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livescribe sky wifi smartpen reviewA few months ago, I took a close look at Livescribe’s Echo Smartpen Livescribe Echo Smartpen Review And Giveaway Livescribe Echo Smartpen Review And Giveaway 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... Read More , and was very impressed. In case you forgot, the Echo Smartpen is a handy gadget that lets you easily combine written notes and audio, and sync them together onto your computer via a USB cable. Livescribe’s Smartpens are equipped with a small infrared camera, and when used on special dot paper, they instantly scan everything you write, sketch or draw. The pen synchronizes recorded audio with text to create pencasts, which make accessing your notes and recordings very convenient.

Having liked the Echo Smartpen so much, I couldn’t imagine how it could get any better, so when Livescribe released the Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen I had to check it out. On paper, the Sky Smartpen should be everything the Echo was, but with the added bonus of wireless syncing. What could go wrong?

We went ahead and bought a 4GB Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen to find exactly how it shapes up compared to its younger sibling. And if that’s not awesome enough, we’re also giving away this $200 Wi-Fi Smartpen to one lucky reader! Curious what the Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen is like? Want to find out how you can win it? Keep on reading.


livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

Do you often need to take notes and record lectures? Do you struggle to keep up with long meetings, where both listening and writing are just as important? These are situations where Livescribe Smartpens can come in very handy. All you have to do is write down your notes on special dot paper while recording the audio, and the pen will do the rest for you. This is, at least, what Livescribe promises.

Livescribe’s pens are pretty unique in the market. While some competitors such as the Wacom Inkling, the Logitech io2 and the A4 apen do exist, none of them are exactly like the pens Livescribe offers. The A4 apen does come close, providing wireless syncing for notes, but it only work with the iPad, and doesn’t record audio.

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The Livescribe Sky has two younger siblings: The Livescribe Pulse, the oldest version, is still available on Amazon in its 2GB model for $159. The Pulse is no longer available on the Livescribe website, but the newer model, the Livescribe Echo, still is. The pen I reviewed 6 months ago is currently offered only in a 2GB model on the Livescribe website ($120), but you can find the 4GB ($140) and the 8GB ($156) models on Amazon.

It’s worth mentioning that if you live in the UK, you might not be able to get the Livescribe Sky at all, as its been pulled from the shelves following a trademark rights lawsuit by British Sky Broadcasting.

In this review, I’m going to focus mainly of the features that differentiate the Sky from the Echo. For a more in-depth review of some of the other Smartpen features, I highly recommend reading the Livescribe Echo review Livescribe Echo Smartpen Review And Giveaway Livescribe Echo Smartpen Review And Giveaway 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... Read More .

What’s In The Box?

livescribe sky smartpen review

The Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen’s box is identical to the Echo’s, and is similarly easy to open. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to get started with the Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen. Well, almost. The package includes the pen itself, a micro USB cable which you will need in order to get started (despite the wireless capabilities), two pen caps, one extra ink cartridge, a dot-paper notebook, two sheets of extra printed-controls stickers, a Sky “Basics” manual in five different languages, and a Quick Start sheet, which pretty much tells you to go online to find everything you need.

livescribe sky smartpen review

When it comes to looks, the Sky is almost identical to the Echo, the only difference being the color of the bottom part of the pen. Like the Echo, the Sky has just one button – the power button. Everything else is done by tapping printed controls on the dot paper with the pen’s tip. On the backside of the pen, you’ll find a mini-USB port and a regular headphones jack.

livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

Unlike the Echo Smartpen, The Sky doesn’t come with or even work with Livescribe Connect and Livescribe Desktop. Instead, the Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen works solely with Evernote, and when you activate your pen, you’ll receive 500MB of extra Evernote storage. If you go for the 8GB model, you’ll get a free one-year subscription to Evernote Premium.

Setting Up Your Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

I did not have to go very far to get somewhat disillusioned by the Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen. I unboxed the Sky on the same day I planned on using it to record an interview, but to my surprise, it was far from being ready to use. While the pen did come with a charged battery, when I turned it on it told me it needed to be activated first. The Quick Start sheet pointed me to to get started, and off I went.

