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If you’ve ever been in school, you know the agony of having to take notes. Whether you were using the good old pen and paper, a laptop, or even a tablet, taking notes during class can be quite an annoyance. If you’re one of those gifted people who can listen and summarize accurately at the same time, we all envy you (and your notes have probably been used by others many times), but most of us have a hard time paying attention, keeping up with the lecture, taking good notes and not taking even a sneak peek at Facebook.

To the rescue comes Livescribe, with its Smartpen line. The Livescribe Smartpens can record everything you write via an infrared camera, record anything you hear using a built-in microphone, and then combine the two into a pencast which includes both your notes and your audio, perfectly synchronized. Or so they promise.

Here at MakeUseOf, we don’t believe everything we hear, and decided to see for ourselves. That’s why we bought the Livescribe 4GB Echo Smartpen, and gave it a serious spin. The results are below, but as usual, we are also giving away this $150 Livescribe Echo Smartpen to one very lucky reader! Read on to find out how you can win.


livescribe echo review

The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is aimed entirely at note-taking and audio recording. While it can be used by anyone, it would most commonly be by students. Nevertheless, it can also be useful for recording an important meeting, conducting an interview, or even for watching a movie while taking notes. Its potential uses are pretty endless, as long as you don’t have anything against using a pen and buying the required special dot paper.

The Livescribe Smartpens are pretty unique, but there are several similar products out there you should know about. The most prominent ones are the $199 Wacom Inkling, which is aimed at artists, but has the advantage of working on regular paper. The $129 A4 apen smartpen also works on regular paper, and can transfer you writing to your iPad or iPhone in real time. The Logitech IO2 and the IRISnotes pen are both aimed mainly at transforming you handwriting into editable text (OCR), but the IO2 is priced at $230 which is significantly higher than the others. Of course, there is also the Echo’s younger sibling – the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, which you can buy refurbished for only $70.

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While all these options have their advantages, the Livescribe Echo Smartpen is the only one I found that can also record audio, and produce the synchronized audio-text pencasts which we’ll get into shortly. The Echo itself comes in three versions: 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. The 8GB also comes in a $230 pro pack, which also includes the 3-D Recording Premium Headset, among other goodies.

What’s In The Box?

livescribe echo review

At first glance, the Livescribe Echo Smartpen box looks like one of those impossible-to-open plastic contraptions we all hate so much. That’s not the case, however – once you figure out which two stickers to cut open, the whole thing comes apart beautifully, revealing a huge (recyclable) plastic container with everything you’ll need to get started with your Echo Smartpen.

livescribe echo review

Digging in, you’ll find the Echo Smartpen itself, a micro USB cable to connect the pen to your computer, a starter dot paper notebook, an interactive getting started guide (don’t miss it!), a tips and tricks booklet, an extra ink cartridge and two caps for the pen. Also included is a 15% discount card for purchase of any Livescribe application, which I did not use and is waiting for the pen’s lucky winner.

livescribe echo review

When you buy the Echo Smartpen, you’re also eligible for a free download of Livescribe Desktop and Livescribe Connect, which you can use to transfer your work to your computer, and share it via various channels. You also get 500MB of free personal online storage when you register your Echo. The Echo Smartpen came charged out of the box, and I was able to start using it immediately.

Using The Livescribe Echo Smartpen

livescribe echo smartpen

The Echo Smartpen has one single button – a power button. All the rest is done through tapping the pen on special buttons on the dot paper. Looking at the pen, you can see the OLED display, which you’ll be using a lot, and the built-in microphone and speaker. This is the practical half on the pen. The bottom half is mainly a rubber grip which makes the Echo easy to hold and use, despite its measurable width compared to regular pens.

The first thing you should do with your new Echo Smartpen, is open the getting started guide. Here you get your first introduction into the sheer awesomeness which is the Echo Smartpen. I will use the guide’s walkthrough to introduce you to what the Echo can do.

First, you can set your pen to be either right handed or left handed: do this by tapping the pen tip on the corresponding icon in the booklet.

livescribe echo smartpen

Tapping the icon will immediately flip the display on the pen. You’ll hear a beep, and the pen will tell you it is now set to right- or left-handed.

livescribe echo smartpen

The same goes for date and time. Use the provided number pad to set the pen’s date and time. This is important, as your notes and audio are timestamped, and setting date and time will allow you to browse through your notes in chronological order.

livescribe echo smartpen

As you read along in the booklet, you can tap the “i” next to each paragraph, to hear a recorded explanation about the feature. The Echo’s built in speaker makes it possible to use it just like any other player. You can also use it to record yourself or a lecture you’re listening to, and listen to the playback on the pen.

livescribe echo smartpen

Writing with the Echo Smartpen is surprisingly comfortable, and I was able to record audio from the other side of my (rather small) apartment. Here is a demonstration of what you can do while writing: The dot paper notebook comes complete with all the buttons you’ll need. While writing, tap the record button to start recording audio as well. You can write along while listening to something, and have everything recorded together. You can then go back and tap any word in your written text to listen to its corresponding audio.

livescribe echo smartpen review

While listening to audio on your pen, you can use the dot-paper buttons to pause, play, stop, jump forward, backwards, or to a certain point; and even to add bookmarks on certain points in the audio which you can then jump to quickly when needed. You can also use the provided buttons to adjust the volume, or mute your pen if you don’t want it speaking or beeping in the middle of a lecture.

livescribe echo smartpen review

The pen has many different options, shortcuts and settings you can play with, all are accessed through the main menu. To access the main menu, find this cross on the dot paper and double tap the middle. You can then navigate the menu using the arrows. The small circle you can see under the word “this” is you home button, and can also be assigned any other shortcut you wish.

livescribe echo smartpen review

Overall, the pen is very responsive, and never failed to recognize and execute the right action.

Connecting The Echo Smartpen To Your Computer

The Echo Smartpen connects to your computer via micro USB. Connect the pen to the computer to transfer file and to charge it. This is also where you can plug headphones.

livescribe echo smartpen review

Before you actually connect it, though, you’d have to download and install Livescribe Desktop, which also comes with Livescribe Connect. In order to run these apps, you need to have Adobe AIR installed. If you don’t have it, it will be installed automatically. This is what Livescribe Desktop looks like.

echo smartpen review

You can see thumbnails of the pages you’ve written on the main section. The text highlighted in green is also accompanied by audio. Double click a page to take a closer look.

echo smartpen review

This is a pencast. You can simply look at the text, or play the pencast to listen to the audio and watch the text and drawings come to life before your eyes, completely synchronized. While there’s no built-in OCR, the program recognizes words, and you can search through your handwritten document with a single click. This might be the best feature of all.

echo smartpen review

From Livescribe Connect, you can set up connections to different platforms. You can use the software to send your work to your computer, email, Evernote, Facebook, Google Docs, Google Sites, Microsoft OneNote and your MyLivescribe account.

