|Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen (APA-00002)
|List Price: $199.95
Our Price: Too low to display
Sleek ergonomic design with anodized aluminum housing, high speed infrared camera, 300 mAH rechargeable lithium ion battery, smartpen microphone, 3-D recording headset, and USB mobile charging cradle.
- Record and link audio to what you write
- Listen to your recordings by tapping on what you wrote
- Search and share your notes and recordings from your computer
- I love it! So intuitive, so light
First of all, this pen and all it's paper is available at Target. Target has a 90 day return policy so buy it and play with it and see if it does you good.
I just got it yesterday (SEE 6-month Update below) and I have already used it at a meeting about life insurance which many of my coworkers couldn't attend so I'm going to disseminate the notes through the website.
Then I went to my weekly with my boss and when I was wondering what it was he'd asked me to do in detail on a particular To Do on my list, I just clicked on the todo and there was his voice telling me the appropriate names to use in the columns of my excel sheet and how to print it!
Then I went to a meeting where we discussed the development of our IRA product and some people rambled and rambled and one person used the word "behooves" so I went back to my desk and clicked on each item of my notes on the page and heard the important parts of the meeting and I wrote the word Behoove on the paper when this attendee used that word and I ran around work saying "OMG, someone used the word behoove today!" and then I clicked the word and they would hear it from the horse's mouth!
Then i went back to my desk and every time I was approached to do something specific for someone, I clicked the record icon on the page and wrote my To Do item and got the specifics from them verbally and later I just tapped on those words and got the details again!
what a dream! I can't wait to take a continuing ed class next semester!!
I used it to record for about 3 hours and it was on for about 6 total and I had only used 1/3 of the battery. This is an amazing tool for a business person, a secretary, an executive, a high school student or med student, any and all of the above. After trying it today, 3 people in my office are buying one.
Although the barrel is wider than the usual pen, it is deceptively light!!! really! I love that about it. So easy to use.
GO GET IT!
UPDATE: I have had the pen for over 6 months now. I am currently taking a class, and I LOVE it. The professor goes over complex instructions that we have to do on a computer, and which we will need to replicate for each night's homework. While everyone else is struggling to take notes and remember for the homework while doing it on the computer, I take my brief keyword notes and put my pen down to record what the professor is saying while focusing on doing the actions on the computer, which helps me with retention. These are multiple step analyses we do on statistical software, and honestly I don't know how everyone in the class can understand or keep track of it all (well, actually, they don't, class scores on homework have been low, but I've gotten 100 on all of them because any time I'm lost or confused I just tap on my notes and my professor guides me all over again!! THIS THING IS AMAZING FOR STUDENTS, and it would be ideal for students with disabilities and ADHD.
Customer service is amazingly responsive. Paper is affordable and you can print your own if you have a laser color printer. I love the notebooks (high quality) and my ink barrel lasted 5 months and only costs $2 to replace. ...more info
- A must have for Meetings
Its really one of those - "how did I manage without it" gadgets.
Now, instead of furiously writing unintelligible notes during meetings, I just turn the Pulse on and just scribble in Ink Bookmarks for that point in the meeting.
You can even set it up so there's a slight delay of a few seconds in the audio recording so that your Ink, by the time you write it, is in perfect sync with the audio.
I only wish they come up with a self-contained playback mechanism apart from the website-based viewer. There were times when I was quizzed by colleagues about the security of uploading "confidential" meetings to the web and all. I tell them about the private login and stuff, but it still leaves me with that "skittish" feeling.
So much so that I have decided not to send Viewer links to some higher-ups who I know are security-conscious for fear that I may be reprimanded....more info
- I like this pen, but the software is broken
The pen performs its core responsibilities well for me -- I record meetings, take notes, and then can play back the desired portions of the recordings as needed and save everything to my computer. The search function, which allows you to search for text you wrote by hand in the digitized files on your computer, is magical.
