Sky Wifi Smartpen - a review of Livescribe's latest smartpen. | Helpful Mum

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Sky Wifi Smartpen - a review of Livescribe's latest smartpen.

Livescribe Sky Wifi Smartpen review

If you read my previous review on the previous version of the Livescribe Echo Smart Pen, then you will know that I absolutely love it. Seriously, it is brilliant. So, when I was sent the new all singing and dancing Sky Wifi Smartpen, I was rather excited. It promised to do more than the first one, being able to sync to Evernote seamlessly and generally make life a lot easier.

To say I have been disappointed with the new pen is an understatement. I was so looking forward to reviewing it but I have found it hard to use and rather irksome. I also haven't managed to find a way to transcribe the pages. With the wired pen, it opens up in Livescribe Desktop and you can easily open the files up and convert them into editable text documents. This makes saving my notes far easier.

Sky WiFi SmartpenSky WiFi Smartpen

What they say
  • Smartpens Remember So You Don’t Have To
  • Record everything you write and hear. Tap anywhere on your notes to replay the audio from that moment in time.
  • From Paper, Directly To Your Digital World
  • Automatically, your recorded notes and audio are wirelessly sent and securely stored in your Evernote® account. Your exclusive Livescribe plan for Evernote includes 500MB of additional upload capacity for smartpen notes and audio.
  • Any Time, Anywhere Access To Your Notes
  • Using Evernote, quickly search and share your lectures, meetings and ideas any time on nearly any device. Simply tap on your notes in Evernote and interactive versions of your pencasts play back within Livescribe Player.
  • Built–in WiFi makes it easy for your words and ideas to be available any time, anywhere,
  • on nearly any device.
  • The ergonomic design and soft touch grip provide comfort while writing.
  • Holds approximately 200, 400, or 800 hours of recorded audio (available in 2GB, 4GB or 8GB models).
  • Capture your meetings or lectures with crisp, clear sound.
  • Your notes and audio are wirelessly sent to your personal Evernote®account.
  • Recharge you smartpen using a standard micro-USB cable.
  • Simply remove the ink cartridge by pulling it out with your fingertips. Insert a new cartridge until it clicks into place.
  • Built-in speaker produces rich, full sound to play back your recorded audio.
  • Bright, high-contrast OLED display for easy viewing.
  • Standard 3.5mm jack fits your own earphones or the Livescribe 3-D Recording Headset with dual microphones to enable binaural recording.
Good Points
Excellent recording quality.
Lots of storage on the pen so will save plenty of lectures.
It is more comfortable to write with than the older version of this pen.
I love the interconnectedness of the pen. Using Evernote means that you are easily able to  access your notes on ipad, android phone and laptop.
It is easy to share the recordings, simply by sharing a URL.

Bad points
You cannot sync to a wireless network which needs a sign-in. At most universities and workplaces, you are required to sign in to a network before using it. They only place I can sync the pen is at home.
I had real trouble registering the pen.
I had to sync with Evernote twice to hear any of the audio from my notes.
As far as I am aware, you cannot get an app which changes the notes from simply a picture to editable text.
It tended not to remember the wifi network so I had to keep resetting it.
The pen only works with Evernote so you cannot use current Livescribe software with it.

Would I buy it?

The absolute honest answer is, unfortunately, no. I much prefer the Echo SmartPen for what I use it for. The Sky pen is the better option if you want your notes saved in Evernote but do not need them to be in editable text. The fact that you cannot sign in to a WiFi network which needs a login also make life difficult. I have really struggled with this pen. I hoped it would do all it promises to, but in my experience it didn't. Currently it is unavailable to buy in the UK due to a legal dispute. If you want to see more about the pen, have a look on Livescribe's website.

Disclaimer: I was sent this item to review and was allowed to keep it. This in no way had any effect on the review. I will always write honestly about a product.

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