After setting up your accounts through Livescribe Connect, you can perform the actual sending from the pen. Simply access the main menu, and start writing the sharing platform you wish to use. You can then choose which file format you want to use (PDF pencast, PDF, pencast, PNG or M4A audio), who you want to send it to, and then tap the pages you want to send. When you connect your pen to your computer, the files will automatically be sent. If your friends have Adobe Reader installed, they will even be able to listen to the pencast and watch it being written or drawn.

Livescribe Desktop doesn’t convert your handwriting to text, but if you need OCR capabilities, you can try out MyScript for Livescribe. This is a $30 app, but you can try it for free for 30 days. Once installed, you can send any page to MyScript for OCR conversion.

echo smartpen review

In order to help the program, you can specify which areas of the page are shapes or freehand drawings, so it doesn’t try to make sense of those. Once I did that, the OCR was pretty accurate, even when my handwriting was not very clear. It had more problems with my boyfriend’s leftie handwriting, though.

Extremely Cool Tricks

While this article is not long enough to go into every cool feature on the Echo Smartpen, there are several very neat tricks I must highlight. The first one, and probably the most useful one, is the ability to create the aforementioned navigation cross anywhere. Wherever you are on the dot paper, simply draw a plus about the same size as the printed one, and use it to access and navigate the pen’s menu.

livescribe echo smartpen review

Here are some more cool tricks you can try: access the main menu and start writing “calc” on your paper. The pen will automatically load the calculator. Now write any simple equation, and the pen will display a solution for you. For more complex equations, you can use the printed calculator at the beginning of the dot paper notebook.

livescribe echo smartpen review

Similarly, you can access the main menu and start writing “translation”. This will launch the translation demo, where you can get a glimpse of the pen’s translation abilities. The demo offers translation into Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Swedish. Simply write a simple word from the provided list, and watch as the pen translates it, and even reads it out loud so you know how to pronounce it.

livescribe echo smartpen review

Last but not least, and maybe the best demonstration of the Echo’s capabilities, is the piano demo. You can find the piano app by writing piano when on the main menu. The app will guide you through drawing a piano, complete with different instruments and rhythms, which you can then play by tapping the pen on your drawing. This is truly amazing.

livescribe echo smartpen review

There are many more apps you can download for your Echo Smartpen, some are free, most cost anything from $0.99 to $4.99.

Should You Buy the Livescribe Echo Smartpen?

livescribe echo smartpen review

In one word: yes. The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is an amazing gadget, one of the best I’ve had the chance to use in quite a while. Of course, if you rarely take notes, listen to lectures or have any need to have your handwritten or drawn notes in digital format, you won’t really find much use for the Echo, but if you do any of the above in some frequency, you’re going to love the Echo Smartpen.

The Echo’s biggest con is the need to buy special dot paper in order to use it, but you can get a 4-pack of notebooks for $20 on Amazon, and using the pen on the dot paper with its built-in buttons is so accurate, I believe it’s worth the extra effort.

We’re giving this review unit away! If you happen to be a student, this is something you should be interested in.

How do I win the Livescribe Echo Smartpen?

Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner.

The giveaway code required to activate the form is available from our Facebook page, Twitter stream and Google+ page.

The giveaway is over. Congratulations, Jamie VanRaalte! You would have received your license via email from If you require any assistance, please get in touch with before Aug 20. Enquires beyond this date will not be entertained.

Step 2: Share!

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post!

Like it

Tweet it

+1 on Google

(Note: no points will be awarded.)

By participating in this giveaway, you agree to the giveaway rules Official Giveaway Rules Official Giveaway Rules Read More .

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, August 10th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

Interested in sponsoring a giveaway? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via the form at the bottom of this page MakeUseOf Giveaway Program MakeUseOf Giveaway Program Read More .

  1. Janice Burgess
    August 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    So I guess I didn't win. What do I do? Ebay 1 more day until the end of auction. Oh, I better win. I'm so excited about this pen, I've been telling everyone. Of course their response, "Yea, if it really does what it says." I just inform them that it has been reviewed by 'Makeuseof', if they say it's good,'s good! Wish me luck!

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Good luck! It really does do what it says. :)

  2. Amanda Bowman
    August 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Oh man, I have lusted after Livescribe's pens ever since they came out. This is just too awesome.

  3. Sam Davie
    August 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I'm a student, this would be great!

  4. Dorfmeister Vazquez
    August 10, 2012 at 2:46 am

    I Love it. I hope be the winner :)

  5. Jón Bjarnason
    August 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    don't need this but hope to win

  6. Bulilit Toralballa
    August 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Fingers crossed!

  7. william huff
    August 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

    could use a pin like this

  8. Anree Summer
    August 9, 2012 at 5:36 am


  9. Dazine Rodriguez
    August 9, 2012 at 2:50 am

    wow, I really need this for school. I really do have trouble taking notes in class. This will help me out. Good luck to everyone.

  10. Jidiq Bhai
    August 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    thumbs up

  11. Sachit Tandukar
    August 8, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Now this is something you may want in daily life... :D :D

  12. fizzbin88
    August 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    What a neat device ! Thanks for the opportunity to win one ! Rgds...

  13. Jimmy Soleman
    August 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Gotta try this thing :)

  14. Samit Tandukar
    August 7, 2012 at 10:46 am

    awesome gadget....

  15. tarzan2001
    August 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    This looks pretty cool! Might actually be helpful when taking patient histories in the hospital! :)

  16. Nart Barileva
    August 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I've always wanted something like this when I was little :)

  17. Dorine Toh
    August 6, 2012 at 10:54 am

    As a student, this would be unbelievably useful for me. Another thing to add to my wishlist if I don't win! :) It's so utterly expensive though, so it'd take quite a long time before I can even afford it.

  18. Aditya Roy
    August 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Its exactly what i need!! :)

  19. Charles Spence
    August 6, 2012 at 5:40 am

    1078 Winslow Drive
    Charleston, SC 29412

  20. Audrey Johnson
    August 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I would love to have this pen to help with spelling errors when writing my theses for school term papers

  21. Jeffrey S
    August 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Im In!!
    Good luck to all

  22. Nazeem
    August 5, 2012 at 4:12 am

    cool, Yet another excellent useful device.

    • Andy Sullivan
      August 6, 2012 at 6:03 am

      I bet in the future every one will have one of these.

  23. Mikhail Cherniske
    August 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I hope I win! this looks so cool!

  24. Alan McNamara
    August 4, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I'm involved with some local not-for-profit organisations and I end up attending conferences and training sessions.
    The Livescribe Echo Smartpen would really help in note taking and recording.
    Hope I can win one ;-)

  25. T
    August 4, 2012 at 12:16 am

    I'd love to win this smartpen, The things people can create is amazing.

