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back to article Livescribe Echo Smartpen

We all do it. Business meetings, lectures, interviews, whatever. As a TV writer and IT journalist I've spent a lifetime taking notes. But while you're scribbling, you're not listening. At best, you're missing nuances. Add an audio recorder and you can probably take fewer notes and listen better. But when you play back that audio …

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Meh

Check US prices!

As with most stuff prices in the US are significantly cheaper if you travel.

Bought my Pulse 2GB for $80 in BestBuy at the same time Amazon in the UK were selling exactly the same model for £130....!

If you think they're propriety stationary is marginally more expensive than normal stationary then you need to change your stationary supplier or look at US prices. Printing your own stationary saves a fortune as well.

Having said that the product is very useful for my line of work.

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Gold badge

Indispensable..

I agree with the comments about the cap on the tip (lost it months ago), but the pen is worth it's weight in gold - provided you know the risks.

Recording audio is actually subject to law in various countries - in the UK you are allowed to record without seeking permission, but it renders anything you use the audio for unadmissable in court. (AFAIK, IANAL). In other countries it can be straightforward illegal.

Having said that, if you don't use the voice recording it's one of the best ways to take notes - and the word search facility is so good it even works with my handwriting - try to find words in all your notes is not hard.

Especially if you deal with confidential clients this pen gives you the advantage of an empty notebook on visit, but a collection on your laptop - but I had to wrap a Truecrypt container around the storage to secure it..

All in all, I love it. I use the A5 + folder - that's the only sensibe place for this pen..

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I think it's used a lot by utilities.

For paperwork around servicing gas and electricity supplies.

It's one of those ideas that look *really* dumb but are actually very useful in the *right * context.

Best of all it's tech that seems to meet users half way. It does not force you to change, although there are incentives if you do.

Thumbs up for everything but the price.

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Trollface

The elephant-in-the-room.

I love my pen-brick.

Erm...

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Anonymous Coward

Livescribe Desktop has its drawbacks

The Livescribe Desktop has been a right royal pain in the rear for me. It stores its data in a proprietary format (understandable) that must be stored on the C drive. Means I can't elect to store on the SAN, which is a problem when I'm dealing with critical data. The SAN's raided, has a live backup SAN in a remote location and is backed up to tape daily. The C drive ain't.

Data from one PC can't be merged with data from another. Two people taking notes at the same meeting can't collate notes (and more issues with this later...)

Data from version 1.x isn't compatible with 2.x so when we upgraded to Win7 we found our old data unusable. 1.x isn't compatible with Win7 so had to build an XP machine, deploy 1.x, copy data onto machine, upgrade to 2.x then copy data to Win7 machine. BUT by that point the users had already recorded some notes and because you can't merge datasets, they have to rely on IT to go into Application Data and swap their old for new or vice versa.

If Livescribe could sort out these annoyances with the software I'd be a much happier IT manager.

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Great!`

Now I'm officially dumber than a pen.

OTOH, WANT!!!

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Linux

boo

No linux version, sale lost. Oh well.

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That's all great, but...

...how does it write? There are some pretty lousy ink cartridges out there.

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Very well!

The quality of the writing was a concern for me as well but I found it to be an excellent writer. The cartridges are very small, however, so you will find comments around the web about them not lasting very long. I've not run one out yet, though. Obviously depends on how much one writes :)

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bluetooth handset?

From a quick skim of The Fine Article, it seems that the device would be better if it could record/playback the audio via a hands-free kit - probably pick up the sound better, and make it clearer when playing back.

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E 2

Brilliant

That is a very good idea!

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Anonymous Coward

puchased!

Just bought one of these last week after a bit of deliberation. I'd considered using my IPAD for notes but realised that there really wasn't anything that was quite 'ready'.

In Australia the 4GB Echo is $250....so I just ordered off Amazon USA for about $150 :)

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