LiveScribe Echo Smart Pen Review

Just a warning, this is a bit of a gushing review because I absolutely love this product and I have no idea how I have lived without it for so long!

I was recently sent the LiveScribe Echo Smart Pen to try out. The premise being that I can use it at university to write my notes during lectures and it will also record what the lecturer is saying. That way I will not miss anything whilst I am writing. An I will also be able to listen to the lectures when I get home to recap. I can also upload the notes I wrote to my laptop, which is brilliant. I then have all my notes stored in one place, along with a recording of each lecture.
Obviously I am not yet back at university, only two weeks left of summer holidays, so I have not had the chance to try it out in a lecture. However, last weekend I went to an event held by Savoo in London, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try the pen out.
Echo and PaperLets start at the very beginning, it is a very good place to start. The guide which comes with the pen is very informative and it describes clearly how to use the pen. First off, it needs charging, using the USB which comes with the pen. A full charge can take 2.5 hours. So I charged it up on the train, which handily takes 2.5 hours from Leeds to London!

I flicked through the quick guide and found the setup to be really simple. I managed to do it even with a mild hangover! Recording was simple and easy but I wondered how on earth it was recording what I wrote too (obviously it is something to do with the pixels on the paper but it is very clever).

I recorded each talk that was given and made notes at the same time. I didn't play anything back on the pen whilst I was there but waited until I was home and more able to play about with the technology side of it. I installed LiveScribe Desktop onto my ancient laptop and it instantly uploaded the recordings into an easy to navigate table. When I double-clicked on the recording, it started playing and also showed me what I had written and highlighted it at the point I had written it.

This really is such an amazing pen and I am so looking forward to university starting again and getting to use it in lectures. It would also be really useful for work team meetings and use the recording for typing up afterwards.

You can  customise your smartpen with downloadable apps, including dictionaries, translators, productivity tools and games. I will be downloading the app which will take my written notes and turn them into editable text.
What they say
Introducing Livescribe's Newest Smartpen
  • With a sleek new design and enhanced features, the Echo smartpen is Livescribe's most powerful and easy to use smartpen yet.
  • Transfers notes and audio to your computer and recharges your smartpen using a standard cable connection.
  • Capture your meetings or lectures with crisp clear sound.
  • Built–in speaker produces rich full sound to play back your recorded audio.
  • The new ergonomic design and soft rubber grip provide comfort while writing.
  • Standard 3.5mm jack fits your own earphones or the Echo 3–D Recording Premium Headset to enable binaural recording.
  • High–contrast OLED display makes it easy to navigate smartpen apps.
  • Holds 400 or 800 hours of recorded audio. (4GB and 8GB models available) 
  • Simply remove the ink cartridge with your fingers and insert a new one.

Good Points

Really easy to use.
The fact that the pen records what you are writing as well as what you are listening to is great.
Simple to upload audio and text from the pen to your computer.
So useful for recording lectures and written notes.
Being able to play the piano on a pen is just showing off!
Bad points

The cap for the pen is quite small and could easily get lost.
Would I buy it?

You probably already know the answer to this one! I have to admit that I had absolutely no idea that something like this existed! It is absolutely brilliant and I will be using it for all my lectures. I would highly recommend it to university students, it is worth every penny of the RRP of £99.00. It is quite simply amazing and utterly invaluable for university. I would also recommend this to anyone who needs to record audio in their day to day work.

You can buy the pen here and just search for livescribe smart pen. On 21.09.12 it was on offer with £30 off the RRP.

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.