  26. LeviTashun
    August 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Wow, this is... really cool, actually.

  27. Abdelrahman Ahmed
    August 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

    wow i would like to have one

  28. Colin Kitto
    August 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Perfect device for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Like Asperger's Syndrome or Autism traits that make concentration and learning/remembering/organising hard!!

  29. Iskander LG
    August 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Looks fantastic.. wish this had been around a decade ago

  30. Yury Chemerkin
    August 3, 2012 at 6:40 am

    It's amazing thing and really useful :)

  31. Ashwin Ramesh
    August 3, 2012 at 6:37 am

    OOOooo .... would love to have this in my hands!

  32. Karl Joseph Ku
    August 3, 2012 at 5:18 am

    this would be of great use to my mom who writes a lot of notes, names, numbers, locations, dates, etc etc.

  33. Janice Burgess
    August 3, 2012 at 4:18 am

    I would really love to try this pen. I'm a special education teacher and can relate to the struggles of taking notes. It's one of my weaknesses too. I sure hope I win. I'm sure the schools could use the functions of this pen and add it to accommodation for special needs.

  34. James Marshall
    August 3, 2012 at 2:23 am

    This looks like an interesting product. The specialized paper is a bit of a drawback, but with all this pen can do, that's probably not too big of a deal. I don't take notes enough to make it worth entering the giveaway though, so good luck to everyone else.

  35. Preston Steffey
    August 3, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Could see that as useful

  36. Sigifredo Zapata
    August 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Wholly Crap, I could actually win this thing....Awesome!!!

  37. Sigifredo Zapata
    August 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I could really use this for my client meetings....

  38. Les Siewert
    August 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    excellent review, I'll be sharing this one with friends

  39. Dmitriy Sukhanov
    August 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Thanx for the chance!

  40. Cristian Lucian
    August 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Great, I really need one

  41. Steven Kim
    August 2, 2012 at 11:50 am

    man! lemmi win one of this days :)

  42. echantrea
    August 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

    nice pen.

  43. apn58
    August 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Looks beautiful. Please let me win!

  44. Ali Lou
    August 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

    such an innovative idea

  45. Martin Pham
    August 2, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Wow i could really need this. Hope ill win.

  46. Charlie Player
    August 2, 2012 at 6:50 am

    education by technology

  47. Pavels Ostrovskis
    August 2, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Nice gadget. I am a science student myself, and this review will certainly be useful for me and my friends :)

  48. Yiz Borol
    August 2, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Not liking the new give-away system at all...
    But it's your stuff, and I don't have to play... still...

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 4, 2012 at 3:23 am

      We think it's pretty cool. :) But we've added the old form back, so you can join the good old way!

  49. Rebecca McNally
    August 2, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Tried my cousin's it was awesome. Would love 1!

  50. Luke Driscoll
    August 2, 2012 at 4:00 am


  51. Leslie DeKock
    August 2, 2012 at 3:53 am

    I'll say a prayer instead of crossing my fingers!

  52. WayAce King
    August 2, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Never seen one of these before but it looks really cool hope to win so I can check it out some more.

  53. Vociferous Carmichael
    August 2, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I'm out of school atm, but two of my sisters are still in. This would be really helpful for one of them.

  54. Mark Thornley
    August 2, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Cool pen, hope I win it!

  55. fd
    August 2, 2012 at 2:05 am

    The password you'll need to enter the giveaway: #$%$^^

  56. Fausto Asu
    August 2, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Very useful pen especially for business meetings.

  57. randy
    August 2, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Done LOVE has a great GIVEAWAY to enter the contest that i strive to win

  58. Eric Lundgren
    August 2, 2012 at 12:51 am

    This looks awesome!

  59. Matt Mangum
    August 2, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Looks awesome.

  60. Hoku Sarroca
    August 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    wow this looks very interesting

  61. Marco Milani
    August 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    i need ;)

  62. Stephanie Woods
    August 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Ahaha, so awesome! If I don't win it I have no issue buying it sometime down the road.

  63. Bj Reilly
    August 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Very cool, interesting!

  64. nick holmes
    August 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    sounds handy

  65. Asbjørn Bergestuen
    August 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Don't really know how useful this one might be, but hey, I'll take one just to try!

  66. Giorgi Mamulashvili
    August 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm


  67. Dave
    August 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Want for school.

  68. Naveen Nandakumar
    August 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    whoa, the future is here. I would use this to capture signatures for work, would save me a lot of time vs. scanning now.

  69. Ilena
    August 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    There are also little dot stickers that can be used. You can put them on the pages of a children's book and record the words in your voice/students/child/s voice then play back whenever you want. You can do so many things with the stickers! I would LOVE to have the pen to test out with my students.

  70. dan
    August 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    MAKEUSEOF used to make it easy to login and enter the giveaway. Where is the link now hidden?!?!

  71. Bila Box
    August 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    truly, before this post I never heard about gadget a certain like this. and now I think I really need this for my study.

  72. sreenath s
    August 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Best one to have.....

  73. sreenath s
    August 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Best One to gave

  74. Muhannad Agha
    August 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Now that's something I really want

  75. Andrey Filkin
    August 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Give me one!

  76. Marisa Fletcher
    August 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    This looks really nice. I hope I win.

  77. Hank Mccoy
    August 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I need this.

  78. Siddhesh Kotavadekar
    August 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    It's really amazing,
    I want it
    I have to win it

  79. Sandra Kempf
    August 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I could have used this when I was in university.

    August 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I want it

  81. Ira Brandstein
    August 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Fingers and toes crossed! Thx

  82. Karen Ang
    August 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    What an awesome pen! I would love to own one

  83. Joel Dorr
    August 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Wish I had something like this way back when, when I was in college in the 80's.

  84. VS Vishnu
    August 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    good equipment...

  85. Jerry Sipple
    August 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    For those of you interested in pdf's to be able to print your own dot paper on your own printer rather than purchasing paper see the following:

    or better:

  86. Valentin Tudor
    August 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Would love this one!

  87. Chiranthaka Sampath Jayakody
    August 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I would love to have one of this!

  88. Tracey
    August 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    This is awsome! I'd love this pen, it would save my wrist the pain of having to retype what I have already hand written, especially at work.

  89. Laureen Mendoza
    August 1, 2012 at 11:15 am

    ohhh! i want one! this is really cool!

  90. Sam Harrison
    August 1, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I'd quite like one of these. How many points do I need to enter the giveaway??

    • Tina
      August 1, 2012 at 10:46 am


      You need 25 points. You can collect points by sharing posts or commenting. Good luck!

  91. Beh Han
    August 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

    This pen is - Wow!!

