While we don’t underestimate the traditional tactile feeling of jotting down key notes on paper, writing is way better and more fun with the convenience of the latest innovations.
And what is more satisfying than creating content on paper knowing that you are generating a digital version of it in the background? It’s killing two birds with one stone; and that’s exactly what smartpens do.
These pens have built-in infrared cameras that capture whatever you create manually on paper and transform it into a digital form that you can transfer to your gadget for editing, sharing, and better storage.
They look like the traditional pens, but the amount of engineering and convenience they pack is on another level. Now, smart pens work in different ways. Some record whatever they write in their internal storage while others work with special paper or device to capture the information.
With all that said, what smartpen should you choose? Fret no more! We will be guiding you through making the right decision. Read through our comprehensive product reviews to know the product you should buy.
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9 Best Smart Pens
#1 Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen
Our number one pen on the list packs plenty of fantastic features, and that’s why it makes one of the top-rated units in the industry. This digital pen features a camera at the tip. The cam captures whatever you write or draw on the paper.
The model also has a built-in microphone for recording audio. Hence, other than just availing the digital text of what you wrote, this smartpen will let you hear the exact words of the speaker when you were writing down each point.
The pen works with a special paper with unique microdots. The tiny dots function like a GPS. In other words, they let the pen know where it is recording each point and audio within the notebook. That said, you can listen to the audio of any point by just tapping on the exact note on the Livescribe dot paper.
To capture every detail, a pen needs to have somewhere to record. That’s why this pen comes with large storage of 2GB. With this amount of space, you have enough room for over 200 hours of audio or more than a thousand pages of notes.
The unit allows you to upload your text and drawings to your PC through the micro-USB cable. The free Livescribe desktop application lets you search for specific words in your notes easily. You will also appreciate that the application will let you print your own paper on most printers.
#2 NEO SMARTPEN N2 Bluetooth Digital Pen
The Neo Smartpen N2 is another great version you can opt for in case you are looking for a unit that will digitize everything you put on paper. Like most smartpens, this unit uses a built-in camera to capture texts and drawings and convert them to a digital form that you can synchronize with your device via the Neo Notes app.
We like that the companion app for this smartpen works with different types of devices. You can install it on Android, iOS, PC, Tablets, and others. Other than storing your notes, the Notes app will also allow you to share them with Google Drive, One note, Creative cloud, and more.
It has an internal memory of 90 MB. While we may not compare this space to the 2GB of the Livescribe Smartpen, we still find it adequate given that the pen doesn’t record audio like the predecessor.
The digital piece packs a Dual-core ARM9 processor that captures over 120 FPS along with 256 steps of pressure. Hence, the Neo Smartpen N2 won’t fall behind no matter how fast you make notes on the special Ncode paper.
The pen has a metal body and is very attractive. Also, unlike some pens that feel overly large when using, this model is pretty sleek and will offer a nice grip for hours of amazing user experience.
#3 NEWYES Smartpen (Syncpen 1.0), GreyNo products found.
This digital pen also has an internal camera and lens to record the exact position of whatever you write or draw. The advanced Bluetooth 4.2 lets you transfer all data efficiently, easily, and without losing any content.
The pen has an internal memory of 32 MB, enough to allow use for over 800 pages of A5 content. It also has a high-quality battery that will power it up to give you up to eight hours of note-taking.
After running out, the long-lasting battery will only take about 1.5 hours to recharge. Therefore, with the Newyes Smartpen, you will have more hours of note-taking and only a short moment of leaving it on the charger.
The smartpen works with the NEWYES Note App. The application accurately transforms your handwritten notes into a digital text that you can edit easily. The software also provides a quick way to locate keywords, share the notes to your friends on favorite social platforms, and more.
Unlike some Apps that will only support a few devices, the NEWYES Note App has great compatibility. It will work with Android 5.0 or higher and iOS 9.0 and above. The package includes everything you need to put the unit to use right off the bat.
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#4 Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Pen
Whether you are a student or a professional in any field, a pen and notebook need to be in your everyday carry (EDC) bag. Now, the Moleskin Pen+ has everything (if not more) of what you would want in a pen.
It’s a smartpen, so it will reliably transform whatever you write on the provided notebook to digital form for organizing, sharing, and proper storage. It works with the high-compatibility Moleskins notes app to facilitate quick searching of text and other operations.
Encode technology also comes on board to improve the level of convenience that the pen can offer. In fact, the technology facilitates the real-time transfer of content from the notebook to the connected device.
Moreover, we love the multimedia function. With this feature, you can record audio explaining your points in detail and sync it with your notes; there are now no chances of you or your colleagues misinterpreting whatever you record.
The package includes the Pen+ smartpen, a USB cable, an ink refill, and a stater journal. Although the battery will provide several hours of serious notes taking, it may not support use for many hours of serious writing.
#5 Neo Smartpen M1 Bluetooth Digital PenNo products found.
Enjoy digital convenience without sacrificing the magical feeling of scribbling your idea on a physical paper. The Neo Smartpen M1 version will create an instant digital copy of your handwritten text for quick editing, sharing, storage, and more.
Like the earlier sibling, this pen has a reliable camera that will capture and transfer every pen stroke to the companion app. In case you don’t need the real-time transmission of data, you still have the option of transferring the data at your convenient time since the pen has some decent amount of space.