The Mac client software seems to work, and the Windows client software worked for a while -- see my May 2009 note below. The build quality of the pen seems high and it looks about 1000x more professional than whipping out a tablet computer in a business meeting.
Here are my complaints:
1. There is no way to add typed annotations to notebooks once they are on the computer. This would be very useful to me.
2. There is no way to copy only a portion of a page from the Desktop software; if you want to e-mail part of your notes, for example, you have to send a whole page (or go to Paint or Photoshop or whatever in order to crop).
3. Though the desktop software clearly has some kind of OCR built-in, so you can search for items in your written notes, the ability to run an entire page through OCR costs extra and works poorly (and not at all on the Mac).
4. There is no elegant way to move notebooks between computers. For those of us who use more than one computer, and may sync the Pulse pen at more than one, this is a real inconvenience.
5. For very long meetings, the sync between writing and the recording fails. If you click on a point in the page, it may start playing back sound from fifteen minutes earlier.
I am neutral on the other applications of the pen. I have never used it as a calculator or a translator, and don't expect I ever will.
[May 2009 revision -- I can't change the star rating, but if I could, the pen would now be down to 1 star. The software got slower and slower over time and eventually stopped working altogether and could no longer download sessions from the pen or show old sessions. LiveScribe acknowledged about two weeks ago that a number of their customers are experiencing this problem but have offered no solution.]...more info
- Indexed audio works great. Session management needs work.
We at Hubbard Engineering love our new Smart Pen because it gives us a handwritten index to audio recordings of our meetings and classes.
You should know first of all that you have to use the special provided paper. We ordered extra notebooks along with our pen purchase.
Here are some nice features we appreciate:
1. Surprisingly enough, the size of the pen is satisfactory, on the verge of too big without quite being too big.
2. The docking cradle is magnetized, which draws the pen in and holds it like a tractor beam.
3. The software is online. No CD included. So we know we are getting the latest version.
Little quirks we feel should be addressed include the following:
1. The pen or the ink insert should have a cap. Ideally, there would be a small cap for the ink insert that would allow it to function as a non-writing stylus. There would also be a larger cap for the body of the pen. Livescribe may have decided a cap stored at the back end of the pen over the power button and the led screen would be seen as a design flaw, but that's not a good enough reason to omit a cap.
2. The removable/replaceable ink insert is interchangeable with a non-writing stylus. These inserts are too hard to remove by hand. There needs to be an easier way in the middle of a meeting or class or study session to quickly change inserts. Livescribe should either provide a release button or ease up the pressure of the internal retainer clip.
3. The docking, transfer, and session management software (as of October 2008) desperately needs session export, network deployment, and pen sharing capabilities. The software as it is designed works very smoothly as long as you don't own two computers, change computers, or need to share your pen with a project team. I should say that Livescribe does provide an online session sharing site. But unless you buy a subscription, the 1 GB storage is only half the capacity of the 2 GB Smartpen memory. We haven't tried the service yet because we don't envision it meets our needs. We want to make page-by-page exports (at least partial) to PDF, MP3, PNG, JPG, Flash, and image-mapped HTML. And we want to be able to open and save sessions from diverse network locations.
We will happily keep our Smartpen busy. And we will look forward to major software improvements....more info
- Works perfectly as advertised
I got this for work. I take lots of notes. This thing is awesome. Lots of people at work are getting them - it's really catching on.
All I can say is that it does everthing as advertised. You do have to write in their special notebooks, however, that's not such a bad thing, since the books come in different types, plus the books have calculator sheets as well.
In a pinch, you can print your own special paper with a high-resolution printer.