The first thing you have to do is create a Livescribe account. That’s reasonable enough. Next, you have to link your Smartpen with your Evernote account. As I’ve already mentioned, the Sky works only with Evernote, and there’s no other way to sync your notes and recordings. Still, it’s unclear why you can’t even start playing with your pen before linking the accounts.

livescribe sky review

Once the accounts are linked, it’s time to activate your pen. Enter the code you see on the pen’s screen into the right field, and name your pen (this is where you hope you can de-activate it later, so you can send it off to your giveaway winner).

livescribe sky review

Think you’re done now? Not by a long shot. It’s now time to connect your Smartpen to your computer, so it can install drivers and update the pen’s firmware. You will be prompted to download Livescribe Helper, which, according to Livescribe, you need in order to get the updates and for non Wi-Fi syncing (remember this part). The software has to recognize the Smartpen before you can even get started, so be prepared to wait quite a while for Windows to install drivers, etc. before the software does anything for you.

livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

Once it finally starts working, it commences to update the pen. You’ll be looking at the window you can see in the screenshot above for quite a while before you realize you actually need to click the “Install” button (doh!), and then quite a while again while the lengthy updating process is underway. And I mean lengthy, especially if you lose patience and walk away, only to come back and find an “error in upgrading” message, and have to start all over again.

All in all, it took me well over an hour to even start using my Smartpen – a striking difference from the Echo – and when I connected it again several weeks later, the whole thing happened all over again.

Finally, I can start using the pen! But how? One thing I sorely missed upon opening the Sky’s box is the interactive Getting Started manual that came with the Echo. This guide showed you exactly what your Smartpen can do, and walked you through several demos of its capabilities. It also showed you exactly how to set up the Smartpen’s time and date, and everything else you needed in order to get started. With the Sky, it’s as if Livescribe assumed you already know how to use it, and therefore included only very scant instructions, which mentioned nothing about how you’re supposed to connect your Smartpen to your wireless network, and or set up the time and date.

livescribe sky review

After racking my brain to try to remember how to use the pen, I accessed the main menu and started trying. It took me several minutes, and a trip online, to finally discover that all the buttons I need are in the included dot-paper notebook. To set up your Wi-Fi, tap the “Scan for Networks” icon with your pen, use the arrow symbols to find your network and then tap the checkmark to select it. You can use the provided keyboard to input your password. Once it’s set up, the pen will remember your network, and will connect to it automatically every time you’re in range.

If you look at the end of the notebook, you’ll find a small “Time & Date Settings” button set, next to the calculator. Use it to set up your pen’s time and date.

Using The Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

Using the Sky is really easy. Simply open your dot-paper notebook, and look for the playback controls at the bottom. Tap the record button with your pen, and start writing and sketching as you would normally do.

sky smartpen review

As you write, the pen will record any audio around you, as well as the notes themselves, and will combine them into a pencast – a file which includes both your notes and the audio. When you’re done, tap the stop button. You can now use the pen to tap anywhere on your notes to listen to the corresponding audio. With the playback controls, you can jump backward or forwards, pause the playback, control the volume and more. The Sky will automatically sync your notes to Evernote every time you hit the stop button.

Aside from simple note-taking and recording, the pen comes with several cool tricks, such as a calculator app that lets you write a simple equation and get an immediate result on the screen; a translation demo that translates simple words into Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Swedish, and the coolest one: a simple piano you can draw yourself and then play.

You can quickly launch apps and commands by drawing a launch line and writing on top of it, or by drawing a plus sign and tapping its center to launch the menu. Once the menu is launched, you can either explore it using the arrows, or start writing a name of an app to launch it.

sky smartpen review

In lieu of the cool Getting Started guide, which really gets you going easily, you can visit the Sky support website for a short video and some tips, and the online help for any other questions you have.

On the more technical side, the pen’s battery life is pretty good, and after charging it for around 2 hours, my battery was still 2/3 full a month later, after using it to record about 2.5 hours of audio, and after playing with it for several hours more. Obviously, if you remember to turn off Wi-Fi, the battery will last longer.

