3 best Surface Dial alternatives to buy today [2021 Guide]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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best Surface dial alternatives

The Surface Dial is an innovative controller that allows Windows 10 users to perform various actions in a new way. Everything from adjusting volume on Spotify, scrolling through website articles, flying through various cities in Windows Maps, drawing, and more are all fair game.

Despite its usefulness, there are many who wonder if there is a Surface Dial alternative. They really like Microsoft’s new controller, but yet refrain from buying it for various reasons.

We’ve done a bit of research to answer your question. We did find a couple Surface Dial-similar devices offering indeed similar features, but none of them perfectly match its characteristics.

However, if these two Surface Dial alternatives meet your needs, you can try them out.


Which are the best Surface Dial alternatives?

Griffin PowerMate

  • Connects to your compatible Mac laptop or desktop via Bluetooth 4.0
  • Gleaming brushed aluminum with a blue glowing base
  • Great control for iTunes or video/audio editing
  • Automates repetitive actions and keystrokes
  • Flexible configuration software
  • Only works for Mac

If you like controlling your Mac PC desktop or laptop in an entirely different way, then the Griffin PowerMate control knob is what you need.

It completely replaces the functionalities of a mouse, and to some extent it can also take over certain keyboard duties as well.

Additionally, the control knob is programmed to work specifically with pretty much any other Mach application, including iTunes.


Contour ShuttleXpress Input Device

  • Will automatically select the configuration according to active apps
  • Can also be used for scrolling, volume control, sequencing, and more
  • Designed to enhance the productivity of multimedia content creators
  • Made for every application you have on your computer
  • Has five (5) programmable buttons
  • Driver issues with High Sierra versions

Although not as good-looking and feature-rich as the Griffin PowerMate Control Knob, the Contour ShuttleXpress Input Device is an interesting Surface Dial alternative indeed.

This device is equipped with five programmable buttons. You can set a specific configuration of your Shuttle device for every app install on your PC.

You can use Contour ShuttleXpress for scrolling, volume control, increased productivity in graphics and photo editing, Word processing, Spreadsheet manipulation, Internet browsing, and more.

In order to use it, you need to first download the dedicated software that allows you to manage it. Windows 10 PC owners have identified one tiny issue about this device when using Adobe Premiere. Sometimes, the preset buttons set for Adobe Premiere won’t work. To fix this, mount the software icon to the Windows task bar. Then right click on the little wheel icon when you want to pick your software mode when you open the app.


AIMOS Control Knob

  • It directly adjusts audio device volume without causing any distortion
  • No need to install any driver or software on your PC to use it
  • Made with a metal shell, supporting 360° infinite rotation
  • Luxurious whole aluminum design makes it fashionable
  • Supports Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Mac
  • Button presses need to be done firmly

Design is important for many users, and for them, the AIMOS Control Knob is top-tier in that department.

Made with an aluminum shell that makes sit look both elegant and gives it much-needed resistance, this control knob will fit perfectly in your hand.

Installing it is incredibly easy, with a plug-and-play system that doesn’t require drivers to be installed either, so go ahead and get it today, and change the way you control things on your PC.


Have you tried out other devices similar to Surface Dial? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in other peripherals and accessories, check out our wide collection of guides.

FAQ: Learn more about Surface Dial

  • Are there any Surface Dial alternatives?

Yes, there are. For a precise answer, don’t hesitate to check out this list of best Surface Dial alternatives.

  • Can Surface Dial replace the mouse?

No, it cannot be used to click/right-click or move a cursor on the screen. You still need a mouse for that, so take a look at this list of best USB-C mice that you can buy today.

  • What apps work best with Surface Dial?

Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are two great examples to consider. For more options to pick from, refer to this list of Surface Dial apps that work best with this tool.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2017 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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