In order to write this post, we tested 17 smart pens for 1 week. After properly testing the features of every pen, we concluded the top 10 best smart pens 2018 in this post.
The pens we reviewed use latest tech parts and each pen is made so perfect that it fits your needs and also helps you to do all other daily work.
Well if you thought that it might be easy to choose a pen, then I think you are already in a trouble to choose one. In order to allow you to easily choose a smart pen, we have made a list of top 10 best smart pens of 2018 from all pens we reviewed. Before you go through that list, be sure to check out what are smart pens and all other terms related to these digital pens below.
What is a smart pen?
A smart pen, in easy words, is a ballpoint pen that consists of a digital audio recorder as well as an inserted computer. Just like a ballpoint pen is used to write data on paper. In the same way, a digital pen helps to write and record data on a special kind of paper which can later be used to transfer that data to the computer.
These special papers are known as digital papers and they are mostly used by designers and modelers. The purpose of these papers is to record and save every single thing written on them with smart pens. All the data saved on this paper can then later be transferred to computers. Digital papers have a unique ability to synchronize with computers in order to easily upload all the data written on to them.
You guys might be thinking that only the data written on digital paper with smart pens will be uploaded to the computer and your voice will go in waste. Let me clear this point! Digital papers not only save written data, but they also record voices and audio data. Some smart pens also come with cloud functionality which saves all the data directly to computers or any cloud platform.
Generally, most of the smart pens of today have an audio recorder and an inserted computer for recording written data. Some smart pens also have a camera for making themselves smarter. Most of the computers in smart pens run on the Java platform. Some talented developers were also able to access source codes of Java running in these pens and then they modified those codes to enhance smart pen’s performance.
How do smart pens work?
Smart pens are among the best inventions of this century. Smart pens have an infrared camera on their nibs and tips. This infrared camera is what helps in recording anything you will write. The unique digital papers we aforementioned have a special system of dot positions. The patterns and designs of printed microdots are what help cameras to track and record what you wrote using your smart pen.
All the settings related to audios and voices can be changed with physical buttons found on the bottom or on the top of either smart pens or digital pages. Recording audio with smart pens is just a matter of a single click. Almost all smart pens have an audio controlling button on their top or bottom side which activate audio recording mode by just a single click.
Once you are done with recording your data with smart pens, it’s time to upload and transfer that data to your personal computer. After capping the pen, you first need to connect it to your computer and install all necessary drivers and software. Now, after accessing the data folder of smart pens on your computer, you can see all your recorded digital files. You can either copy or cut and paste those files into your computer’s hard disk.
What are the reasons to buy smart pen?
This is the question that arises in minds of many. You already learned what are smart pens and how do smart pens work. Now, you might be thinking that how are these wonderful inventions going to benefit you. We know that you are finding a reason to buy smart pen. So let’s say you are a reporter or a student. If you are a student, then you can use this digital pen to record lectures by your professors and then listen to them later which will result in making your life way easier than before. When activated, this digital pen records every single voice and audio around you. If you are a reporter who is going on a sting operation, then this is just the digital pen you need.
Also, if my guess is right, then you guys might sometimes need to send scanned interviews or notes to your boss or friends. If you use this smart pen, then you will not face all scanning problems which others face. You can simply connect this smart pen with your PC and then send all the data you want to send.
Which smart pen should you buy?
Now, this is probably the most difficult question ever. There are smart pens available by many famous brands and you might get way too confused in selecting a digital pen for yourself. Well, we have categorized these pens so that you guys can easily choose the pen that completely fits your needs. Each of these digital pens varies in size, body, price, and features.
NeoLab Convergence M1 Smart Pen
The M1 smartpen by NeoLab is what brings the comfort of technology to the world of traditional writing. This smart pen keeps converting every single thing that you write on paper or on digital paper into a machine-understandable format which makes these saved writings to be accessed and viewed easily on PCs and smartphones. Another thing that it does is that it not only supports writings, but we can also draw and save our diagrams, graphs, and charts with this smart pen into an easy-to-access format, which can later be converted into JPG or PNG formats. All the recorded writings and drawings are backed up so you don’t stand a chance of losing them.
Additionally, it also has a long battery life. This pen can stay on standby mode for more than 125 days. If we measure this pen’s battery life based on no. of pages, then it can write almost 1000 pages before its battery gets discharged.