In addition, the Sky’s microphone is very sensitive – you don’t have to talk into it to get a clear recording – and playback is good even when the speaker is on the other side of the room. You can play with both audio quality and microphone sensitivity to get the best results for your scenario, but Livescribe does state that the pen is not ideal for huge lecture halls, and recommends that you buy its 3-D recording headset for an additional $20 if you want to get good results.

Syncing Your Notes & Audio To Evernote

There’s nothing much to the syncing process, really, since it’s all done via Wi-Fi. Or so I thought when I returned from a 2.5-hours long interview, and wanted to listen to my recordings. Despite claiming to sync for quite a long time, when I opened my Evernote notebooks, the recordings were nowhere in sight. It did manage to sync three short recordings I made earlier, but there was no sign of the larger ones.

livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

Thinking it might take time to sync such long recordings, I gave the pen several days in which I kept telling it to sync, and kept checking my Evernote account. Nothing. Frustrated, I ended up plugging my earphones into the pen, and listened to my recordings this way, controlling the playback by tapping the notebook controls. This experience wasn’t perfect either, and I encountered several playback bugs, and at one point the pen even spontaneously rebooted itself. Today, almost a month later, when I took out the pen again and recorded some additional audio, it finally decided to sync everything, and for the first time I can access those month-old interviews on Evernote.

You must be wondering why I didn’t just go for the non-wireless syncing promised when downloading Livescribe Helper? Believe me, I tried, but apparently, this feature isn’t available yet. My copy of Livescribe Helper did nothing but install updates (sometimes successfully), and open the “How to set up a wireless network” page in my browser.

Assuming and hoping you won’t hit the same glitch, accessing your synced notes is as easy as accessing any Evernote notebook. You’ll find your recordings and notes in a notebook bearing the pen’s name.

livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

The most brilliant part of working with Livescribe is the pencasts. When you open a pencast, you’ll see green notes for any part that includes audio. Clicking (or tapping, if you’re on a mobile device) the notes will launch Livescribe Player, and you’ll be able to click anywhere on your notes to listen to the corresponding audio while watching an animation of your writing and sketching process.

livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

When I first launched Livescribe Player on Firefox, which is my default browser, I saw this message:

livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

Thinking it’s just a meaningless disclaimer, I happily continued, only to find out they were actually serious. While the audio played just fine, nothing happened when I clicked the notes. So for Livescribe Player, I recommend Chrome or Safari.

So is this Evernote exclusivity a good or a bad thing? It’s a little bit of both. On the one hand, Evernote is a very popular service and works on multiple platforms. With your notes in Evernote, you can easily access them on your computer, your mobile device or your tablet without second thought. On the other hand, Syncing to Evernote was possible anyway, just not mandatory, and forcing users to use Evernote also forces them to accept the space limitations of the free account (+500MB), or go for a premium account, which could be inconvenient after purchasing a $200 Smartpen.

There seems to be some plan to allow sharing to Dropbox, Google Drive, Facebook and email in the future – these icons are included in the notebook and the sticker sheets – but if you actually tap them, all you get from the pen is a “Coming soon” message.

livescribe sky wifi smartpen review

Should You Buy The Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen?

If you’ve read my raving review of the Livescribe Echo, you know how much I loved the Smartpen concept and execution. I was really excited about the Livescribe Sky, which is why I was so disappointed when it failed to deliver perfectly. It started with the lack of any real instructions in the box, which first sent me to try things out for myself, and failing to do that, to online resources. The lack of a good Getting Started guide, as trivial as it seems, makes a big difference when it comes to a product like this. Is this feature not working right because there’s a bug, or am I not doing it exactly as I should? While the Echo Smartpen responded to everything I asked perfectly, the Sky did not, and I found myself struggling with it more than once, not sure whether I was doing something wrong, or if it’s just not working.

