The best smart pen was designed to streamline your work or studies. By offering digital synchronicity to all the essential cloud systems, your smart pen will be able to organize all of your notes, and make sure that you never lose your hand-written notes again.
For some, a smart pen offers the chance to make notes without a laptop or tablet, whereas others may prefer the ability to write by hand, but without the danger of having no digital backups of their files. Either way, these smart pens will come with long battery lives and rechargeable designs that will feel nice to hold and display.
If you've decided you're going to take the plunge and buy a smart pen, there are a lot of things to consider to ensure you're making the right choice for you. With so many options out there, it can be an overwhelming choice - luckily, we've tried and tested a range of smart pens to present you with the top picks available right now.
Some smart pens are only compatible with specific tablets or brands of paper, so make sure to check that before you buy. If sustainability is important to you, you can also forgo paper and write straight onto a graphics tablet.
The Livescribe Echo almost has it all. It delivers fantastic accuracy for both writing and drawing which is vital for a smart pen. It also comes with a built in audio recorder, allowing to you to record interviews and lectures so that you can write them out later. It even has a great battery life despite these added features.
The Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen is a hybrid as it comes with both a special notebook and 10-inch LCD tablet for writing on. Write with the pen nib, in the book, or swap out for the plastic tip and use the tablet for extras like color choices and different pen styles.
The pen is ergonomically comfortable and easy to write with yet offers decent 10-hour battery life, converts writing to text live and lets you dictate using a paired smartphone. Yes, you are required to use special paper for detection and there was a pairing issue or two in testing, but overall, for the price, this is very impressive.
Charging is quick and easy via USB, making this a go anywhere option that you don't need to worry about dying with its 90-day standby time. It's also so discreet you won't be noticed as using a smart pen, nor will you notice, as this is so comfortable and natural to use.
The Rocketbook Core offers a different take to the other smart pens on this list. The Core is a notebook, made with 36 polyester composite pages which, when used with the included Pilot FriXion pens, can be wiped clean. This means writing, clearly and naturally, then scanning using the app, before wiping clean to use again. That makes this a super affordable but also sustainable pick.
When choosing the best smart pen, you'll want to think about accuracy and feel. It's important for a smart pen to respond to what you're writing and create an accurate image. Additionally, comfort and design are key - you'll want to find a pen that feels like a traditional one, and one you're comfortable writing with for extended periods of time. Price and battery life are also important elements to consider when making your choice.
The short answer here is: yes. On a basic level, smart pens not only allow students to take notes more effectively and to suggest changes when transferring to digital, but the voice recording function also allows people to recap their notes at a later stage, and make any corrections they need.
According to a study done (opens in new tab) at Raynooth University in Ireland, almost all students with learning disabilities managed to show improvement after periods of using smart pens vs regular pens.
While there's undoubtedly a vested interest, LiveScribe list their smart pens as being able to help students with dyslexia on their website, and many others promote the virtues of this smarter, and multifaceted, form of note taking.
The smart pens we tested digitize handwritten notes and drawings and send them wirelessly to mobile apps on a phone or tablet. If you prefer sketching or taking notes on mobile devices by touching a pen directly to the touchscreen surface instead of to a conventional notepad, a stylus is the best option. Here are some of our favorite styluses for mobile devices.
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These days, smart pens are designed with different purposes in mind, whether you want to convert handwritten notes into digital images, capture audio recordings, or mark up photos and documents. So if you're a student, your needs might not be the same as if you were an artist working on sketches.
No matter what you're looking for, you should be able to find the right smart pen in this guide. We've included all types of smart pens, including options for writers, editors, students, budget shoppers, and more.
As one of the top brands on the market, Livescribe sells a range of smart pens, but the Symphony model is our clear favorite. From the user's perspective, the Symphony works just like a regular pen. As long as you have a compatible Livescribe notebook, you can use the pen to write and sketch by hand.
If you appreciate the look and feel of Moleskine notebooks, then the company's Pen+ Ellipse could be the right smart pen for you. Overall, it's a reliable smart pen that delivers all of the features that you'd expect, while bringing a bit of style to the table. In order to use the Pen+ Ellipse, you'll need to buy a special Moleskine notebook (as is standard with many smart pen brands). You can also purchase a bundled set that includes both products.
As you use the pen, it digitizes your written notes and ideas in real-time, so you can instantly view them on your tablet, smartphone, or computer. From there, it's easy to upload or share your notes digitally through the Moleskine Notes app. You can also use the pen to record audio that lines up with what you've written, creating a multimedia note-taking experience. If you can't connect to Bluetooth, the pen has 100MB of internal storage that will hold your notes until the next sync.
One downside of most smart pens is that they create paper waste -- but Rocketbook is the exception. It's designed with reusable pages that you can wipe off with a microfiber cloth after you've filled them and transferred your notes to the cloud.
The 32-page letter-size Rocketbook comes with a Pilot Frixion pen, which you can use to take notes and draw on the pages. You can also mix and match colored pens, highlighters, and markers from the Frixion range to bring your notes to life. Once you've finished, you'll need to scan each page with your smartphone and send them to your chosen cloud destination (such as Google Drive, Evernote, or iCloud). From there, you can merge, edit, and share your pages.
With a price tag under $25, it's hard to beat Rocketbook in terms of value -- as long as you're okay with scanning your pages to digitize them. It won't be the right choice if you'd prefer a smart pen that syncs your handwritten notes in real-time.
Neo actually produces the technology behind the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse, but the two smart pens are quite different. We think that the Smartpen N2 is a worthwhile contender if you're looking for a durable pen that's compatible with a range of notebooks, planners, and other paper products.
The Smartpen N2 has a small built-in camera near the tip of the pen that reads your handwritten notes and converts them into digital files. Unlike many other smart pen brands, Neo doesn't require you to buy pricey notebooks. Instead, you can download sheets of special Ncode paper from its website for free (including multiple layouts and templates). But if you prefer the feel of a hardcover notebook, you can choose to buy one on the Neo website.
In recent years, smart pens have become less popular due to the rise of tablets and touch-screen laptops, which make it easy to mark up documents by hand or with a stylus. As a result, many of the remaining smart pens share similar features, including built-in cameras to capture note taking, integration with cloud storage platforms, and voice recording. If you're looking for something like this, we'd recommend the Livescribe, Moleskine, or Neo smart pens.
However, if you're on a budget or don't need all of those bells and whistles, we'd suggest trying the RoWrite or Rocketbook products. They're both highly-rated items, but they don't include some of the more sophisticated features that you'll see on the other three smart pens.
We looked at several key criteria when choosing these smart pens, including features, functionality, technical specifications, and customer reviews. Once we had a shortlist of top smart pens, we narrowed it down further to include a range of price points, brands, and styles, with the goal of appealing to different types of buyers.
Similar to a regular pen, smart pens have ink and allow you to write, sketch, or doodle on a piece of paper. However, smart pens also have built-in technology (such as cameras or sensors) that memorizes each of your strokes and converts your work into a digital format (ie. an image file, text file, or PDF).
No. Smart pens are actually quite similar to traditional pens since they contain ink and allow you to mark up paper. In contrast, styluses are designed to be used in place of your fingertip on smartphones, tablets, and other touch-screen devices. Artists often use a stylus to draw directly on iPads or foldable laptops.
Outside of these five smart pens, there are also a handful of others that caught our attention. While they aren't as well-known as some of the products on this list, each one offers the key functionality that you'd expect from a smart pen. Here are two noteworthy alternatives to consider: 59ce067264