  92. Rafal Krassowski
    August 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I so want one. If I don't win I just might buy one anyway :)

  93. Anandu B Ajith
    August 1, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I really need this. Hope to win.

  94. Anandu B Ajith
    August 1, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I have entered and I see this as a great giveaway. Thank you

  95. Jedi Master
    August 1, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I wonder if it works when I write and listen to a speech in a language other than those mentioned?

  96. Nguyen Tran
    August 1, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I love it too badly :)

  97. Michael Teague
    August 1, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I wish they had these things when I was in high school

  98. Sammie L Harris
    August 1, 2012 at 7:59 am


  99. Anabel f.m.
    August 1, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I'm a great fan of wacom items, but this pen looks a useful idea for students, and with a good price. I knew nothing about it until I read here, so thanks.

  100. Sai Krishna
    August 1, 2012 at 7:04 am

    An excellent product

  101. Bulilit Toralballa
    August 1, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Awesome pen. Be mine!

  102. winnie kirimi
    August 1, 2012 at 6:33 am

    This is amazing. already in my list of must-have.

  103. Vaibhav Bakhshi
    August 1, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Give it to me...

    I'll say a big Thank You in return... ;)

  104. Ron
    August 1, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Great contest. Thanks.

  105. John Loot
    August 1, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Just learning how to get points... hope to win this!

  106. Bruce Thomas
    August 1, 2012 at 4:54 am

    This pen is very handy for informal meetings where ideas are being thrown around. Kind of a whiteboard in your hand.

  107. Jon Steedley
    August 1, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I want it!

  108. Irene
    August 1, 2012 at 3:56 am

    This giveaway is a useful product. Thank You!

  109. Karen A. Dombek
    August 1, 2012 at 3:09 am


  110. Savio Dsouza
    August 1, 2012 at 3:07 am

    pretty cool! :D

  111. Kirby Sugden-Ware
    August 1, 2012 at 3:06 am

    This would be incredibly useful. But I hope that whoever wins this is the person who deserved it the most!

  112. Saskia85
    August 1, 2012 at 2:59 am

    I love it!

  113. Paul Miller
    August 1, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Keyboards are nice, but we still have need at times for pens. A Smart? one. Hmm. Hope it can decipher an ugly lefty's [southpaw]'s scrawls (me being one).

  114. Fritz Fischer
    August 1, 2012 at 1:48 am

    would love to win one of those,looks like a handy tool to have

  115. colin king
    August 1, 2012 at 1:46 am

    this will be great for my work at the office

  116. Uday Vaswani
    August 1, 2012 at 1:34 am

    I to entered the giveaway. Lets Hope if i win.

    Uday Vaswani

  117. Lawranc
    August 1, 2012 at 1:29 am

    This prize is awesome!!!!

  118. Millaray Burns
    August 1, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Uni notes would be so easy with this I bet.

  119. Philip Yusenda
    August 1, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Wow, if only this kind of product available during my school years...

  120. danielooi
    August 1, 2012 at 1:19 am

    This would helps alot on my study!

  121. Millaray Burns
    August 1, 2012 at 1:03 am

    This would be so great for University

  122. David Burks
    August 1, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Wish this had been available when I was in college.

  123. Mary Chadderdon
    August 1, 2012 at 12:55 am

    This is something I could use.

  124. Dan Nowak
    August 1, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Cool and useful tool, especially for those warriors on the road who want to travel light.

  125. Ian Legge
    August 1, 2012 at 12:21 am

    this smartpen really does have the WOW factor

  126. EugeneL
    July 31, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    My uncle had this and showed its powers to me. Would help me so much!

  127. Tim Blake
    July 31, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    What a cool way to work. Hope I win one

  128. Lisa Narozanick
    July 31, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Wow, now my son won't have any excuse to get bad grades in his Bio lecture!!!!!!!

  129. Liam Narozanick
    July 31, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I was just thinking about something like this and how insane it would be if i could just draw buttons on the paper to help me do simple math, instead of using a huge calculator (at work) or the obnoxious one on my phone. Can't wait for this technology to get even better

  130. anhdroid
    July 31, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    This is awesome gadget.

  131. Tanya
    July 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Would love to grab this

  132. David Czernik
    July 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    great way to combine old school note taking with computer app to produce records

  133. John Martin
    July 31, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks for being so generous!

  134. Carla Wilson
    July 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks for the great review

  135. Patty Loy
    July 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I don't have enough points to enter the drawing?? Boo on you MakeUseOf. JK
    I NEED the Echo Smartpen!!! I'm a student with severe carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve compression injuries. Guess I'm going to have to buy it for myself. School starts again in less than a month! I can't wait!!!

    • Tina
      August 1, 2012 at 10:19 am


      You can easily collect 25 points by sharing articles or posting comments. Give it a try and enter the contest! :)

  136. Smally
    July 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Innovative Ideas

  137. Deb Jacobs
    July 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    What an amazing device! I'd never heard of such a thing until I read your article. Thank you for the info and thanks for the chance to win one!

  138. Jesse Schembri
    July 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks for the chance MakeUseOf! This would would make my life so much simpler and possibly make note taking fun!

  139. nluckhurst
    July 31, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Would love to win this for my daughter in college!

  140. Miz G
    July 31, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I am a total geek when it comes to technology. Would love to add this to my collection.

  141. Jeffrey Mercante
    July 31, 2012 at 10:00 pm


  142. Gary Welsh
    July 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Looks pretty good

  143. Jeffrey John Imutan
    July 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    hey, this is great.

  144. Dewitte Baisch
    July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    I really need something like this to decipher my handwriting, which is growing worse daily!

  145. James Bryant
    July 31, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I appreciate the chance to win the SmartPen.

    • Timothy Emery
      July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      I'm in college now and I think this might just solve some of my note taking problems.I cant wait to get my hands on one

  146. Jerry Sipple
    July 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Source for self printable notepads:

    He has had separate / individual notebook pdf's available before but this deployment kit fills my needs as it has all the types of notebooks that I think I will ever need. Your mileage may vary. Just copy & paste the above link, watch the video & download the tool. The first set of pdf's I got a couple of years ago produce a somewhat lighter dot background then this set but the new set works just fine. I don't feel the need to even search for additional notebook types but I am sure there are others available. Hope this helps!

  147. Beth Evans
    July 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I have been using this pen for a couple of years. Check out how I've used it with English Language Learners:

  148. David Mcleod
    July 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I should be smart enough to use this, maybe in another life, it is too late in this one. I could give it to a smart friend though. Loved your article, simple enough for me to understand and know that I most likely would not use this. Might as well register for the drawing, I can NOT win this just as easily as I've not won anything else. If it just smelled like chocolate???

  149. Lonnie Turner
    July 31, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    This is a mighty fine instrument and very useful

  150. pkinsella2011
    July 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    A very nice gadget, but anyone with small hands may struggle with its size? Pictures 2, 11, 12, 14 above show it in the user's hand and it is not small!