Were it just this issue it would not be so significant, of course, but on top of the much-too-long setup process, the audio-syncing issues, the lack of USB syncing and the Evernote exclusivity, I was left with bitter taste in my mouth. As much as I love the Livescribe concept, and as much as wireless syncing simplifies the process, if I were buying a pen right now, I would still go for the Echo. It’s somewhat cheaper, and in all honesty, it’s the better product of the two.

MakeUseOf recommends: buy the Livescribe Echo instead.

All that aside, the Sky is still a really useful tool for anyone who needs to record audio and take notes, and at $200 a piece, it’s not exactly a bargain. Here’s how you can win one for free!

How do I win the Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen?

This is an exclusive Twitter giveaway. MakeUseOf giveaways are open to readers worldwide. To join, follow these steps:

Step 1: Follow us on Twitter

Step 2: Retweet

Now, all you need to do is share a tweet about this giveaway that includes this link, a mention to @makeuseof and the hashtag #muoskypen. Or enter by pressing the Tweet button below.

You may submit as many entries/tweets as you like. The winner is chosen randomly.

The giveaway is over. Congratulations, Charline Williams!

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, March 15th. 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. Lance
    April 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    any update here?

    • Yaara Lancet
      April 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      A winner has been chosen about a week ago. Announced it on Twitter. I'll get it added to this page too, so everyone can see. :)

      • John Shuchart
        April 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Any response from Livescribe to your review? I have the Pulse and was going to get the wifi Sky, but not after reading your review. Have they fixed any of the bugs you encountered?

        • Yaara Lancet
          April 6, 2013 at 11:01 am

          Nope, I heard nothing. They did, however, enable wired sync since this review was written, I believe.

  2. Gicx
    March 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Who won in here?

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Will announce a winner very soon. :)

  3. Rustam Iminov
    March 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

    How many giveaways in March? when is the deadlines?

    • Yaara Lancet
      March 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Quite a few. :) Each giveaway has its own deadline, you can scroll all the way to the bottom of each post to see. All open giveaways can be easily found on in the featured posts section on top.

  4. Mary
    March 11, 2013 at 1:59 am

    I love it!

  5. Angela Mumm
    March 11, 2013 at 1:37 am

    i would love to win this for my son who is in college to become an IT Tech

  6. Mary
    March 6, 2013 at 1:21 am


  7. Shavonn
    March 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I'm in! :)

  8. bo kuva
    February 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    thanks for the great giveaway !

  9. Wulan Sari
    February 27, 2013 at 4:42 am

    hope me>.<

  10. Mary
    February 27, 2013 at 4:06 am

    This sounds so cool!

  11. Charles Yost
    February 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you for a great review! I could really use this to take notes in classes. I could have used this thing in college.

  12. Hans Anderson
    February 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    These are nice devices.It's a pity most of us in Africa can't have access to them.

  13. Horace Chung
    February 26, 2013 at 6:01 am

    I'll have to send a retweet once a day.

  14. Aaron Ashton
    February 23, 2013 at 6:05 am

    i have such bad handwriting this would just make me remember my failure...

  15. Duane Adam
    February 22, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Now, that is a very useful pen. Would be really useful for me as I prefer the old school way when writing down notes and ideas.

  16. Azhar Niaz
    February 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    thanks i wish i could win this amazing prize!

  17. EdmarJohn SanDiego
    February 20, 2013 at 4:23 am

    i really want that. though my hand writing is bad. its still very useful. hahaha

  18. Sande
    February 19, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Have some questions on your v interesting product:
    1. can you projects notes/drawings onto a computer screen in live time in meetings?
    2. what happens if you have 2 people collaborating on notes and or drawings (creative meetings). Do both remember the whole or just their piece, or would this mess the whole system up?
    Assuming you can do both of the above with ease, this would be an amazing product for remembering the whole of creative meetings instead of having to get whiteboard information into another format .... no?

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 19, 2013 at 5:49 am

      Those are interesting questions. I believe the LiveScribe is not really meant for those types of uses, but I might be wrong.

