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Livescribe Sky 4GB Wi-Fi Smartpen

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It's a kind of magic

For any student, journalist or other semi-professional note-taker, a pen allowing you to to jot things down while recording audio is a blessing. If it can record your every pen stroke as well, then you're on to something special. However, this is all a bit too normal for Livescribe, which long ago mastered such tricks. But as the world moves on, everything needs to be connected, and for Livescribe that means another step forward, and the Sky Wi-Fi smartpen.

Livescribe Sky 4GB Wi-Fi Smartpen

Livescribe Sky 4GB Wi-Fi Smartpen

In this day and age, what would be really useful is if a pen could connect to Wi-Fi and then store all of your notes, audio and pen-stroke data online for later access. That's exactly what the Sky does through partnership with the brilliant Evernote. Using Livescribe's technological sorcery, you can set up the Sky with the commands found in the front and back covers of the included Dot Paper Notepad. Set up time, date, LED orientation and locale, and then use them to scan for Wi-Fi signals.

For any student, journalist or other semi-professional note-taker, a pen allowing you to to jot things down while recording audio is a blessing.

For any student, journalist or other semi-professional note-taker, a pen allowing you to to jot things down while recording audio is a blessing.

Once that's done and you're connected, www.livescribe.com/setup will ask you to create an account or sign in. You'll also need to create an Evernote account if you don't have one. Once you've entered the code displayed on your pen (and clicked through a couple of other easy steps) your Sky smartpen will be linked to Evernote and ready to roll. Livescribe does a good job of guiding you through the setup, and it's so straightforward it seems as though there's something missing. That might actually be Livescribe's desktop software - so integral to previous smartpens, it's unnecessary now: Your Sky has applications that are self-contained, and everything else is sent to Evernote.

It's the perfect partnership really. Evernote is available on any internet-connected computer, and Android, iOS and even Windows Phone devices. It's pretty much leading the way in cloud-based note storage, and as Livescribe is leading the way in smartpens, the partnership makes nothing but sense. Indeed, the only things that can mar the setup are technical issues. I experienced a couple when I realised my first recordings and scribbles weren't actually synchronising with Evernote at all. However, I had my sample early and I'm led to believe the kinks were still being ironed out. A couple of firmware updates seemed to prove that.

Livescribe offers the Sky in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions, each equating to 200, 400 and 800 hours of audio storage (and thousands of pages of notes) respectively.

Livescribe offers the Sky in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions, each equating to 200, 400 and 800 hours of audio storage (and thousands of pages of notes) respectively.

Livescribe offers the Sky in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions, each equating to 200, 400 and 800 hours of audio storage (and thousands of pages of notes) respectively. Prices range from $169 to $249, and the review model was the 4GB version, costing $199 (appx £124). I'd think this would be more than enough for most users, although if you can afford the 8GB it comes with a portfolio case and a one-year premium Evernote subscription. I'm not sure those justify the added cost, but I can genuinely see the value in spending a little less for the smaller siblings.

You don't get loads of added extras - a notepad, two sets of command stickers, the usual pen caps, a USB charging cable and a spare pen refill - but you do get the ability to store notes, audio and every pen stroke for access from pretty much everywhere you could need them. Plus, of course, a well-designed and put together smartpen.

So my thoughts in all are this: the best kind of technology works as if by some weird magic. Livescribe makes a habit of this, and in partnering with Evernote has done so again. mm Kevin Pocock

Details

·         Price: $199 (appx £124)

·         Manufacturer: Livescribe

·         Website: www.livescribe.com

·         Required spec: Wi-Fi connection, USB port for charging, Evernote account (for synchronised notes)

·         Quality: 8

·         Value: 7

·         Overall: 8

 

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