  151. Rolando Islas
    July 31, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    It looks like a great device. I'm tempted to buy one.

  152. David Barrett
    July 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I'm crossing everything on this one. Thanks for the opportunity!

  153. David Barrett
    July 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    One can only dream ...

  154. Nan Truman
    July 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I am logged in but can not seem to find where to actually enter in a giveaway...


    • Tina
      August 1, 2012 at 10:20 am


      When you posted this comment, you were not logged in. Make sure you are actually logged in to MakeUseOf. You can use your Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail, and some other existing accounts. You will need 25 points to enter. Points can be gained by posting comments or sharing articles.

  155. Nan Truman
    July 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I am logged in, but can't seem to find the place to enter for giveaways...

    What up?

    I turned off Ghostery and AVG tracker?

  156. Janet Schmidt
    July 31, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    This sounds so amazing. My daughter had a FLY pen some time back, (hmmm wonder what happened to that) but this sounds much better. I could so use this for research I am doing! Sounds like the answer to my prayers actually. So, while it is a drag that you have to give it away Yaara, I promise to give it a good home!

  157. Alexander Zahn
    July 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    This looks handy...

  158. Nancy Mayer
    July 31, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    The echo Smart Pen is awesome. Hope I win it! It is exactly what I have been looking for.

  159. Rick Harris
    July 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Been using my Echo for about a year now, primarily to record audio and notes for meetings, but also for various other tasks, including brainstorming (group mind-mapping is a good use of this device, although it would be better with a white-board version). I'm very impressed with the accuracy of the visual as well as the audio (especially with the binaural head-set mics), and the pencast has proven to be an excellent medium for documenting and archiving important meetings. I do have a couple suggestions, though, that I believe would make it even better:

    1) there needs to be a utility for creating and editing templates for custom paper. The software application allows users to print dot paper notebooks, which is great. But efficiency demands the use of pre-built templates for a variety of repeating tasks (IE forms). For instance, in my meetings, I need to be able to record a number of basic data points, every time, and consistent in format and content across all notes. A template would help ensure the proper data is recorded as well as save time/effort in re-copying by hand the labels for such data. Through a tedious process of trial and error I have cobbled together a stop-gap method of creating my own forms, but it involves running the paper through the printer twice, and doesn't result in the printed form (IE lines/words) showing up in the pencast pdf.

    2) There needs to be a (high quality) roller-ball refill for the pen. I realize that the way it is constructed may prevent much in seeking a solution here, and thus may need to be an option for a future version of the Echo, but in my mind this is a real lack. The the elegance of thought that went into the design of this device and which results in such a great tool from a tech standpoint deserves much better than the mundane utilitarianism of a ball-point (a fountain pen would be great but is probably far too impractical). Besides, I just like writing with roller-balls better.

    A final thought which is sort of a suggestion: although the binaural microphones work great, they too are a bit awkward and graceless to use. (Wearing the headphones while leading a corporate meeting and trying to maintain any sense of dignity, let alone authority, is rather a pointless exercise.) I designed and built my own compact/collapsible microphone stand to use for this purpose. I wonder if Livescribe would be interested in my design... :-)

    • Rick Harris
      July 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      Another note/cool feature of this pen: if you are listening to the audio through the pen (IE with the headphone/mics), you can annotate your original text/drawing and the Echo will sync the audio to the new text _in addition_ to the original. Thus "clicking" on either the original written ink or the newly added (either with the pen on the paper or with your mouse in the pencast) will move the playback to the same associated position in the audio. This is very useful for reviewing notes and adding new thoughts.

    • Rick Harris
      July 31, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      And another request/suggestion: I wish there were a way to specify different "ink" colors in the pdf. There is a choice of black, blue, or red ink refills for the pen, but the pdf is always green ink for text/drawing with audio and black for non-audio. It would be great to be able to switch to red ink, for example, to annotate one's notes as you listen, so that you could easily tell what was the original note you took as opposed to the added note you made upon a second listening. The ability to control the pen's features/settings is so elegant and easy to use, that if the capability was built into the software/firmware that switching from color to color would be as easy as touching the menu button or drawing a (user defined?!) prescribed shape and then writing the color to switch to (or touching a previously written color). IE Much the same as the "send to" commands that involve drawing a rapid right-then-left horizontal line and writing the destination above it.

  160. Don Diekneite
    July 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I gotta tell ya, the "game" and points thing is really lame. You already have a truly awesome site with great information that I love. Now I have to waste time getting points if I want to enter your contests. It's just silly. I would love to enter contests and for that you get my click-throughs. But now when I see that I can't do that even though I'm subscribed, I just close the page.

  161. Ron Simpson
    July 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    This is a really cool device and I can see lots of possible uses for Realtors.

  162. James Watson
    July 31, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Good review, Yaara! I love gadgets, and this would be a good one to win. Thanks for the review on the Echo Smartpen!

  163. Nancy B
    July 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    This will be a brilliant gift for my son who is starting university in the fall!

  164. Ronald Simpson
    July 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Shoot, I might just have to pick up one of these.

  165. Ronald Simpson
    July 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Shoot, I might just have to pick up one of these

  166. Marianne Auten
    July 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    This is going to be a great tool for interviewing participants in my doctorate study! A real time saver in transcribing!

  167. Shahid Mir
    July 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    This is on the top of my wish list

  168. Shahid Mir
    July 31, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Its really wonderful, amazing

  169. Dannie Grant Phiri
    July 31, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    This would be very useful in meetings where you've to taken minutes. Transcribing made easy!

  170. Todd Clay
    July 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Don't much like the new "points" system. It's unfair to people that don't have time to spend online all day earning points.

  171. Snert
    July 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I don't have enough points to enter!

  172. Jeff Finkel
    July 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Does anyone know how to properly print this article. Whenever I print it, I see code instead of graphics. Thanks.

  173. F.Klaassen
    July 31, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Awsome product, didn't event know it exist!! Would like to try this gadget

  174. F.Klaassen
    July 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Awsome product, didn't event know it exist!!
    Would like to try this gadget

  175. Marjorie Cooney
    July 31, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Technology :)

  176. Marjorie Cooney
    July 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    This looks awesome!!! Sure hope I win :)

  177. Jeff Finkel
    July 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Have been using an older version for a year now and enjoy the increase in productivity it affords me.

  178. Philippa Kennealy
    July 31, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I'm such a tech tool geek - would love one of these!

  179. Simon Ball
    July 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Looks like the sort of gadget I would crave.

  180. Ken Post
    July 31, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    How long does it last between charges while recording audio?

    • Rick Harris
      July 31, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      A long time. Can't give completely accurate, down to the minute, but I've used mine over a three-day business trip to record audio and notes of consulting meetings without recharging (forgot to bring the USB cable with me), and it lasted the whole time and had enough juice to go back through and listen/annotate some on the plane trip home. I'd guess it's at least 7-8 hours.