      As far as I know, there's no way to project your writings to a screen in real time. The dot paper you write on is not connected to anything -- it's just paper -- and the pen records your writing with a small camera placed on its tip, and it's not connected to anything either, so I don't see how it could project your writing.

      As for collaborative notes, I'm not sure what would happen if you write with two pens on the same piece of paper and record with both. I assume each pen will record only what you write with that pen, since it works with a camera. On the other hand, you can use the same pen and switch hands in turn, which could make for an interesting way to collaborate on notes.

  19. Pam
    February 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Interesting article, thanks guys. Would LOVE to win this!!! Here's to success and good luck to everyone.....

  20. Sande
    February 18, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Not sure if I'd spend the $200 but it's a really interesting product. Would like to try it out so thank you for having the contest. What are the best applications do you think?

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 19, 2013 at 5:35 am

      Well, as I also mentioned in the article, I think it's great for lectures and interviews, and also for important meetings you want to be able to go back to. It can be useful in any situation you want to record what's being said and take notes.

      Someone mentioned in the comments that they used to to learn a new language by writing a new word and having a local say it, and then go back to it, listen to the word and see it written. That's pretty brilliant.

  21. Adriana G
    February 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Following and Tweet:

    Amazing giveaway!

  22. Lela Lilko
    February 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    great prize!

  23. Stephanie Moore
    February 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    This is such a neat little gadget

  24. Dandy Putra
    February 18, 2013 at 3:39 am

    great giveaway., I hope to win

  25. Edward Bellair
    February 18, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Sounds like something to keep handy and use often.

  26. Mark B
    February 18, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Oh yes, I would really love one of these. I have tried out a number of them, the LiveScribe pens are the best ones.

  27. Anonymous
    February 17, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Holy lord, i wanna win this!!

  28. Stephanie Staker
    February 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Thank you for the review - you have convinced me that I do not want this PEN! :)

  29. Rajneesh
    February 17, 2013 at 6:34 am

    follwed u @rajneesh_garg

  30. Pam
    February 17, 2013 at 1:21 am

    I love my echo and would love to try the new pen. I used it while traveling to Ethiopia to help with language skills! I would write the word and have a native say it for me. I love going back to the files and hearing the words for pronunciation.

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 17, 2013 at 5:37 am

      That's an amazing way to use the pen! Haven't thought of that. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Amanda Nagle-Chicoine
    February 17, 2013 at 12:54 am

    After reading about Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi, it reminded me of a similar pen I bought over a year ago called Iris Pen Express 6. It came with a DVD software download and a pen-looking device connected to a USB cord. The whole thing sounded so awesome (especially when you have to research and write papers)- Once you inserted the USB to your computer, the claim was you could scan text, numbers and images into ANY application (word, pdf, etc.) and your notes would appear. So far it has not worked once! However, I just got it back out for the first time in a while and am headed to IRIS's website to have this out once and for all! (The pen was not cheap!!) I would LOVE to have a Livescribe Echo or Sky- I'm not picky and it would really come in handy- Thanks!!

  32. Rita Spratlen
    February 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    This is great! Tweeted and am sharing! Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. SaapeXD MoHods
    February 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    This pen is Awesome! Want! :D

  34. Anonymous
    February 15, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Great review, great giveaway

  35. Maryline Latorre
    February 15, 2013 at 8:23 am

    This pen makes me want to write!

  36. RizSid
    February 15, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Hope to get this beauty

  37. ervena
    February 15, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I really, really want one

  38. Catherine McCrum
    February 15, 2013 at 3:14 am

    Why a TWITTER exclusive giveaway?

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 16, 2013 at 7:44 am

      This giveaway is Twitter exclusive because we wanted to show appreciation to our awesome Twitter followers. If you're not one yet, you can easily become one. :)

      If you don't want to have a Twitter account, just wait for the next amazing giveaway. You can join most of them through any network.

  39. ferdinan Sitohang
    February 15, 2013 at 2:11 am


  40. Ajax Fox
    February 15, 2013 at 1:37 am

    @Jay Kurliak

    Little bit harsh that you think because someone want to buy tech that you may not like that it makes them "gullible or unaware".

