Livescribe Pulse Smartpen

Save your scribbles

When you’ve done writing, you dock the pen to a PC or Mac and anything you’ve put down on paper or spoken gets transferred across automatically.

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen

Handwriting-to-text software costs extra

Pages are displayed as thumbnails - click one and it expands to fill the screen. Audio is named automatically by date and time, and you can listen to it separately from any text it may relate to. Written material and audio don’t seem to be explicitly linked to each other. You have to physically find the audio note that corresponds to a page and can then play it back while viewing the page.

Notebooks are transferred to Livescribe Desktop in page by page sequence, and while you can export individual pages as PDFs or images, you can’t reorder them within Livescribe Desktop itself.


The Livescribe Pulse Smartpen is easy to learn to use, and it functions seamlessly once you have the desktop software set up. But it's expensive, and the pen is large. It's also yet another thing whose battery you need to keep charged. The 300mAH non-removable cell kept going for over a week, but remembering to charge sporadically could be a challenge.

The pen is a clever concept, but is there really any benefit to adding audio to what you could get out of a cheap scanner and document management software? ®

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Bionic biro that digitises your jottings and records your speech.
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