  181. Harry G
    July 31, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    seems quite useful, would like to own one :D

  182. Soni Pitts
    July 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Interesting gadget.

  183. Kevin Fegan
    July 31, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Great giveaway!!

    I'd love to win this.

  184. phil
    July 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    This is a very useful tool, a must have for anyone that has to take notes, I would love to win one.

  185. Paul Johnston
    July 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    more portable than a tablet-based solution.

  186. phil
    July 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    This can be a very useful tool, hope I win it, it has many uses, very good article.

  187. David Meyer
    July 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    These smartpens are cool. I especially love the ability to calculate math problems simply by writing it.

  188. Cesar
    July 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Awesome, possibilities! Looking forward to using it!

  189. iqbalnaqvi
    July 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Truly Great efforts from the "makeuseof" Team. Having lot of knowledge & fun.

  190. Fred Huddle
    July 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Looks interesting. I'd like to try it out.

  191. Denis Olson
    July 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Awesome pen. I'm always writing notes by hand. As a software engineer, there is little time or room for note-taking on computer. I have need for sketching and words to track thoughts and ideas to develop further later.


  192. S. Ebbs
    July 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for this information. I think this pen would be a big help to my teenage son who is dyslexic. He is a slow writer, and sometimes misses the next point of a lecture because of it. The recording feature would let him go back and listen to areas of the lecture he might have missed.

  193. Tuesday Peacock
    July 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Awesome pen!The winner will be smart...

  194. Antonio Notarbartolo
    July 31, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I'm so buying one of these... If I don't win it expect me to buy one.

  195. Paul Moore
    July 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    awesome gadget!

  196. Drew B
    July 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    scribble scribble scribble scribble yeah

  197. Ronn Jordan
    July 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks Yaara, you have the coolest job!!! :)

  198. Marc St-Onge
    July 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Nice product, did not event know it existed !!
    Would love to try this gadget

  199. Lloyd Barnes
    July 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Cool - would make a great gift for students!

  200. Vicky Gregory Moss
    July 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    This would be so incredible for my son who has Asperger's.

    • Rick Harris
      July 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      I have a son with Aspberger's as well, and I have an Echo. Interestingly, in my son's case the pen isn't a good match--although he loves the technology and the ideas behind it, handwriting is a struggle for him (fine motor skills in general), and in his case typing is a much better solution. I'm pursuing the use of a blue-tooth keyboard (with silent keys) paired with an iPad (or Android equivalent) and an app that records and syncs audio to typed notes as a better fit for him. (BTW, "AudioNote" is an app for iOS that has this capability. I've only used it on my iPhone, but am pleased with the results there so far. The issue is getting the notes/audio out of the app into some other format that will be useable/distributable apart from the iPhone/iPad...) Good luck!

  201. Sandy Coulter
    July 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I can't see where to log in or how to enter this. I've done it before so I don't know what the trouble is now.

  202. Sandra Vegas
    July 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Too bad I retired from teaching this year. This would be so handy in the classroom. Still would be handy now. Great giveaways.

  203. Ty Neal
    July 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    This would really help me with the teachers who talk way to fast.

  204. sreenath s
    July 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Save work

  205. mryanaz
    July 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Looks like a useful gadget. I could certainly put it to great use.

  206. sreenath s
    July 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Great One.

  207. Tara Drennen
    July 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Looks interesting

  208. SOSrwiggins
    July 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I have seen these in action and they seem to be very useful. Thanks, lazyrivr, for the info on printing our own dot paper!

  209. Steve Haworth
    July 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm


  210. S
    July 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I was not sure of this when they first came out, but the more I read and the more I see I believe I need it for work and school ... *Crossing Fingers* ;-)

  211. Kelley Tomkinson
    July 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    looks really great...what an idea,hope I am lucky !!!!

  212. Ellen Odza
    July 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    This looks awesome. I'm a univ prof and this would be VERY useful.

  213. Kathy
    July 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    This looks like something I would use!

  214. Wanda Ammon
    July 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    wow & double wow! what a great tool for taking minutes
    ps hope I win!

  215. William Stephens
    July 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I can think of a thousand and one uses for this item.

  216. celeron504
    July 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Here's to hoping I win!

  217. Ravi Lodhiya
    July 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I have used this product and I found it very useful for me as a developer and getting notes on the fly.

  218. Brad Foss
    July 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I appreciated the review, with a minor nitpik - check the use of "you" instead of "your", as in "and can transfer you writing to your iPad or iPhone"
    Looks like there are three questions;
    Can you use copies of the dot paper?
    How long does it take to charge?
    How long does the charge last, will it last at least a day full of note taking/seminar recording?
    Looks very intriguing!

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 1, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Must just be typos, sorry about that. It's hard to keep them away with such a long review!

      You can print your own dot paper. As for the charge, I'm on a mobile device so can't check it right now, but you should be able to find these specs on the livescribe website.

  219. Tony de Sa
    July 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Note taking is a problem I have. This device looks like it will be a great aid to my note taking.Tony

  220. Tony
    July 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Note taking is a problem I have. This device looks like it will be a great aid to my note taking.

  221. Frank Mohnhaupt
    July 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Fine thing !

  222. Eric
    July 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    This is so cool! I really want this smartpen. So many great applications.

  223. JohnaRea
    July 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    This would be great for notes & study.

  224. G J Venskaitis
    July 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Awesome product and great review. Like everyone else, would love to have this product.

  225. John Faller
    July 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I'd love to try it with my handwriting, even I can't read it sometimes.

  226. iheartyoupk
    July 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Oh dang. Always wanted this thing :)

  227. James Walmsley
    July 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    This looks neat!

  228. Sue-beau Beau
    July 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    where do you find the link to enter this give away of this pen? i have been going back and forth from my email but can not actually find the damn thing.

  229. Kevin J. D'Sylva
    July 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Nice functions for a pen...

  230. EM Jolayemi
    July 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Would love to use this with my Composition and ESL classes. Wonder if it scribes other languages?

  231. rick aleshire
    July 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Way KEWL!

    • S
      July 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      I been debating to get one but the more I read the more I believe this gadget would be very useful at work and at school

  232. Pedro Oliva
    July 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    wow... excellent!! thanks

  233. Thomas Williams
    July 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    The utility of this thing is really amazing. The integration of associated audio and text into the notetaking process paves the way for advances in human learning.

  234. John McDonald
    July 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I really want this, it's so cool!

  235. Randy LaBonte
    July 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    We plan to use the LiveScribe for research. Great overview and explanation - better than in the manual!

    July 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    hi it is very useful & great pen to use it

  237. Steve Collins
    July 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Excellent Prize. What a novel idea! Good luck to all.