- Worth It
This is the neatest Gadget. We got it for our daughter to use in her college classes and it has helped her immensely, so far. Not only does it work as a pen but a recorder as well. The notebooks you need for this pen are amazing as well. If we had this kind of stuff when we were in school we might have had way better grades. You or you're college student will love this item. We'd recommend this for anyone who wants to excel....more info
- I cannot recommend this product enough
This thing is incredible. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have shown it to everyone I meet, and they are fascinated by it. I have recorded every meeting and presentation since, and it makes it really easy to share things with my wife. It is one of the two best techy Christmas presents I have ever received, I think, the other being my Kindle....more info
- The perfect tool for meetings...
The Livescribe Pulse Smartpen is the best thing to happen to writing minutes for meetings since computers. I've been using my Smartpen to take notes in meetings, and now I have a clear record of what actually happens during the meeting. My notes make it easy to skip ahead in the recording, from item to item. I bought the pen for fun, but I've found that it is much more than a novelty -- it really does the job. I only regret that it wasn't around when I was sitting through all those lectures in college! This is definitely the gift I'll be buying for graduations in the future.Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen (APA-00002)...more info
- My family was convinced that I've lost my marbles!
They laughed at me when I shown them the Smartpen. I don't blame them, I am a consummate gadget freak and I felt like I was 13 years old again, although I'm five times that age.
The Smartpen works as advertised and is invaluable at conferences, meetings, lectures and interviews or anyplace one would like an easily accessible audible record to reinforce written notes.
Chances are I won't be using it daily, but it has already paid for itself at a recent conference and series of lectures I've taken it to.
- EVERY MOMENT now a learning experience to CAPTURE
Like having a great camera you want to use as a tool to capture what is unique and of beauty around you this device allows you to capture with a stroke of the pen not only a note but the conversation behind it.
You get that love to LEARN anywhere / anytime and of course when you love to learn you will learn to love better and thus love to live; not only that the more you learn then can EARN and yearn for things better as well....more info
- Everyone Needs This
This amazing little pen saves time and resources by transferring notes from paper to computer effortlessly. You can even take audio notes while writing for later playback. There is a language translator built in which reads what you write and translates into the language you choose (Must be purchased separately.) I couldn't fathom how much this little gadget would simplify my life but now that I have one I can't imagine going without. ...more info
- A neat idea that needs some polish
As an individual who habitually takes lousy notes owing to my cursive writing being illegible and my printing slow, I was intrigued by the concept of this pen. So I decided to take the plunge.
When the pen arrived, everything went smoothly. However, at the time I was having system (Vista) problems where my machine was re-booting on its own. Now I don't know if this was the cause or not, but in one instance I was applying updates to the pen and my machine did one of its re-boots and things have not been the same.
I uninstalled and re-installed the Livescribe Desktop software several times and that didn't solve the problem. It went back to trying to upgrade the pen and it just hung. In working with their customer service people, who are exceptionally nice and helpful, I discovered that the pen stopped working. I did a test on the reader at the tip of the pen and it didn't work. I told customer service and they promptly sent a replacement pen via 2-Day FedEx.
To address my original problem I had to uninstall the software and purge the files. The combination of that plus the new pen means I lost my notes from a couple of meetings. Not the end of the world because I was still trying the pen out and had not relied on it too completely, and I did have my chicken scratches to fall back on.
I reinstalled the software, and synched and registered the pen. All set to go. I went to a presentation on Monday night and when I came back I transferred my notes to the Livescribe Desktop software. The visual notes were successfully transferred, the audio portion was not. Now I could playback the audio from the pen itself, but not from the desktop. Another call to Customer support ensued. The tried a couple of things then had to transfer me to the next level of customer support. They had me reset the pen and re-load all the updates and while waiting for that to happen, I got disconnected. I called back into Customer Support but I don't think they are co-located with the techies. So they had to take my number and ask for a technician to call me back, which either didn't happen our the phone was in use. I finished the updates and re-booted my computer which was the plan before I got disconnected, but there was no change to the system. I can see the notes but not hear the audio on the desktop software....more info
- Useless in a typical corporate environment. Promising but not mature.
This product looks very promising but will not work as advertised for many business users.
