Livescribe Pulse Echo Smartpen Review

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The Echo is a refinement of the original Pulse. It is slimmer, and doesn’t quite look like one of those metal cigar containers. It has twice the memory of my original smartpen. The price has come down over the years significantly making an investment in a smartpen even more attractive.

I use my pen to record initial client interviews as well as depositions. I am able using the Livescribe Desktop software to export a recording to a CD and send it to a client to here. However the best feature is its “point and play” technology which allows me to listen selectively to a recording on my pen by touching a word in my notes. The audio immediately syncs to the part of the conversation and has a five second “skip back/skip forward” feature to account for slow writers like me. I can also listen later to my notes and add additional points of interest.

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Audio fidelity is amazingly good. The pen has settings for different environments like lectures or office meetings. Even if you just use the default settings you will be pleased with the output.

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Besides being thinner, the new Echo no longer requires a cradle, and attaches directly to a USB port on your Mac (that’s me) or PC.This eliminates one more gadget I need to lug around in my briefcase.

Livescribe’s special paper should not intimidate any prospective purchaser. First it is possible to print your own paper. Livescribe suggests that this requires a laser printer, but I have actually done it with an injet. You have to test in any event whether your printer is compatible which is how I learned some inkjet printers will work.

However users will find Livescribe notebooks to be very reasonably priced. I buy Livescribe ANA-00018 Single Lined 100 Page 5-8 Notebook – 4 Pack which makes the cost per notebook very comparable to ordinary spiral notebooks. Clearly Livescribe is refusing to adopt the model of printer manufacturers who make most of their money on supplies.

There are applications available for the Echo including a text recognition app that offers a 30 day free trial. However my handwriting is usually indecipherable to even myself so I have never tried it. However the idea is great.

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In the universe of Livescribe pens this is probably the one which should command your most serious consideration. 4GB is an an enormous amount of data and recording. I have never come close to filling 2GBs although I do remove recording from the pen from time to time while maintaining the audio on my Livescribe Desktop.

Livescribe has perfected a product that, as a tool for lawyers, for students, for physicians, and salesmen, as well a host of others was nearly perfect.

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