The Livescribe 3 Smartpen works alongside the ‘Livescribe+’ mobile app to form an incredible team that prevents any lightbulb moments or important information being forgotten. It cuts out the chore of writing up your notes, as anything you write on the paper will instantly appear on your tablet or smartphone. Your notes will become more efficient than ever before with options to tag, organise, search, and convert to text. You can even add recorded audio that syncs up with your handwriting and plays at certain points on the text, and you can easily share your notes and thoughts to friends and co-workers.
The Livescribe 3 has a sleek matte black design: the ball point nib provides a familiar writing experience, however the pen is slightly chunkier than a regular pen as it is packed with tech, so it takes a little getting used to. As well as the pen you will get a 5x8 inch starter notepad. The cap on the pen also doubles as a stylus. To operate you need to twist the ring to extend the ink cartridge, then everything you write is captured by an infrared camera on the pen and stored on the smartpen’s built-in memory. All you need to do then is connect the smartpen to your iOS (8 or newer) and/or Android (KitKat v4.4.2) device and sync your notes to the ‘Livescribe+’ mobile app. You can use the microphones on your tablet or smartphone to create pencasts that record and sync up audio to everything you write.
Other features include 14 hours of battery life and the ability to sync the pen to up to four devices. You can purchase replaceable notepads or print them for free with a laser printer, but you will need the special dot pattern that communicates with the pen and tells it precisely what you’ve written or drawn. The Livescribe 3 (like most devices that connect via Bluetooth) has its moments of playing silly buggers, but on a whole it connects properly more times than it doesn’t.
The overall build quality isn’t great: it doesn’t feel as tough as I would like for a pen that costs over £100. The writing experience will probably be marmite for some; I got used to it, but I can imagine some people will find it uncomfortable and lacking in elegance, which can slow your natural flow down. RRP $179.95
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4 out of 5
Syncs up notes to app
Convert hand writing to written text
App works well
14 hour battery life
Poor build quality