The Livescribe desktop software can not connect to the internet through a proxy server. According to their tech support the desktop software will not function unless it is connected to the internet. Most corporations use proxy servers so the desktop software is useless. Data can not be taken from the pen without the desktop software so much of the functionality that I purchased this pen for will not work.
The pen does not work so I call tech support. After checking a few things they tell me that they will have to flash the firmware to fix it. This can only be done with the desktop software!
My recommendation..Don't buy this product until the software has matured. ...more info
- Livescribe Pulse Pen
This Pulse pen is fantastic! As a post-graduate student, I can see the potential for use with undergraduates and graduates. The capability of this pen to record audio and written notes at the same time is wonderful. Being able to then go back through the notes and pinpoint where in the recorded lecture they are located is such an advantage over the typical voice recorder. I purchased this pen for my daughter as she was beginning Post-Secondary classes. She has had a wonderful experience with the pulse so far and says it has improved studying for exams by allowing her to go directly to what the professor was saying when she was taking her notes.
I also purchased a pen for a friend who was starting back to school as a non-traditional student. She was skeptical when I showed her the pen and really did not want to use it. She had been using a voice recorder for her classes and was satisfied. She changed her mind the first time she used the pen and is raving about the pen now! She said studying for the next exam after beginning to use the pen was a breeze. She did caution me, however, to remind anyone who used the Pulse to make sure that it is recharged faithfully. "Because, when it quits recording in the middle of a lecture because you forgot to recharge it, it is horrible!" Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen (APA-00002)...more info
- Good for class lectures
Great product but be sure to keep the pen with the paper...you need them both for it to work. I'm in college and it's great for class lectures....more info
- Works as advertised
Although the smartpen seemed like it would be really useful for taking notes in meetings, I was hesitant to buy it. I really didn't need another computer gadget that was more trouble than it's worth. Thus, I am happy to report that the pen works "as advertised". I did have some trouble getting the desktop software to recognize the pen, but was able to find the solution through on-line help. Battery life, storage, uploading, word recognition all seem to be fine. They have become quite popular at my office. I would give it five stars if it was just a little bit less expensive. ...more info
- MAC OWNERS!!!
I bought my pen at Target and the desktop program would not work properly on my macbook. I spent lots of time on hold with customer service while they searched for the numerous emails I had sent them with the crash records on my computer and finally I just got angry. I was sick of emails being lost and of no one being able to help me. The most help I received was from some guy who simply said "Oh no. That's not good." Really? That's what you have to offer me? Really? I went right back to Target and got my 200 bucks back. Who has the time or energy for this crap? Wait until it actually DOES work for mac computers. Oh and my macbook is about 5 months old so I know it was just their crappy pen....more info
- The Pen is Fantastic, The Software is 1/2 done.
So you already know the pen is wonderful, amazing, fantastic and does so much. Clearly created by fanatical geniuses. Unfortunately the desktop software is not quite there yet. In my opinion, the biggest flaw is that you can't group your pages together into binders or folders. I have a 200 page notebook with sessions weekly from business meetings, classes, lectures and interviews. If I wanted to have a folder labeled "candidate interviews" and move all my pages into that folder, I can't. This is a serious flaw. There's no indexing system for your work. So if you have hundreds of pages on your desktop you cannot tag them, index them, group them or associate them together in any way. Clearly 1/2 done.
The other missing functionality is character recognition and translation to text. This would have been a killer feature if it were included but it doesn't seem to be here and it's certainly not integrated.
Wouldn't it be nice if those two things were part of this software?
Finally, someone else asked for this too, why isn't there a clip on the side of the pen for two reasons; one so it doesn't roll and two so it can be clipped to the inside of my shirt pocket!
So don't let that stop you from getting this amazing device but don't expect to get these functions in the provided software.