125-day standby battery life, and 6 hours of combined writing time, you can write for 1000 pages before you need to recharge. This means it is a great pen for writers and students who need to write too much every day.
Let us give you interesting news about this pen. This smart pen is now also able to work and connect with many notes-writing and cloud-based applications. Some of these applications include Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft One Note, Google Drive, and Evernote. NeoLab’s M1 smart pen can be connected with Android devices running versions 4.4 and greater. Apple users can also avail of this feature on any iOS device running on iOS 8.1 and greater.
Neo Smartpen N2 Smart Pen
Neo brand is not in any way associated with NeoLabs Company and these two are different smart pen companies. From last subheading, we came to know that M1 pen can work with many cloud-based applications, but they don’t own any applications. Neo smartpen N2 is not like M1 smart pen by NeoLabs. They have their own application named “Neo Notes” which can only be accessed by owners of smart pens manufactured by “Neo”. This application is full of features, from which one is that it syncs with your smart pen and whatever you write on normal papers or special papers, it stores everything to the device onto which application is installed.
With handwritten text on paper, you stand a chance of losing them. If you use a digital pen to write your notes, then you can save your hard work from getting wasted. With smart pens, we can easily secure, share, and manage our notes and work.
The N2 pen by Neo has a complete aluminum body which is 12 mm thick (rounded off). Its body is designed to provide the same comforting experience, just like regular daily usage pens. This pen has a special feature named pressure recognition. This feature starts the pen automatically whenever it touches paper, as it can detect the pressure on edge of the pen. The inbuilt storage memory of this pen is enough to store up to 1000 pages without any need to connect it with other devices.
With this smart pen, we can transfer our recorded writing to online applications like Dropbox, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Drive, or Evernote. If you are someone who has to do a lot of sharing of notes, then N2 pen by Neo is just what you need. It supports many image formats including .jpg, .png, .gif, .svg.
Livescribe 2GB Echo Smart Pen
This is the only smart pen we recommend for disabled people and especially disabled students. These pens make the lives of disabled students a hell lot easier. This pen can record audio of anything. From teacher lectures to office meetings, all of these can be recorded for listening to them later. Simultaneous writing and hearing feature of this smart pen enables it to record audio and writing both at the same time. This means you are never ever going to miss another word while writing or listening.
The remote saving feature of Livescribe Echo Smart Pen saves your audio and writing recordings directly to your computer. There is software named “Echo Desktop Software” which helps in remote saving of data recorded by this Livescribe pen. This application software is available for Windows as well as Mac OS running devices.
Wacom Bamboo Spark Smart Pen
Wacom is not an unknown company. It is very popular in Japan. The smartpens created by Wacom are able to capture anything written on any A5 Capture handwritten notes on any paper. There is a Smartphone application by Wacom named “Wacom InkSpace”. This application basically allows making backups of your recordings in a cloud server by Wacom. These cloud servers can be synchronized with Smartphones for accessing all smart pen recordings directly on our Smartphone.
Wacom Bamboo Spark Smart Pen is not only a digital pen, but it also works as a ballpoint ink pen on regular papers. Don’t worry as this won’t affect its recording feature and it will still record everything you write on normal paper. For refilling ink, we need to remove nib first. The packaging of this smart pen also consists of a nib removing tool, which obviously helps in removing the nib of Spark smart pens.
Scanmarker Air Scanner
Scanmarker Air Scanner Smart pen may not be too popular, but it is amazing. It is accurate as well as fast and works great for both students and professionals. Let’s say that you are reading a book and you want to save a specific line from a paragraph. If you had Scanmarker Air Scanner smartpen, then you could highlight and save/record any line from that paragraph. All of these scanned lines are then saved wherever we chose to save. This means that this smart pen also works as a scanner for text. This pen is ideal for businessmen as they sometimes need to scan specific text.
The edit directly feature of this smartpen allows you to edit any text just by touching it with this smart pen. Smartpen’s inbuilt scanner is what helps us in reading printed text and changing read text into .doc document format so that we can easily edit that piece of text with any text and document editor like Google Docs or Microsoft Word.
