Everyone is raving about the Livescribe digital pen so I have decided to compare it with it’s cheaper competitor, the Zpen. I desperately needed a digital pen for an online local newspaper I started. I am an online entrepreneur, not a reporter. Therefore I am really terrible at note taking. I started out with an Mp3 player/voice recorder to record the interviews but there are many flaws with this. Even though using an Mp3 player was advanced technology compared to what my competitors were using, I still was not happy with the work involved.
One night I was at a local Rugby game struggling to gather information about 20 or so players and all of their names and so on… It was a nightmare and my friend stood by watching my frustration. Later she suggested the Livescribe 2 GB Pulse Smartpen to me. She said that it was around $150 but my immediate thought went to all the time I would save if I had such a digital pen. Of course like all digital products, the price had dropped (to $99) and the technology improved.
When shopping for something to buy, I am a natural born bargain hunter and always do my research.
Livescribe digital pen features:
- Captures over 200 hours of recorded audio or 32,000 pages of notes. (Actual available recording time varies by audio quality setting)
- Instantly play back your recorded audio by tapping on your notes to listen to the information you captured
- Share your recordings and notes with anyone privately or publicly with 500MB of free online storage for your recorded audio or notes
- USB connector to transfer notes and audio to your Mac or PC
- Audio jack and 3-D Recording Headset for far-field recording
- You can then replay the penstrokes and audio and share them as a multimedia presentation – actually as an MP3, a PDF file or even as a YouTube video.
- You can change the instrument and add some rhythm. It’s just crazy!
- You can write works on the special paper and transfer what you have written to the computer. It will then store it as a digital file.
- You can draw a calculator and then start adding up numbers…Can you believe it?
- You can get the audio file dictated to your Dragon Naturally Speaking software.
- I absolutely love gadgets and cannot resist them. Here is another cool gadget you have to see, the Eye-fi card that makes your digital camera wireless.
It is thicker than the average pen but is still OK to write with. At the same time, I would not say it is heavy either but it is like writing with three pens in your hand. I do not care about that because the convenience is just crazy! The accuracy was amazing also. I am very impressed!
What can you use a Digital pen for?
- College or School students taking notes.
- Mind mapping your ideas.
- Creating audio/visual stories to illustrate a point to your target market.
- Doing interviews. Ensuring your content is exactly what was said in the interview.
- Share your notes from a live event.
Here are some notes I took from a recent Internet marketing seminar. I had to scan the document, and adjust it, then make it into an image to show here. If I had taken the notes with the Livescribe digital pen I would not have to go to that trouble.
I had people wanting to buy my notes because they did not know what to write down or they could not keep up. If they had a digital pen they could have recorded it and then compared it to the notes later.
See what other people are saying about the Livescribe 2 GB Pulse Smartpen and also check out the video below to see it in action.
My research about the Zpen digital pen
I investigated the Zpen at Amazon.com and although it was a lot cheaper and had some great features, the reviews were not great to say the least. The Zpen does not need special paper to record what you are writing as everything was transmitted through the pen to a wireless receiver. Then the receiver plugs into the computer via a USB port to transfer the information. It is definitely a cheaper version of a digital pen and it really depends what you want to use it for. I personally like to go with the device that has raving reviews and loads of features, just in case you need it one day.
Two major flaws with this product are:
- It fails to record notes intermittently. So you can’t be sure you are really capturing all of the notes correctly.
- It has a dead spot where you cannot write on the notepad area that is near the receiver.
Watch this video showing how the Zpen works. It might be just what you need.
Check out the Zpen for yourself!
I can probably skip the conclusion to this review because you might be able to guess which digital pen I actually bought. The Zpen just did not stack up against the Livescribe digital pen. I did not buy the cheaper $99.00 digital pen, I ended up purchasing the 8 GB digital pen.