- The best electronic pen ever
First, I'm French. So sorry if my English is not as good as yours ;-)
When I bought the Pulse, I was already using the Logitec Anoto pen. I was also using the Dane-Elec pen... so I can really compare. The Anoto concept is really a nice one but the way Livescribe uses this technology is absolutely perfect. If you are the kind of people that is taking notes when you're in a meeting, a classroom or a congress, this pen was made for you. You can take your note while recording the sound that is around you (for example, the speaker's voice). When you will be back in your office, just plug the pen, download its content to your PC and start using fully interactive notes: if you don't remember why you wrote this or that word, just point on it and listen to what the speaker was saying precisely at this time (direct access to the speaker's voice from any point of your notes). But this is just one function among all the possibilities of this pen (calculator, pure voice recorder, printing your own Anoto paper, sharing your notes through the web...). If you are used to Java, you will love the Java machine that is inside the Pen and the free SDK: programing your own applications is absolutely great because you can then customize the pen and make it fit exactly your needs. When you get a Pulse, an endless field of usage is in your hand! The only thing that could be a negative point is that this pen cannot be found in France... so importing it from Amazon.com was a bit expensive (shipment + import taxes = nearly 80% of final price !)... but if you are in the US, you just don't care :-)...more info
- No more lost/forgotten notes!
PROs: My notes on a computer with no-fuss and no need to lug a laptop around; Amazing facility to record audio of a meeting/lecture and play appropriate part just by touching the notes you made; you will be immediately elevated to uber-geek and be pestered by colleagues/friends with "where can I get one?"
CONs: although comfortable to use it is approx twice the diameter of a "normal" pen and I would appreciate it if it was slighter smaller in diameter and more discrete....more info
- Fun toy, but watch out if you are a serious user
Buy this only if you are looking for a toy. The technology of the hardware is good, but their software is too unreliable to be used in any serious situation.
To be fair, the audio recording is surprisingly good. Unfortunately, the primary purpose of the pen, is only marginal. The written record of the notes is only B&W (no greyscale even), and commonly misses lighter strokes. It is mostly legible for a human reader, but with the OCR software, it is a joke.
My software started acting funny three days after starting to use the pen -- it refuses to show me any text now. I know it is still recording, because 1) the audio playback is correctly positioned when I "click" on the printed page; and 2) when I send it to OCR, I can see the pages then.
But directly in the livescribe desktop software, I cannot see the "ink" on the pages at all. And the livescribe customer support is a complete joke. They sent me a "we're looking into it" brushoff e-mail message a couple times after I submitted my question through the web site, but now they don't even answer.
- If I could I would give it more stars
Honestly I think this saved my college career. I have two learning disabilies so catching everything a professor says in really hard for me, so when you throw in the fact that alot of my professors have heavy acsents it doesnt help at all. I use this pen to go over & over to make sure I don't miss anything. I went form getting Ds & Fs to B's & C's & even A's. I don't know how much longer I could have gone without this pen before I truely flunked out of college. I now know that I will have this pen forever, even in my future career....more info
- LOVE the pen hate the program
I'm in the Registered Nursing program and I can't tell you how much this pen has helped me study and recall info from lectures. The pen is amazing it preforms 100% as they advertise. The audio is clear and audible and the images from the paper are identical to my handwriting.
As much as I love the pen I can't stand the desktop program. My computer well exceeds the minimum requirements for operation and I have plenty of hard drive and RAM to spare. Every time I upload my recording sessions to the program it DRAGS on my system. Even when I have no other programs running it completely consumes my computers processing ability and consumes an enormous amount of RAM. The program consistently requires over 450MB of RAM when its uploading and processing new sessions from the pen! I can't run any other programs while I'm uploading. I never use the desktop program to listen or review notes because the pages take forever to load onto the screen and the audio skips due to its over consumption of my computers processing ability. If I want to listen to sessions that I have removed from my pen I upload them online and listen to them on my online account on livescribe.com.
