Although computers and keyboards have taken out much of the efforts of writing, some situations still demand we keep this skill alive. Then, some people are unwilling to give up the feeling of writing with a pen to pounding on a keyboard. Engineers have tried to modernize the humble writing instrument with the Bluetooth pen of Livescribe. Now, an improved Smartpen N2 is in the market.
Neo Smartpen N2 has a sleeker design compared to that of Livescribe. According to the manufacturer, the pen has a shape users will find more comfortable and it is lighter than most smartpens in the market. Without the cap, Neo Smartpen N2 is only 22gms as against the Livescribe, which weighs 34gms. Although the difference is not much, to someone who writes extensively with a pen, this could count for a lot.
An ARM 9 dual-core Processor powers the Smartpen N2, which sports a built-in 90MB NAND flash drive. The pen connects via Bluetooth to a tablet or phone. However, it works even without them. N2 has a built-in camera that captures 120 pictures-per-second while recording about 1,000 pages of notes to store in its memory. Later, you can synchronize this content over to another device.
To conserve battery, Smartpen N2 turns itself off automatically when it detects idle time and turns on to be ready for writing. This convenient feature helps to conserve battery and the pen can write for about five continuous hours before it has to be recharged. A full recharge takes about two hours.
The entire Smartpen N2 writing system has three parts. The first is the pen itself, to be followed with the special paper, which records the motion of the pen. Then there is the app, which translates these motions into an image on the tablet’s screen. The app can also send the notes to popular services such as Dropbox or Evernote. Neo Notes app is available for free for Android and iOS phones and tablets.
Both Livescribe 3 and Smartpen N2 translate their ink notes scrawled on special paper for capturing them in digital form. However, the Equil Smartpen 2 uses a sensor that you can clip onto the top of any kind of paper you are writing on. While both Equil and Neo N2 are cross-platform compatible, apps available for Android and iOS, Livescribe 3 remains an iOS-only device.
Apart from recording written notes in the form of images, Neo N2 can also record voice memos in real-time, simultaneously as you write. Other features of this amazing pen include translating features that convert handwritten notes into text, after you have selected the language. Additionally, you only have to draw a check mark on the mail icon in the corner of your page and the app will email the page attached as a PDF. At the same time, the app will synchronize any new notes you make automatically to your Evernote account.
The only thing limiting the appeal of Neo Smartpen N2 is its need for special paper. Therefore, this is a device for serious writers only and not meant for scribblers.