Product Type: Livescribe gadgets
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Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen
Member Name: Pete1993
Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen
Date: 20/10/09, updated on 26/10/09 (339 review reads)
Advantages: Too many to write here. Records sound, Records what you write on the paper, Good Price, Durable Case
Disadvantages: You can't erase with it. You can't write in colour. You have to use Special Paper.
The Livescribe Pulse Smart Pen. Amazing new technology, all built into a pen. Of course it has it's downsides, but overall the pen is very useful. I bought it last month and have been using it none stop since then, it has never failed me yet. Absolutely amazing! I was extremely surprised that this item has actually had no reviews on it.
~~What does the product do?~~
The Livescribe Pulse Smart Pen (A bit long-winded), is a pen which has amazing built in technology. The pen functions as a normal pen but it has a few extra features. Inbuilt into the pen is a voice recorder and also an infra-red camera at the tip, which records everything that you write or draw. The pen records everything that you write and attaches this to the audio file which is being recorded. The pen has an inbuilt speaker for playing back anything which has been recorded. You can also play back through headphones. The pen can then be plugged into a computer or Mac, via USB to download your audio files and written drawings or notes. You have to use special paper with the pen, which is basically how the camera works. The paper has millions of dots on it, which shows the camera where you are on the paper.
So, What comes in the box? First of all you will get a completely interactive set of instructions. You take the pen and click on each number in the leaflet and the pen itself will talk you through it! I thought that this was a very good addition to the package, a very good idea. Secondly, you will find a starter notebook, which has around 100 pages of the special paper which is needed to use the pen. Underneath the notebook you will find the pen itself, alongside a case for the pen. Alongside the pen, you will also find the USB pen charger, which is also used for downloading your audio files off onto a computer or Mac. You will find a set of Stereo Earphones and a spare ink cartridge.
The Notebook consists of 100 pages of the special paper which is used to write with the pen. The first two pages of the notebook are packed with special features for your pen, there is a full scientific calculator printed on the paper, the settings for the pen, the date an time are also on here. There is a keyboard on here, which you can't currently use. The paper consist of millions of tiny dots which helps the camera to pick up the marks that you make on the paper. Along the bottom of each page, there is the interface. It is printed on the bottom of a page and is nothing special, until you touch the buttons with the tip of the pen. The interface is used to control most of the functions on the pen. The buttons along the bottom go in this order; Record, Pause, Stop, Jump Buttons, Bookmark Buttons, A scroll bar which allows you to jump to a position in the audio which your playing back, Playback Speed (Up and Down) and finally Volume (Up and Down). To use the buttons just tap the nib of the pen on the button, printed on the paper. The pen will do the rest. The camera on the bottom of the pen picks up which button you have pressed and completes the action required.
The case is made of leather and it is in the shape of a pen. It has an open top, so it is more like a pouch to slide your pen into. The open top shows the earphone slot, which means you can play back your notes while the pen is in it's case. Near the top of the case there is a clear plastic rectangle, which allows you to see the screen while the pen is in the case. There is also a slot on the back where you can keep additional ink cartridges. The case is very durable and is a perfect fit for the pen!
The earphones are not just ordinary earphones. The earphones are designed so you can get even crisper and clearer playback than with the built in speaker. The built in speaker is good enough anyway, but this just takes it to a new level. There are tiny microphones on all sides of the earphone which allows you to get a perfect surround sound effect. It more or less sounds like someone is in the room talking to you.
The pen has many different features when writing down on paper. When you start the pen recording, make notes to the person talking or the music playing. After the session has finished and you stop the pen you can go back to your notes written on the paper and click on any part of the text, it will then play the audio which it recorded when you wrote down that part of your notes.
When you are finished you can then put these files onto your computer to access whenever you want to. Using the computer software, it will show you your notes on the computer screen and you can search these notes for specific words and then click on certain words or sentences to find out what audio was recorded at that time.
Translator - The pen has a special Translator feature which is on the back of the Demo card, in the notebook. You can set the pen to translate everything that you write. If you wrote down on the page "One" and the pen was set to translate too French, the pen would say out loud "Une".
Paper Instrument - Another feature on the demo card, it lets you draw a 9 bar keyboard on your paper and then play the piano or other instruments on the keyboard. An amazing feature added to the pen.
~~My Experiences Using The Pen~~
As I said previously, I have been using this pen for nearly a month now. It is one amazing piece of technology to use. I have recorded about 10 hours worth of notes onto this and it still has space left, showing that the 2GB memory is plenty of space. I have charged the pen up twice, averaging about 5 hours worth of audio and notes per charge, this may be just how I have used it. For me the battery life is very good and lasts long enough. Charging the Pen doesn't take very long either. One of the slight downsides for me is the size of the pen, it is bigger than a normal pen and can get pretty heavy when using it for an hour long period, but if you've got the audio there you won't need to make many notes. Another thing which really impressed me was how it managed to recognise my writing. My writing is pretty dreadful but it still manages to pick up every single word which I write, nothing left out. The playback quality is very impressive from the speaker, and even more so from the earphones themselves.
There are, however some drawbacks with this pen. You cannot write in colour, so you can't add colour to your notes which a lot of people like doing. This isn't much of a drawback for me, because I never actually write or add in colour with my notes anyway, but other people may find this a bit annoying. The more annoying bit is that you can't erase with it, if you write it on the paper, it's there permanently, you can't get rid of it! This is a bit annoying for me, because I make a lot of mistakes, so some of my pages are full of scribbles, which doesn't help because the scribbles have audio attached to them too. Lastly is the paper, you need special paper to use the pen, so you can't just use normal lined paper. The paper costs $20 (Approx. £10) for four professional notepads, the same as the one that comes with the Pen, each pad having about 100 pages to it. I have also been told that you can print your own paper, but you need a good printer and the special template from the LiveScribe website. (Edit. Checked this out. You can print your own paper, using the software provided with the pen. That is, if your printer can cope with it, which mine can't!)
The LiveScribe Pen is pretty well priced considering all of the features that it consists of. It's ground breaking technology and is starting a new way to study and learn. You will never miss a word your Boss says in meetings or your lecturer says during a lecture. The pen is £119.99 on Amazon.co.uk, which is an extremely fair price in my opinion.
Summary: I would highly recommend this to anyone. An amazing peice of technology. Guaranteed to help Studying