The only reason I gave my rating only 4 stars is due to the crummy performance of the desktop program, the pen is flawless and I love it. I recommend anyone looking for a high performance/hybrid type note taking in any setting, school or business, to buy this pen you'll love it!!!...more info
- Better and more features than I expected.
The Livescribe Pulse pen is very simple to use. Turn it on, and start writing. That's it! If you want to record audio at the same time, click the audio icon on the page. You will write and take audio notes at the same time. That is what I expected.
I didn't expect that you can search your notes for specific text. It can even decipher my messy handwriting! It has a very slick calculator mode. You write CALC, then your math problem. It will show you the result in the display. The recorded audio is linked to the text written at that time. Click on the written text, hear the audio at that time. You can even listen to the audio on your computer, and watch what was written at that time ... like movie playback of your notes being written.
It is a very deceptive device. The elegance and simplicity hides the power that is inside. It just does what you want.
But wait, that's not all ! Their website says that they are coming out with resident applications for this device. It has some basic language translation demos in it already, along with a digital piano music application. I can't wait to see what else this amazing little device will do. ...more info
- AMAZING PEN!
I highly recommend this pen to any student! You can record what your professor is saying and what you're writing at the same time. When you have to review your notes, all you have to do is double tap on where you want to start hearing your recorded lecture! If there are any problems with your pen, LIVESCRIBE is more than willing to switch out your pen for a new one AT NO COST! I love this pen and recommend it to anyone!...more info
- Great for Meetings
I use it for work meetings constantly and it works great. Here are some pros and cons:
- Works well in meeting rooms and offices, even when a speakerphone is being used. Records all the discussion in the room. Includes an external speaker - microphone that plugs in for better audio quality.
- Can upload the pages directly to your PC and then word search the written text. It even prints as pdf file...
- Pen has a nice build and not too heavy but the pen cartridge moves and rattles a bit.
- Ink cartridges run out quickly although they provided replacements, including different colors.
- Read the manual, there are some quirks on the way it knows and handles the notebooks.
- I haven't tried it yet but you can print your own dot paper on a compatible printer.
- You can sometimes hear the pen noise while writing (using the installed microphone) but again you can plug in the external speaker/microphone supplied to avoid the noise.
- Got it as a gift from Costco and comes with 4 college ruled generously supplied dot paper notebooks.
- Had to update the software from the internet but couldn't do it from work since it was blocked by company network. Tried to get this corrected using Internet Explorer options but worked find from home Cable Network.
- Doesn't come with OCR software but Vision Objects sells myScribe it separately on the web for 29.00 and integrates directly with the Livescribe software...you would think they would bundle this since it works so well. The OCR software dumps directly to MS Word.
- Livescribe pen software works OK but is a little limited. For example, you have to delete one session at a time from the pen. The interface is not intuitive so did I mention...read the manual.
- The pen is little buggy...lost its brain on date and time...had to reset a few times. Can update the firmware right from Livescribe so thats a nice feature.
- I really like the product and will be looking for the new and improved model once they work out a few bugs.
- I don't work for the company--and I LOVE it!
I'm an audiology student, so I can tell you that there are some factors that will work against the pen if you are in a lecture hall and they are the SAME recommendations that I would make to someone wearing amplification (hearing aids). Sit close to the sound source--don't expect to sit in the back row and not record every little movement around you. Environmental noises are low frequency and low frequencies mask high frequencies--those are the frequencies that allow you to hear and UNDERSTAND speech. I have a professor with a heavy accent--sometimes I just don't understand a few words here and there--this allows me to go back and listen to it to figure out what she's saying. Sometimes I don't understand my own writing--especially if the professor is dull and I'm tired. A recorder might do the same thing--IF we were allowed to use them--we're not--intellectual property, book writing, etc. So, as you're taking notes, you can make an annotation for yourself to go take another look. I didn't buy it to convert my notes to print--there are other software programs that can do that without investing 200 dollars in a pen. I WISH there was a way to print out power point presentations so I could take notes on them, but for those classes I can just use my little laptop and take notes in the "add notes" area of each slide. I do love technology!...more info
- LiveScribe 2G Pulse works as advertised
I carry a paper notebook to meetings, and have always had difficulty finding stuff in it. Sometimes I record the meeting on a pocket recorder, but seldom go back and listen - it's too time-consuming. The Pulse enables me to take notes that are searchable - and index the sound recording simultaneously. So I can go right to the part of the recording that interests me. Plus, the sophisticated playback controls let me listen at high speed without changing the pitch of the voices.
