The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is every bit what its name suggests. This amazing pen is available in 2 GB ($99), 4 GB ($169), and 8 GB ($199). This is one of the most user friendly and fantastic pens that you could have asked for. Though most people use their laptops, tablets and notepads for taking notes and writing, a lot of communication still happens with pens and papers. Livescribe takes the simple communication on paper, and turns it into true digital communication. Livescribe is a pen that saves you from retyping all your notes, and transcribes all your voice recordings. It saves you all the trouble of converting all your analog communication to digital communication.
How Does It Work?
The Echo Smartpen has a ballpoint nib for writing. There is also an infrared camera inside the tip of the pen to scan documents. The barrel of the pen contains a microphone for taking any audio notes on the go. This pen is designed to write and take both audio and digital notes simultaneously. All your recordings will be saved to your pen’s in built memory. So the higher your pen’s memory is the more notes you can take and save on your pen. The pen comes with free desktop software, which can be used to transfer your notes to any Mac or PC. With this pen in your bag, you no longer need to lug around your notepads and recorders when you are attending lectures.
Is There A Catch?
This pen’s spectacular prowess has a catch. It cannot be used on any type of paper to activate handwriting recognition. In order to have your notes digitized immediately, you will need to use a dot paper. The pen comes along with a free 50 page special notebook to begin with, and you can buy additional notebooks for about $5 each. The pen also uses ink cartridges that are not the standard size, so you may have to look for them or order them specially. The only silver lining here is that this special ink does not run out immediately and runs almost as long as that of the conventional pens.
The pen is about 6 inches long, just like any regular pen, but has an OLED screen, a memory chip, microphone, and several other electronic components fit into its slender body. The internal battery of the pen is rechargeable and battery performance varies, depending on the desired quality of audio recordings. There are three adjustable audio recording qualities – low, medium, and high. You can also adjust your mic’s sensitivity. It has hall, automatic and room settings to choose from.
The Good, Bad and Ugly
The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is a great innovation that creates and preserves digital copies of any communication you want. You can replay them, save them or even share them. The downside, however, is that the pen does not come cheap and there is a lifelong expense of ink cartridges, batteries and special notepads. Still, for people who take notes ritually, the Livescribe Echo Smartpen is definitely a godsend because it makes life a lot easier – and that’s what all technology ultimately intends to do.
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