livescribe review 2g digital penThis Livescribe review aims to give you a fair idea of what digital pens are, what they – and this one in particular – do well and where there might be room for improvement. So let’s get stuck in.

Digital pens are a huge leap forward in the way we communicate, not just with others but with our computers and also with ourselves when note taking or recording meetings.

Looking and operating just like an ordinary if bulky pen, it contains a very powerful microphone and digital recording device which means that everything you hear, write or draw is recorded on the pen and it will even organize pages with segments of recorded text so you never lose track again.

Check Prices At Amazon

It’s for these reasons schools are increasingly using digital pens with students who have learning difficulties, they can record instructions and simultaneously take notes which match up together later, so help them keep work organized. Simple, yet very powerful.

Operating independently of a computer and carrying all audio and written memory within, the Livescribe pen is quite bulky and inelegant, but the memory has to be fitted in somewhere. Personally I can use the pen for several hours but it would be fair to say my hand does ache after a while from the extra size and weight. From chatting to others it seems people with smaller hands struggle more for obvious reasons.

When A Graphics Tablet Might Be The Right Tool For The Job

If you want to use a digital pen to write with instead of typing with a keyboard and you write a lot, you are probably staying at a desk with your computer to hand. If so you might want to consider a graphics tablet with handwriting recognition software for long writing stints, keeping the digital pen for when you are out and about. The graphic pad is structured so the pen just glides over the surface in a very natural way, no extra pressure needed and you can almost convince yourself that you’re writing on paper.

Buy The Pro Or Pay Extra For MyScript

The most sought after and time saving feature of digital pens in general is the handwriting to typed text technology and this is a strength. Known as MyScript for Livescribe it comes included in the price of the top end pen only. So take note – if you want a cheaper model you’ll have to buy the text apps separately, which isn’t my idea of best customer practice. Equally at about $30 at the time of writing, worth having 100 times over.

The pen comes complete with a nib and ink cartridges and you will have to buy spares, though these are not at all expensive. When new the pen comes with a fine nib and I hated it so bought medium which are better. The special paper also needs to be purchased separately but again it isn’t expensive and it looks like the manufacturers aren’t catching people out by whacking money on the paper and selling to a captive audience.

Yes, you can print your own out and yes it is a hassle. Having done it a couple times I now pay up and look big, besides which the pen just writes better on the paper it was made for. Keep in mind that as you are writing using real ink, the paper is not reusable – you have got to buy new supplies of both.

Handwriting Recognition Technology

Any review on this product is going to have to get into MyScript – the handwriting recognition technology which transcribes your handwriting into typed text.

Apart from charging extra for this unless you buy the top end 8g pen, I’ve found it to be awesome and brilliant if you are working with Windows, whereupon your handwriting is magically transformed into text with very few if any errors to correct.

However, a warning to all you Mac fans – unless a more recent review tells you different, the Mac will freeze constantly when trying to recognize your horrid scrawl – and you will probably wisely give up. It is possible there will be a fix by the time you read this – but do check first.

Who Should Have One?

Students from age fourteen are going to love this and anyone with learning difficulties should find this helps them organize their learning. Also students at university trying to scribble down notes from a lecture or slides being whizzed through at high speed, will adore it.

Basic line drawings and mind maps are a breeze, giving total recollection when paired with the audio recording. Architects, lawyers, real estate agents, builders, doctors, basically anyone who needs to record notes, would love an audio recording as well and who would like their notes typed up for them.

Review Conclusion

Awesome technology with a few glitches which are worth living with for the sheer convenience of being able to upload handwritten notes to a computer and minutes later be reading them as neatly typed text. The back-up from their customer service is very good and the accessories are all reasonably priced.

The Livescribe 4g has never come close to being filled or running out of memory even with constant day-long day use. If you don’t mind buying MyScript as an add on apps and unless you are expecting to fill your memory with graphics, you will probably not need the top-end version, certainly students won’t need the Pro model.

Check on the current prices at Amazon on the link above.