Minor disappointment: The on-line site for my LiveScribe notes currently has a size limitation - unintended - of about 20 megs. I'm told that is soon to be fixed.
This pen, and the $50-cheaper 1-G version, are highly recommended.
Design suggestions: I wish it weren't cylindrical; it rolls off tables. It has no pocket clip. And it has no cap for the pen point.
But it feels good in my hand; the battery charge lasts a long time; the audio quality, both recording and playback is superb; and the thing just works. I love it!...more info
- Excellent resource
I bought this before taking my foreign language class, and WOW is this the coolest helpful tool!?! Easy to use (after updating necessary updates) and amazing what this can do. Helps me study, definitely gets everything I miss when I am writing and not listening...it does pick up background noise (other students,coughing,etc..) but it also picks up the instructor clearly so playback is great still. ...more info
- I Recommend the Pulse pen
I was sceptical when a co-worker took me to Target to see the pen. I read several reviews and decided to buy it. I am very happy with the pen. It does a good job recording in the classroom. Uploading to my laptop is painless. I had plenty of battery life after four hours of lecture. It was painless to upload the lecture to livescribe's web site and send a link to another student who had to leave class early. Much better than dragging a laptop to class....more info
- This deserves more than five stars. No, I'm not a salesperson.
This pen works really well. It's easy to use and it charges fast. The interface is unbelieveably simple. If your pen is not working, you (a) are not using it properly, (b) have a defective pen, or (c) are using an older version.
You should definately buy this pen. It's more easy to hold than it looks. For those who are wondering, it comes with one free notebook. You can download more Dot Paper from Livescribe for free. The instructions to set up your pen are through, but short and easy to use.
To repeat this again, I'm not working for Livescribe... I'm just a happy customer....more info
- You could lose your files
Google "Unable to access your database folders" for a serious problem with this pen, or rather with the PC software used to search your notes....more info
- BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!
PLEASE READ THE AMENDMENT AT THE BOTTOM BEFORE CASTING JUDGEMENT!!!!
I am not one to write reviews!! I am only doing this to hopefully save some from the frustrations I went through!! When I first saw this product I believed it to be a gift from the Heavens! I am a very serious student and bought this product because I have a learning disability which entitles me to record class lectures. I never before invoked my right to capture lecture because tape records are so bulky and I don't want people to know I have a disability. I bought this product thinking this would be my Holy Grail. After using it Religiously for almost two months a fellow student bumped my hand. The pen fell, hit the ground and became unresponsive. I called the company and explained what took place. They told me SORRY it's my problem they can't help. I was extremely upset and said to the lady, "you're telling me I just wasted $200." The lady explained that they don't cover the pen being dropped and they are aware that it does happen and that it does break the pen. I asked to speak to the manager and then she explained that there is none at her office. I was quite ANGRY and hung up. HOWEVER I was lucky enough to have purchased this pen from Target who has a 90 day return policy. They exchanged the pen for a new one. Obviously the new pen wouldn't sync with the notebooks I had so I had to buy all new ones. (No big deal, I just saved myself from wasting 200 dollars)
Well after having my new beloved device for two days it rolled off my desk and smacked the floor thanks to its circular design. The pen still works but now I'm taking it back because I believe it's inevitable that this pen will hit the ground again and I can't afford to rely on it. I'm afraid if I rely on it and drop it after the warranty from TARGET runs out I'll not only loss my money but also all the data recorded and I'll be screwed. If you're a guy or gal who drops your cell phone DO NOT buy this pen.