    I think this device has potential, but yeah...little on the downside with the lack of features/instructions/limitations ect....Still seems to be a good product though.

  41. Kelly Buchanan
    February 15, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I'm hoping to win this!

  42. James West
    February 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I would love a pen like this. Would be perfect for work! This is clever tech!!

  43. Jaime Brown
    February 14, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I would love one of these pens for my hubby, thank you:)

  44. Kate Luella
    February 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    What a fantastic post, I was at a seminar just the other day with 2 people next to me using these kinds of pens, I was so jealous. When I asked them about it, it mostly went over my head! So I'm so pleased to have read this article, and clearly, for me, it's Livescribe Echo!! cheaper too...

    thanks again for such an honest and detailed post.
    :) Kate

  45. PaulandKandice Brown
    February 14, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Cool Giveaway

  46. Jenny Ham
    February 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm
  47. Nick
    February 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Very nice gadget - I hope win one...

  48. Mike
    February 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I've been following MakeUseOf for some time, and find the reviews really useful, as they are written in non-tech-speak, which at my age is as good as finding an article in the Beijing Chronicle written in English!

    However, you're not exactly endearing yourself to your followers when you exclude them from a giveaway just because they don't have a Twitter account.

    I'm afraid if this trend continues I will have no option but to buy a techspeak>English dictionary and get my helpful reviews from somewhere else!

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 16, 2013 at 7:39 am

      Hi Mike,

      I'm very glad you like MakeUseOf and our reviews, it's great to hear. :)

      As you know, you can enter the majority of our giveaways through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or by using reward points. Once every month or two, we hold a giveaway that's exclusive to Twitter in order to thank and appreciate our awesome Twitter followers.

      If you don't have a Twitter account, you can either skip these specific giveaways, or open one in a minute and enter.

      You can still join the vast majority of giveaways in other ways, if you wish. Good luck!

  49. michelann vendetti
    February 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I don't have time to get a twittering twitter accnt . and I really have been wanting / needing this for a very long time now. please enter me in the contest and I promise ill get a twitter later. thanx so much!

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 16, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Hi Michel Ann!

      In order to enter this giveaway you'll need a Twitter account and one single tweet (or more, as you wish). If you don't have one, opening one will take a minute, or you can use a friend's account (one who doesn't want to win the pen, of course :) )..

      Good luck!

  50. brian wall
    February 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    great review thanks kindly :D

  51. Ms Hanson
    February 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Great item for my photo journalism. Would spare me fiddling with the recorder while I'm taking specific notes for later. Like others, I hope they can work out the bugs.

  52. Janice Kyle
    February 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I hope I win I sure could use this in college. Thanks!

  53. Anita Lee
    February 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Very versatile pen and have to agree Livescribe has been around for a while and used by many special ed teachers to support student learning.

  54. Bniedem Malti
    February 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    @Jackson Chung:
    This time I cannot find the button to participate!
    Have you blocked Malta? Please help me out.

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      The button you need is the tweet button at the bottom of the article, but you don't have to use it. Simply tweet anything with the giveaway's link, a mention for @MakeUseOf and #muoskypen and you're in. It's all in the instructions. :)

  55. Richard Widener
    February 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Sounds like some of the issues have to do with early adoption and that they might work things out. It would be great to have it for some meetings I have coming up.

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      I agree, and I do hope to see these issues resolved. I absolutely loved the Livescribe Echo, which may have contributed to my disappointment in the Sky. It's still a brilliant product, though.

  56. Alan Burnstine
    February 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I would have killed to have one of these when I was in school. Still would be useful for meetings at work, but I am not sure it would be $200 useful... Hope I win though :)

  57. Anonymous
    February 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Some of the best and most useful information on the Internet comes from you. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  58. Jessica Lee
    February 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I hope I win it! I do a lot of note taking at important meetings and this will augment using the laptop. Sweet! pen

  59. Carolann Iadarola
    February 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Love Makeuseof! Thanks much!

  60. Kaycee Byron
    February 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Nice review. Thanks for the information.

