Moleskine was founded in 1997 with the vision to breathe life back into the legendary notebook used by artists and creators such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. In their effort to ensure their relevance in the modern world, they have created a series of digital pens and accessories to form a bridge between old fashioned pen and paper and contemporary technology.

Think about it: when did you last use a pen and paper to write anything longer than your phone number or pizza order? The Pen+ Ellipse brings back the joy to handwriting with the added convenience of transferring your notes straight to your device.

First off, this kind of setup doesn’t come cheap: the pen itself is pricey and this is because the Pen+ Ellipse will only work its magic on ‘Ncoded’ smart paper, but that could be forgiven if the note books were slightly more affordable. However, both pen and note books are beautifully made and if money isn’t an issue, read on. The box contains the Pen+ Ellipse smart pen, USB cable for smart pen recharging, one pen tip ink refill and the Volant XS Starter Journal, and they do mean ‘XS journal’ - you won’t get far with this, so it is worth getting yourself a journal when you order the pen.

The pen is made from metal which feels great in your hand, with a comfortable weight to it, although it may take a little getting used to due to its irregular rectangle shape. However, the writing action is pleasingly smooth and an altogether pleasant and natural experience. When you are finished, the lid has a clip that lets you slide it onto the cover of your journal, ready for next time.

As mentioned, the Pen+ Ellipse is made with ‘Ncoded’ paper technology, allowing it to recognize individual pages, different Paper Tablets, as well as specific times and dates in the Smart Diary/Planner. Every stroke is captured in real time and can be immediately transferred to your device via the Moleskine Notes app, whether you are writing, drawing or designing, they will appear line for line on your smartphone or tablet.

The Pen+ Ellipse is a great choice if you are looking for a middle man between pen and smart device. We were getting about 5.5 hours use from one charge, which might be a little short for some serious note takers, but the fact you don’t have to have the app open and can simply upload your info at a later date gives you a wonderful feeling of freedom, whilst also taking away the risk of distraction from using a smart device. RRP £179.00

4.8 out of 5

Current Cheapest Price


Works as promised

Satisfying writing action


Premium construction

Each stroke captured in real time

Can be used without remaining connect to the app

Removes distractions from note taking on devices



Battery life might be too short for some