This is Microsoft's new $20 digital pen for students

Microsoft's new Classroom Pen 2 is half the price of the first edition of the stylus for schools.

Microsoft has unveiled its new Classroom Pen 2, and it costs half the price of the first version that launched in 2019.

The Microsoft Classroom Pen 2 will be sold in packs of 20 for a cost of $399.80, which works out to be $19.99 per pen and includes batteries and replacement pen tips. 

The budget stylus caters to teachers and students with Windows 10 Microsoft Surface laptops – and is sold only to educational institutions. 

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Microsoft launched Microsoft Classroom Pen in 2019 as a digital inking tool that was optimized for the Surface Go laptop. It was sold in packs of 20 for $800, or about $40 per pen.

Microsoft explains in a blogpost that the Classroom Pen 2 is optimized for use with Surface Go and Surface Pro. 

The pen tip is replaceable and there's a tether and clip that can be used to attach it to Surface Type Covers to reduce the chances of kids losing the stylus.

Educational institutions can purchase the budget stylus from April 27 and Microsoft is promoting the Classroom Pen 2 with the Surface Go 2 and the Surface Pro 7+.   

Based on feedback, Microsoft redesigned the stylus with an "extended enclosure to optimize for grip strength and an improved storage experience". 

Microsoft notes that the Classroom Pen 2 has a "wider barrel" than a normal stylus to make it easier for students who are learning to write. 

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The lower cost of the Classroom Pen 2 could help Microsoft's battle for the education market. It is facing stiff competition from Chromebooks in the classroom with the pandemic changing hardware purchasing trends. 

While PC sales have in general boomed in the pandemic, analyst firm IDC in February revealed Chrome OS notebooks had eaten into Windows share of worldwide PC sales.