The pen has a slim body that fits perfectly in almost all hand sizes. The durable but lightweight construction will remain comfortable in your hand even with many hours of serious note-taking.
The Neo Notes App has a recognition feature that adds on to what you can do to your text or drawing. For instance, it provides an easy and quick way of searching for specific keywords within your whole data.
Other activities you can perform using the App include editing, auto-saving, uploading your notes on several cloud platforms, and sharing your ideas with your distant friends or co-workers.
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#6 Neo Smartpen M1+No products found.
Although we already have several suggestions from NeoLab, the sixth option on the list also comes from this manufacturer. Like all the previous siblings, this pen will hardly disappoint when it comes to digitizing your text or drawing.
The unit has an optical sensor that records every stroke you make on the special Ncode paper before transferring it to the Neo Notes App on your device for further operation.
Like the predecessor, this pen comes with enough storage space of its own. Therefore, you don’t have to always have your smartphone or tablet near you when using this high-quality digital pen.
The Neo Notes app allows you to download up to 15 languages. The transcribe feature lets you convert your digital text into any of your downloaded languages in the text color of your preference without having to make a separate copy for every language. Another amazing feature about the app is that you can highlight the most important points as you would to a hard copy using a text marker.
The battery is very durable compared to those of most models within the same price range. The pen turns on automatically once you open the cap for instant use. After using, it will turn off once you close the cap to extend the battery life.
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#7 Livescribe 3 Smartpen Pro Edition
This smartpen is one of the few models designed with rigorous attention to detail. Therefore, it will give you the kind of experience you expect from a pen that is worthy of its caliber and class.
The unit links with the Livescribe+ app on your tablet or smartphone through Bluetooth Smart wireless technology. The advanced wireless technology transfers data smoothly with amazing accuracy without sacrificing battery efficiency.
In fact, with the battery life of up to 14 hours with continuous use, this pen is an ideal option for people who always want to express their ideas on paper. The companion app converts your handwritten text to a more useful format that will allow you to search, share, and edit information easily.
Unlike some pens that will only link to a single device at a time, the Livescribe 3 Smartpen Pro Edition will work with up to four Android phones or iOS gadgets at once. That said, you can connect it with your device and those of your colleagues to let them see what you are jotting down in real-time.
Once you pair the pen with the App on your device the first time, the piece will automatically link with your accessory every time you open the companion App. And with all that said, it’s clear that this smartpen comes with user convenience in mind.
#8 Wacom CDS810G Folio Smartpad Digital NotebookNo products found.
The Wacom CDS810G consists of a smartpad and a smartpen. The note-taking device works just like the pen and paper you’ve been using for years, only that it lets you digitize everything thereafter in a simple click of a button.
Unlike some models that need to use a special paper to take notes, you can use any paper in this case to capture your ideas and drawings. Hence, with the Wacom CDS810G, you don’t have to worry about running out of paper when you most need it.
You still have to use the smartpen at all times, though, since the smartpad can’t support use with any other model. In this case, you only need to charge the smartpad and not the pen. And with a single charge lasting for about eight hours, Wacom CDS810G makes an ideal option for those long business meetings.
For those using a note-taking device of this caliber for the first time, they will like how fast it pairs with Bluetooth-enabled Android smartphone or iOS. After writing everything, the device lets you save it on the free Wacom Inkspace App by tapping a button.
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#9 Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
For those that don’t want to spend time and money looking for a special type of paper to work with their smartpens, the Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook is one of the models they should consider to buy.
The unit offers 32 pages, way less than what you get in some models. However, the exciting part about these pages is that they are re-usable. I mean, once you transfer your information to your device, you can wipe the page clean using a damp cloth for a fresh start.
The notebook allows you to scan everything you write on the page to the Rocketbook App on your Android or iOS. Using the App, you can transfer the files to Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud, Google Drive, E-mail, and other cloud-based storage.
The onboard Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology takes your note-taking convenience to another level. I mean, using this technology, you can perform a smart search, email transcription, and other many activities.
The notebook comes in two sizes; executive and letter-size versions. You can also choose the color of the cover from the available eight varieties depending on the one that best matches your preference.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a smartpen used for?
A smartpen lets you create a digital version of what you are writing using a pen and paper. They allow you to edit, organize, and present your handwritten text in a digital form that you can share with your distant colleagues.
What is the market’s top-rated smartpen?
It’s unfair and potentially misleading to single out one model as the best in the market. Each smartpen has its own strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness. Thus, it’s up to you to evaluate the suggested models to see the one that seems to work best for your needs.
Do smartpens need special paper?
It will depend on the model. Some smartpen will only work with a special type of paper. However, other models will support use with any paper. Hence, before you buy one, check whether you will always have to use it with special paper or any type.
What’s the difference between a smartpen and a digital pen?
Smartpens are at times referred to as digital pens. Therefore, there is no difference between the two names since they all refer to the same thing.
What is the difference between a stylus and a digital pen?
A digital pen contains an infrared camera and other internal electronics such as microphones, internal storage, and more. These pens allow you to write on paper before moving the information to your gadget. However, the stylus will only work on the screen of the parent device.
As the shift to the digital realm continues, we are waking up to new ways of doing things. However, some times we want to reap the benefits from the two realms. Now, a smartpen will bridge the gap between analog and digital when it comes to note-taking. And like any other device, the model you pick will define your note-taking experience.
Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API