A week after the incident I described took place Livescribe called me. Apparently they were listening to their customer care calls and came across mine. They expressed their apologies and asked if there was anything they could do to rectify the situation. They also explained they are aware of the problem, they are in the process of changing the circular design and know one will ever be treated in a poor manner when calling with problems of that sort again. Livescribe was kind and overnighted me a package of notebooks as well as some journals.
IN MY OPINION The Livescribe pen is a great tool, however until there is some type of insurance to cover it if dropped it's not worth it. I looked into purchasing a warranty from Target but it does not cover anything except manufacture defects. You can purchase warranty's that cover more than manufacture defects when buying computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. So until something like that is implemented I would hold off. Come on, who does not drop pens? IN CONCLUSION Livescribe is a HONEST and GOOD company for calling me to resolve the situation. That is CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!
- Useless in lecture halls
This product was prematurely launched. It does not record lectures very well at all in typical lecture halls, regardless whether or not you wear the dorky earphones and regardless what setting you select for sound recording. Any ambient noise, no matter how quiet, will be picked up by the device. This noise will completely mask the speaker's voice, rendering the recording essentially useless.
Because the file formats are proprietary, you cannot load the noisy files into audio processing software to filter out the noise or amplify the speaker's voice. The need for the headphones (which serve as microphones) makes the pen obtrusive in a corporate environment, where one may want to save audio recordings of meetings while taking notes.
The pen has a built in microphone, but it is useless in a large room. It is often recommended that one use the headphones (wearing them around one's neck), but in normal environments with air conditioning or computers nearby, the only thing you'll record is noise.
The pen does faithfully record the notes you make if you use the company's special notebooks. These contain an array of dots that tell the pen where it's located on the page. This information is stored as you write. When you upload the pen's contents to your computer, an image of what you wrote is regenerated. This is of course a neat trick, but you have to use their file format and user interface, and I find it is not sufficiently flexible. Not being able to use standard file formats like mp3 and pdf is a real nuisance. Apparently you can upload your files to the company's web site and they'll convert them to pdf for you, but what if your notes contain private or proprietary information? And even if it's just your math notes, who wants the hassle?
This device may be suitable for some students if the lecture room and level of ambient noise are appropriate for the pen's limited ability to capture clean sound. This is not a trivial problem, because in its current state, unless you're recording in an ideal environment, the noise will make it impossible to hear the lecture when you play it back. You do not notice these faint background noises most of the time, but that's essentially all the pen will record.
I gave up on the pen and frankly don't even know where it is at the moment. Too bad, because I got the one with 2GB of memory along with about a dozen of their special notebooks. Now I just use them with an ordinary pen and record my lectures using a digital recorder I got from Ramsay Electronics. Its sound quality is perfect, regardless where I sit, and it can record in any format I choose.
I am disappointed in the unbalanced reviews I've read about this pen. One has to wonder if some of the more enthusiastic ones are from the company itself. Likewise, I found reviews online that were so slick, detailed, and positive that they had to have come from the pen maker. I have never written a review before but after reading reviews that gave this device unqualified praise, I felt it my duty to warn other potential purchasers--let the buyer beware. ...more info
- Software Far Too Buggy to Make the Pen Useful
I've had the pen almost 6 months and have yet to get it working as described. The desktop software has rendered the device useless. Seems the hard part of the technology was the pen and paper, uploading it to desktop files and having them viewable should have been the easier challenge. After 3 patches, it still doesn't upload. Customer service is good and helpful, but no resolution from development yet.
Good concept, was not ready for prime time and I learned my lesson on new gadgets. However, my Kindle which I purchased at the same time works like a charm....more info