  238. Tony
    July 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Like Magic

  239. John McDonald
    July 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    That is so cool, I'm sure I would look awesome with this thing in my pocket.

  240. Alan
    July 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    great product for student's notetaking.

  241. Alan
    July 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Great review. It looks like a really great product to help students notetaking!!

  242. Tony
    July 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm


  243. William Truscott
    July 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    This pen looks like it could really save a lot of writing and errors in note taking.

  244. Judith Rogow
    July 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Would be handy for trade shows like CES, CTIA and NAB

  245. Pat Tetzlaff
    July 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    How long does it take to charge this gadget?

  246. Donie Marron
    July 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Looks like a very neat device for particular situations. I'm not sure about the dot paper, so you'll have a notepad sitting on your notebook or do you plug into USB and at the same time?

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 1, 2012 at 5:33 am

      You only have to plug it into USB when you want to transfer things to your computer or send things via email etc. Otherwise, you simple write with it, no connection needed.

  247. Xan Penrose
    July 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Dreamy gadget!

  248. Vampie C.
    July 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I used to work for a company that created tools for such pens, and since switching jobs, I miss using one of them :-)

  249. Jonathan Young
    July 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    This tool sounds great for learning languages! Thanks for the review!!

  250. Petey Pabler
    July 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I love the OCR capability. It is a "musthave" nowadays...

  251. Amy Wong
    July 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I love this pen. This is an amazing product. It has served me time and time again especially in discussions with clients when we are determining or refining the scope of work. I have an audio recording of the meeting that can be transcribed (if needed) and accompanying notations of the meeting. This is invaluable for recall of what was discussed.

    I could use another one of these!! Thanks for making this possible


    • s
      July 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      This is more valuable than I thought ;-)

  252. Winston-Skip Yates
    July 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Sounds like a nice tool to explore.

  253. Anders Sporring
    July 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Wow.... that's a good product exactly what I need! :)

  254. Nezlo
    July 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Not gonna enter, don't have any use for it but good luck to the others!

  255. Jerick Dilla
    July 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    This is one awesome invention. I'm a college student and this would suffice ;D

  256. harry edel
    July 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Looks beautiful. Please let me win!

  257. Glenn Schulz
    July 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I'd love to win this to give to my son who's pursuiing his degree in IT

  258. Neil Phillips
    July 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Sounds like a great product!

  259. wraith808
    July 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I've been looking at this for a while- I was very impressed with the pen when I played with it at Best Buy.

  260. Phill Johnson
    July 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I bet in the future every one will have one of these.

  261. Phill Johnson
    July 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    This pen is a great inovation.

  262. Evan Spangler
    July 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    My 8th Grade Math teacher had one of these and a Smart Board, so she really didn't use it that much. I am going into high school this year, and this would be perfect. I have Disgraphia and mild Asbergers's Syndrome, meaning my handwriting stinks and I can't focus on two things at once (i.e. taking notes and paying attention). This woud really help me.

  263. Brandon Doyle
    July 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    That's pretty cool. I wish I had one when I was in school writing furiously to keep up with lectures...

  264. Linda Prescott
    July 31, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I wonder if after I use it I would not go back and read(listen) to the notes.. but Id love to try it!

    • Trey Mahon
      August 1, 2012 at 2:29 am

      Its nice because if you are reading your notes and can't remember what something means, you just press the pen to it and it starts playing what was being said when you were writing it.

  265. kaushmc
    July 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

    its cool......

  266. Anandu B Ajith
    July 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Nice PEn I Love It

  267. Anandu B Ajith
    July 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Nice Pen

  268. David Dew
    July 31, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I really need this at the moment for school. The only beef I have with this pen is the need for the dot paper to function properly. Other than that it well awesome!

  269. lazyrivr
    July 31, 2012 at 8:04 am

    The biggest complaint people have with this product is the need for the dot paper. However, you can print your own paper! At they say you can use the software to print out the paper on any color printer that has 600dpi resolution or better. They also have a few threads in their support section on the topic at

    • Trey Mahon
      August 1, 2012 at 2:27 am

      You beat me to it! I was going to say the same thing, I have one of these pens and print my own paper for it. The print-your-own paper works just as good for me...

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 1, 2012 at 5:32 am

      Thanks! I was sure I mentioned this option in the review, must have forgotten to.

  270. Va Du
    July 31, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I wished I had these when I was in school since I wasn't able to use laptops. It would have been so cool. I wonder how practical they are in the end. I would have to really retrain my brain to learn how to use it efficiently.

  271. Kelly Buchanan
    July 31, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I could really makeuseof this pen! Thanks for the opportunity!

    • Puneet Aggarwal
      August 3, 2012 at 4:29 am

      Actually,I want this pen
      but does not have money to buy it

  272. Achraf Almouloudi
    July 31, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Amazing unit any student and geek like me would love to get, but I wonder if we copy the dot paper using a color printer would these work or not, can you please try it .

  273. Suman Acharya
    July 31, 2012 at 1:44 am

    in dire need of this!

  274. Joe Johaneman
    July 31, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I'd love to have one of these. I start college soon!

  275. Benjamin Lee
    July 31, 2012 at 12:21 am

    This could be very useful!

  276. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    July 31, 2012 at 12:16 am

    A great smartpen to be win.

  277. Mishaal
    July 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    i love it

  278. Mishaal
    July 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    i like its smartness:)

  279. Ron Morrow
    July 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Awesome, looks like it could be very useful...especially for school. But also looks like it would just be incredible to play with lol.

  280. Kylee Kanavas
    July 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I have been wanting one ever since it came out. Thanks for reading my mind makeusof.

  281. Rigoberto Garcia
    July 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Great, I need one... Thanks MakeUseOf

  282. Vanja Gorgiev
    July 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    a dream for a student !! :O fingers crossed !!

  283. Salman Khan
    July 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    give me one please . amazing stuff.

  284. Yang Yang Li
    July 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Thank you MakeUseOf for allowing an entry into this contest using the legacy giveaway form. After 5 tries, I managed to guess the give away code which I have always enjoyed doing.

    This was a great review highlighting some of the features of the Livescribe pen. The computer interface looked clean from the pictures.

    While this pen would make a neat gift for someone, I would not spend my own money to purchase it. The reason is because the pen needs special dot paper to function. Unless one thinks $5 notebooks are cheap, the dot paper is quite expensive. For a gadget that costs over $100, there should be no additional out of pocket costs associated with using it.

    My beef is with products requiring additional investments after purchase. In the case of this pen, every time I use it on a page of the notebook, the thought of spending money on additional notebooks would be at the forefront of my mind. What I am trying to say is there should not be a cost associated with using this pen.

