Recently I was required to test the level of pressure in several devices, Wacom tablets, Lenovo Yoga 2 in 1, Asus T102H / T103H, among others…

In this post I’ll explain how to know how to test or debug the levels of pressure of your pen for any device, in this case, I’ll be presenting images of my Lenovo Yoga 530 which is 2 in 1, laptop and tablet as well.

The procedures explained will allow us to know which level of pressure is available in Linux and Windows as well. It is important to know about the capabilities of the device and discarding any hardware problem related to the pressure and the pen.

The Pen Version

Each pen has a different level of pressure, some of them support  1024, 2048 or even 4096. If you don’t know how much your pen support, the first step is opening the pen and looking for the specific version, all of them should have a label like this:

As you can see it is a «Lenovo Active Pen» and its model is 5T70K13857, looking in google for its pressure levels lead me to nothing (later in the tests described below) I discovered it supports 4096 levels of pressure.

As another example, let’s take a look on the Asus pen which is included in the T103H, T102H, and VivoBook Flip 14 TP401M​, the three of them come with the same model SPEN-ASU-04:

In this case, the Asus website displays this info for their pen

1024 – Pressure Levels
10-300 g – Pen tip force

But not for the specific model, anyway, you can search the model on google and with some luck (in a polish website) you could associate the SPEN-ASU-04 with 1024 pressure levels.

Because finding the required information by searching the specific pen model proved to be hard, it will be easier to use software tools and discover it by ourselves. Let’s proceed on how to do that on both, Windows and Linux.

Testing Levels of pressure in Windows

Scenario: Lenovo Yoga 530, Lenovo Active Pen 5T70K13857, Windows 10, Java and JwinPointer.

Using my Lenovo Yoga 530 and Windows 10 I wanted to know what levels of pressure were supported by the pen which came with the device, in order to find that and after installing java I downloaded the tool JWinPointer.

If you already installed java, when you look for JWinPointer you simply do double click and it will be executed (you must maximize the window in order to see it like the picture, otherwise it will appear only as a window bar).

Testing my Lenovo pen 5T70K13857

Testing my Lenovo pen 5T70K13857

In this test, we are applying a considerable amount of force (without damaging the device), we concluded this pen is able to support 4096 levels of pressure.

Now let’s do the same with Linux, so we can be sure these values are true.

Testing Levels of pressure in Linux

Scenario: Lenovo Yoga 530, Lenovo Active Pen 5T70K13857, Ubuntu 19 (Disco), evemu-tools and evtest.

In order to test the pressure levels of your pen in Linux, you will be required to install a tool to do the job, I’m going to show you two evemu-record and evtest, both of them are really simple to use. You can even use Ubuntu without installing by running it from a CD, DVD or Pendrive with the option «try without installing» as shown here:

We run a terminal and install one or both tools as you prefer, both are almost identical in its use (remember being root or using sudo):

Here’s the complete output:

Now we have the tools and we can test by running:

You’ll be prompted to select the device you want to test, in this case, we must select the device with the «Pen» word, for example using evtest:

Look how my pen is detected:

And here I’ve selected 7 as that device:

This is exactly the same with evemu-record.

The output will provide you information about the AXIS X, AXIS Y and PRESSURE, because we are testing pressure ONLY we must use grep to filter this specific output:

This is the output of evest:

And this is how evemu-record shows it:

If you are using these tools and your range of pressure varies from 0 to 258 probably you have a standard driver and you’ll need an updated driver which supports the pressure levels of your pen.