttons (upper and lower); the second tab shows a cute big-eyed yellow pterodactyl – that highlights how the application has not been created by HP but by ELAN Corporation.
The customization of the buttons is not total: for example, the user cannot push the side button to open a particular application (but he can customize the buttons to open OneNote) and it is not possible to change the button’s behavior on the basis of open application – as it happens with some advanced Wacom drivers – but it is a huge step forward compared to the past.
Apparently, the HP Active Pen Control Software is downloadable only through the Spectre 13 x360 Support Page – but it can also be installed on HP Pavilion 10 x2 and any other non-HP device with Synaptics digitizer; despite this, it will not work with Dell Active Styluses or similar non-HP pens.