Talking with respect to compatibility, we can use this application in all Apple devices as well as Windows running PCs and laptops. This smart pen is also supported by the Android platform. This smart pen is small and light in weight which makes it convenient to use and portable. It has a huge built-in battery which lasts way too long and can also be recharged with any good USB charger. This smart pen has a built-in option for using Bluetooth service to connect to other Bluetooth devices which makes it easier to save and manage recordings.
Equil 2 Smart Pen
Do you want a smart pen with which you can use any notebook without requiring any special type of paper and that too with any regular ink having your favorite color? Equil 2 Smart Pen will help you for that. Equil Smartpen 2 not only allows to capture handwritten notes, but you can also capture and save diagrams and sketches.
By using this smart pen, we can save our work directly to all supported devices and the cloud. Some supported devices include Apple’s Mac OS and iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft Windows. After converting and saving files, we can edit them, improve them by adding more details or share them with others.
This Smart Pen’s receiver also has a dedicated storage capacity of 4 GB which can help to save our files to it temporarily and later move them to any of the supported devices. Equil also own few smartphone and computer applications which can help for editing, sharing, and capturing of files.
Moleskine PTSETA Smart Pen
This smartpen comes in a set which includes a paper tablet which consists of a special type of paper that is designed to work with the company’s sold pen in a dotted layout. The coding technology found in this pen allows it to easily detect that on to which position on the paper tablet is it placed. With this recognizing method, this smart pen is able to capture each and every pen stroke you make on the paper tablet.
Moleskine has their own smartphone companion application which helps in all pen related tasks. This application can easily convert handwritten notes and text into a PC understandable and editable. Some supported word editing applications supported by Moleskine’s converter include Microsoft Word and Google Docs. We can edit and modify all the handwritten text in this way and also save it in our computer. Other than documents format, we can also save our handwritten text into digital form as PDF files, vector form, and images and send them directly to our computers and smartphones.
Livescribe 3 Smart Pen
Livescribe 3 Smart Pen can synchronize easily with up to 4 devices running Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.B The inbuilt storage memory of this smart pen is enough to capture and store all of your notes and text temporarily till you shift them somewhere else. You might be thinking that synchronization is a heavy task and it will eat a lot of battery of both your smart pen and a synchronized device. Well, this is not going to happen in Livescribe 3’s case. This smart pen connects with Android and iOS devices using Bluetooth Smart technology which consumes little to no battery power.
Livescribe 3 smartpen will for sure provide you a new, fast and convenient way for live scanning of your handwritten text on either your PC or your Android and iOS smartphone. This Livescribe pen uses your synchronized devices’ microphone for recording any audio that is synced with everything you write on your paper. After successful recording, converting and transferring your files to Livescribe applications, you can then edit them to add more information, tag them to easily find them, playback audio recorded while writing, or transfer and share your digitized text with any device.
Rocketbook Erasable Smart Book
Now, the thing we are reviewing under this sub-heading does but also doesn’t belong to smart pens category, but we guess this pen and book could not be ignored in this post. Rocketbook is in easy words a book with 32 pages which can be reused after wiping pages with a damp cloth. This book comes with one free pen which is not a smart pen, but it becomes a smart pen when used with Rocketbook. One important thing to keep in mind is that this book only works with pens, highlighters, and markers that are manufactured by Pilot FriXion.
This 34$ book can help us in quickly and easily saving all notes written on its pages directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, OneNote. Box, iCloud, or Slack.
Wacom Bamboo Folio Smartpad Digital Notebook
If you want to make your written ideas be changed into digital ideas, then this pen is ideal for you. This pen is just what new entrepreneurs need to bring more shining and brightening ideas to life. The digital format that it converts handwritten text into is most documents format which can easily be read by Microsoft Word and Google Docs, this means you can now edit your digital ideas on the go as well. You can also share all of these ideas with your friends and team members easily from your smart pen so that they can know about what you are up to. Whenever you are moving onto another page, simply tap the saving button on this smartpen to save complete page to read or edit later in a digital form.
As told in the review paragraph of previous Wacom pen product, we told that there is a smartpen application developed by Wacom for smartphones. This free application is called Wacom Inkspace application which can easily convert your handwritings into computerized or digital text which can easily be edited later. You can also convert your handwriting into image formats like SVG, PDF, JPG, and PNG. You can also save your handwritten text in Document formats which can be used for editing with Microsoft Word and Google Docs applications. You can also save your documents to Wacom Cloud and move your files to Evernote, OneNote, and Dropbox.