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How Not To Use An Active or Passive Lenovo Pen

(Or What Lenovo Refers To As "Customer-Induced Damage")



Here at Lenovo we are excited that you are excited about using an active or passive pen with your Lenovo product! Active and passive pens provide Lenovo customers with additional functionality, whether for tasks like transcribing notes or fun stuff like doodling moustaches on pictures of your favorite people.


We hear great stories about the ways our customers use their pens… but not every story we hear is a good one. When a customer uses a product in a manner outside of the original design, the design may fail. To clarify, this means your pen may stop working if you do something dumb with it, which is bad. Sometimes really bad.



While you can order a replacement Lenovo pen, we thought we'd offer some suggestions on keeping your pen in good working order.


Ask yourself: would you do this with your phone?


  • Throw it
  • Forcefully jab or smack things with it
  • Drum with it
  • Drop it
  • Bend it
  • Chew on it
  • Stir coffee
  • Pick your teeth


Beyond smearing the remains of your lunch all over your nice Lenovo product - eww! – this particulate matter may enter the barrel through the opening where the nib is and stay there. (We’ve seen it!) Other types of abuse like drumming and throwing the pen may cause the coil inside the barrel to break, the knob button to come off, and other interior components to stop functioning as expected.


While accidents do happen; try to avoid subjecting your pen to these as customer-induced damage voids pen warranty.


  • Water
  • Washing machines
  • Wheels
  • Small children
  • Teenagers
  • Pets


These lists take us back to how we at Lenovo scratch our heads when we see how our pens are sometimes used. Here’s some information that might help you understand why Lenovo’s pens really are more than a “pen”.


Pen Basics 101:


  • A Lenovo pen is a tool designed to provide precise and easy input into an electronic device like a computer, tablet, or phone via the display
  • If the system does not come with a pen at the time of purchase (indicating the system includes the all-important digitizer), a pen will not work afterwards because the digitizer component is missing from the system’s display
  • Lenovo pen models provide a superior writing or drawing experience over a plastic one-piece stylus because Lenovo’s pens have a nib that recedes into the pen housing and connects to a coil to mimic the ink pen writing experience
  • A passive pen, also known as a stylus or digitizer pen, does not contain a battery or electrical components, but it still requires that it be cared for so it doesn't come apart or damage screens
  • When passive pens are pushed against a digitized display, the tip becomes conductive as the power is provided from the screen
  • With active pens, the power is provided from a battery or rechargeable battery within the pen
  • Active pens contains electronic components that together work with a digitizer
  • Rechargeable pens with bent pins, either on the pen itself or inside the housing of the laptop, may have difficulty charging as expected. If the bent pins are on the pen, it may need to be replaced while if the bent pins are within the laptop, the laptop may need to be serviced
  • With the introduction of Skylake-based systems comes the updated pen designs of ThinkPad Pen Pro 2 and 3
  • ThinkPad Pen Pro 2 and 3 are powered by supercapacitors within the pen that charge in minutes but hold a charge for days
  • The exterior of pens can be cleaned by rubbing gently with a dry cloth, or if necessary, spot-cleaned with a cotton swab and a drop or two of 50% isopropyl alcohol
  • In active pens with disposable batteries, remove the battery if the pen is not being used weekly
  • Store the pen either inside the device or in a cool, dry place out of the sun



We love to help our customers Do.  We encourage you to care for your pens just as you would your notebook, tablet, or phone. If this means that Lenovo hears fewer stories about pen abuse, then perhaps we'll have time to pull together some suggestions for reducing keyboard abuse...




More Information On Pens


  • To confirm a specific model is configured for use with a pen, and which pen, visit Lenovo's Product Specifications Reference (PSREF) website or visit this blog article to learn how to use the PSREF website
  • Pen physical specifications and product numbers can be found on Lenovo’s Support website
  • This blog article lists ways to order a Lenovo pen
  • A list of Lenovo systems that support pens can be found in this blog article
  • The difference between the types of pen Lenovo sells can be found in this blog article
  • Suggestions on how not to use an active or passive Lenovo pen are summarized in this blog article
  • Lenovo.com is a great resource for finding pen product specifications, ordering pen replacements, and other pen-related information

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