    • Matt
      July 31, 2012 at 6:10 am

      Your comment ignores the reality of owning well, anything. The same line of argument can be used to dissuade someone from buying a car because they have to pay for gas, or from owning a computer because they have to pay for electricity. Products have associated costs; that is not a reason to not use a product.

      • Kevin Fegan
        July 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm

        @Matt, I agree with you, completely.

        Consider that this product is a "Time saver". Most physical products that are considered "Time savers" have ongoing costs. For example, you buy a "Day-Timer" or similar calender, and you have to buy refills for it.

        Suppose after writing 5 pages including audio. It could take you a couple of hours to get the pages and audio into digital form and to cut/paste/edit the audio to get each audio piece synced with each written page. And even then, you wouldn't have all the functionality of this product. It does seem like a good investment for a $5.00 notebook (100 pages per notebook) to save you hours or days of work.

        Also to consider, is the fact that if you were doing this manually (without this product), you would have to buy "regular" notebooks which would cost at least a $2-$3 dollars or more for good quality 100 page divided notebook. So, the additional cost for the dot-paper notebooks is only $2-$3 or less, each.

        I would hope, that in the future (or perhaps already), there would be an accessory available that would allow you to lay a regular piece of paper on-top of it (something like a "clipboard"), and then use the SmartPen on the regular paper.

        • Yang Yang Li
          August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

          After paying more attention in store, I see what you wrote is correct. High quality note books do cost between 2 and 3 dollars. I never buy high quality note books because the cheapest note books work. If the paper does not fall apart when I am writing on it then everything is good. As you can see, my standard for paper is not that high. I am used to buying 5 cent note books by the dozen. I hope you can understand the reason I think 5 dollar note books are expensive.

      • Yang Yang Li
        August 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

        I should have been more specific about what my beef was with.

        Proprietary technology.

        It is reality that companies make special shaped connecter plugs, battery packs, and attachments just to create a niche market for themselves. I hate this not only because it requires me to spend extra money but also because it destroys my streamlined workflow. Say I am taking photographs with a Sony when I run out of memory. On hand, I have a 64GB SD card that all other cameras are capable of using, EXCEPT the Sony. Instead, I am forced to pull out my 8GB MemoryPro Sony card that cost as much as my 64GB one.
        Also, uploading pictures to my computer with the proprietary technology barrier is fustrating. Instead of using standard miniUSB slots, each of my cameras have different connector plugs. So what could have just been one cord is multiplied into five. No, I do not have 5 different brands of cameras. Each of my 3 Nikons all use DIFFERENT plugs.

        I realize most all products have costs associated with using them. But most products should be like cars and computers. You only have to pay for the thing that keeps them running. In those cases, gas and electricity. For your computer, do you write your data on a disk and buy a new one every time you run out of space? No, the magic of computer hard drives is they are rewrittable. Paper on the other hand is not.

        How hard would it have been to make a pen that does not require proprietary technology? One that works on all paper.

    • Jerry Sipple
      July 31, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      As far as having to purchase the dot paper from the company, that is by FAR not the only way. There are several sources on the web where you can download high quality pdf's and print your own on regular paper on a laser printer, (not sure about using on a inkjet). I have been doing this for over two years with no issues at all. I use the Smartpen all the time for client meetings & seminars. I love it!

      • Rick Harris
        July 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm

        Jerry: can you reveal your web sources for these pdf's? Or at least search key words? Thanks in advance.

    • Henry Lahman
      July 31, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Then buy a 200-300 dollar model that works with regular paper like the wacom or logitech mentioned at the beginning of the article

    • Rick Harris
      July 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      In addition to Matt's and Kevin's comments, the pen's software allows you to print your own dot-paper notebooks (assuming you have access to a printer with decent resolution). My understanding is that the Livescribe folks anticipated this objection and they did not want the cost of consumables to be an obstacle to purchasing the pen. Although not free (still have to purchase the paper and the ink/toner to print with), this solution is virtually the same cost as being able to use regular 'ol paper... (And, from experience, works quite well.)

      • Yang Yang Li
        August 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        If the software is able to print dot paper, MakeUseOf should have mentioned it in the review. That one thing changes EVERYTHING about how I view this pen. Instead of being a 100 pen, this gadget is an ultimate note taking device. I have looked into purchasing one of these before but did not. Now it is starting to look attractively useful. It would be great to win this. Thanks Rick and everyone else for clearing this up!

        • Rick Harris
          August 2, 2012 at 12:25 am

          You're welcome, and I have to reiterate that I am very pleased with my Echo, and it is definitely worth the cost. And this is in the context of really not using it all that much on a day-to-day basis. I have pretty specific and narrow field of use for it, but when I do, it's become almost indispensable. If Livescribe would give me the option of a roller-ball refill and the ability to create custom forms and templates using the printable dot paper (see my posted comment elsewhere about this) my usage would likely increase by 1000% or more, as it would become a daily use device for me. It would be hard for me to give up the aesthetic pleasure of my collection of rather nice writing tools, but the advantages would be undeniable and I think I could learn to live with the plastic housing and somewhat unbalanced feel... Best to you, and if you get one I hope it's as useful to you as it has been to me. -R

  285. Tibor Szentmarjay
    July 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    typical gadget :)

  286. Brian Pearson
    July 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Type your comment here.

    • misha511
      July 31, 2012 at 2:51 am

      Your comment

  287. Ilya Svyatko
    July 30, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Cool one

  288. Cristina Torrão
    July 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I see an extreme studying tool!! gosh... taking notes would be the coolest!

    • fizzbin88
      August 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Note taking seems to be getting easier ! You still need to read the results, though ! Watch out for information overload !!!

  289. vineedcool
    July 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    cool gadget

  290. Wezley Duggan
    July 30, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    this looks pretty awesome! wish i had one... just dont like the idea of special paper:(

    • Henry Lahman
      July 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      supposedly if you have a really good printer you can print your own

    • achyut
      August 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      well at least its cheap enough, $20 for 4 notebooks

  291. Mila Kun
    July 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Great! I hope it does work!

  292. Yudono
    July 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    neat gadgets :D.. love it

  293. Sambit Acharya
    July 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm


  294. Andrei Anikin
    July 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    fingers crossed! thanks guys!

  295. sabih
    July 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Hah I have entered and I see this as a great giveaway. Thank you!

  296. Muhammad Ahmad
    July 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I really need this. Hope to win.

    • Mistry_Land
      August 1, 2012 at 5:49 am too;D

      • Muz Rileks
        August 2, 2012 at 1:18 am

        Ye hope i can get it

        • Cristian Lucian
          August 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

          i just need some points:)

        • dnyaneshmankar
          August 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          Haha, nice one!

        • Michael Scott
          August 6, 2012 at 6:00 am

          I need points too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      same here

    • Dorfmeister Vazquez
      August 10, 2012 at 2:47 am

      yeah, reply for reply .. welcome points

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