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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen (APA-00002)

The Pulse smartpen records audio and links it what you write. Missed something? Tap on your notes or drawings with the tip of your Pulse smartpen to hear what was said while you were writing. The Pulse smartpen automatically captures everything as you write and draw. Transfer your notes to your computer, organize them, and even search for words within your notes. Find what you want in seconds.

What You Get:
The Pulse smartpen (1.3 ounces, anodized aluminum housing)
2 GB of memory (actual user available memory will be less)
Livescribe Desktop software (download)
3-D Recording Headset
100 sheet dot paper college-ruled notebook
USB mobile charging cradle
Smartpen case
3 black fine point ink cartridges + 1 stylus cartridge
Demo card and interactive stickers
Interactive Getting Started Guide

Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen (APA-00002)

Customer feedback;

1. Okay so what do I use it for? I take it to hearings and depositions (I am a lawyer, remember?). These are public events under Florida law and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.This is important since the pen doesn't just record the strokes of the pen, it records everything being said. And it records it very well. Here is the cool part, touch a word in your notes and you will hear whatever was happening at that time. My favorite demonstration to date is to touch a word from a contested trial where I got to ask a witness if he had ever told people that he spoke to the dead and that they spoke back to him. The guy nearly came across the table at me, a point also recorded. Now an aside to lawyers, law students and pro se litigants-do not ever ask someone this question unless you have an email from the witness attesting to his ability to commune with the formerly alive.
The recording capacity of this pen is astonishing. The manufacturer suggests that the 2GB pen will hold 200 hours of audio. I have no reason to doubt it, since constant use has barely tapped its capacity.
There are lots of other features in the pen. It is possible to draw a keyboard and play notes (musical notes) on it. My daughter, a music ed major, particularly enjoys this. There is even a cute animation demo built in whose 3-D sound as heard through the earbuds is astonishing and mildly amusing. So who could use this pen other than trial lawyers? Students seem to be a logical group. Perhaps physicians and nurses could use it. Did the patient really say he had a condition or did he say something else? Livescribe needs to produce industry specific paper for just such uses, or to allow outside vendors to create it.

2. I use it for work meetings constantly and it works great. Here are some pros and cons:
- Works well in meeting rooms and offices, even when a speakerphone is being used. Records all the discussion in the room. Includes an external speaker - microphone that plugs in for better audio quality.
- Can upload the pages directly to your PC and then word search the written text. It even prints as pdf file...
- Pen has a nice build and not too heavy but the pen cartridge moves and rattles a bit.
- Ink cartridges run out quickly although they provided replacements, including different colors.
- Read the manual, there are some quirks on the way it knows and handles the notebooks.
- I haven't tried it yet but you can print your own dot paper on a compatible printer.
- You can sometimes hear the pen noise while writing (using the installed microphone) but again you can plug in the external speaker/microphone supplied to avoid the noise.
- Got it as a gift from Costco and comes with 4 college ruled generously supplied dot paper notebooks.
- Had to update the software from the internet but couldn't do it from work since it was blocked by company network. Tried to get this corrected using Internet Explorer options but worked find from home Cable Network.
- Doesn't come with OCR software but Vision Objects sells myScribe it separately on the web for 29.00 and integrates directly with the Livescribe would think they would bundle this since it works so well. The OCR software dumps directly to MS Word.
- Livescribe pen software works OK but is a little limited. For example, you have to delete one session at a time from the pen. The interface is not intuitive so did I the manual.
- The pen is little buggy...lost its brain on date and time...had to reset a few times. Can update the firmware right from Livescribe so thats a nice feature.
- I really like the product and will be looking for the new and improved model once they work out a few bugs.

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