  61. John Pavelko
    February 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I have learned how to take notes in outline form in grad school but so often I do not have access to my computer and must rely on pen and paper. This would be a handy alternative. If i do not when I man have to go out and buy one.

  62. Joyce
    February 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Returned the Sky because it is unable to connect to hidden wifi networks, thereby making it too insecure for my tastes. A ridiculous feature.

  63. Jay Kurliak
    February 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    When you can buy an app that records the audio of a meeting or lecture and synchronizes it with every word of your notes for as little as $5 (my favorite is SoundNote [ ] but YMMV), a device like this is for the gullible or unaware.

    No tablet? At $200 a pop, this device goes a long way toward justifying the cost of one.

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 16, 2013 at 7:43 am

      SoundNote seems like an interesting app, but it's completely different from a LiveScribe pen. If you type your notes on a tablet anyway, it's great, but if you still use pen and paper, or if you want to have the ability to sketch graphs etc. and still have it readily available on your computer with synchronized recording, you won't get that from SoundNote.

      If you found a solution that works for you, that's great, but let others find the solution that's best for them without calling them by unnecessary names. :)

      • Jay Kurliak
        February 16, 2013 at 8:53 am

        Fair enough, though I'd caution against having too thin of skin.

        The point is, when you compare a $5 expense to a $200 outlay, there had better be a totally compelling reason for the 40x differential. IMO there isn't.

        I also have and can use Pear Note for the equivalent functionality on my computer. Except I haven't found it compelling. Why would I do that, when using my tablet is equivalent to using a note pad? Indeed, it's better than a note pad, because I don't even need to remember to bring a writing implement, or worry about running out of ink or lead.

        Pear Note also has an iOS app, so the user can have a solution that synchronizes both with the user's tablet and the user's computer, as you seek. Since I never take my notes off my tablet, though, I've never purchased the app for synchronizing, and stuck with Sound Note.

        (With that, I bought and downloaded Pear Note for iOS anyway. Maybe I'll find manipulating notes I've created on my tablet or phone on my computer more useful than I thought. It only costs 5 bucks to find out, which is a tiny price if it enhances productivity.)

        For now, whichever route they go, I recommend that users save $195 and just buy the $5 app.

        • Yaara Lancet
          February 17, 2013 at 5:33 am

          Thanks for the suggestions! I think it really depends on personal preference more than anything else. Writing with a pen and writing on a tablet are very different.

          I must say, though, I haven't yet met a $195 iPad.:) You can get a Livescribe Echo for $150. The cheapest iPad you can get is over $300, that's quite a difference.

  64. Patricia Calvert
    February 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Didn't know anything about this pen before, but after reading---I like!!

  65. Sandy Cain
    February 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks for the great newsletter and chance to win!

  66. vineed gangadharan
    February 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    This gadget is amazing,,,wish i win it...

  67. Daniel Joshua
    February 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    You should seriously consider removing India to your countries list that are not applicable for MakeUseOf giveaway that includes Delivery of Prize through Courier etc., :P

    • Jackson Chung
      February 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Done! See, we listen :)

      • Âdil Farôôq
        February 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        What about Pakistan ??

        • Yaara Lancet
          February 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm

          No country is excluded, but some restrictions do apply. You can read more about it here:

        • Adam Basha
          February 15, 2013 at 2:34 am

          It is very unfair to remove India or any other Country out of
          giveaways. The Shipping may cost a little more but that
          does bring you more closer to all. Don't be partial.

        • Yaara Lancet
          February 16, 2013 at 7:23 am

          Adam, the thread is too long so I can't reply to your comment. Hopefully you'll see it here.

          Like I said to Adil, and as stated in the giveaway rules I linked to, no country is excluded anymore, and that includes India. :)

          Just so you know, were never removed a country because the shipping costs were higher, but because people has trouble actually getting their prizes. We're trying again now, with a new set of rules.

  68. Malkhaz Abuladze
    February 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    thank you

  69. sammy gumer
    February 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    how will u know our email from twitter? will you DM the winner on twitter?

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