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A Pen with a memory

A Pen with a memory
Anyone who has tried to take notes on a tablet knows how tricky it can be. Seeking to cater to fans of ink and paper, Livescribe has created the Sky smartpen, a writing tool with a tiny computer inside that records notes written on special microdot paper. The notes are sent wirelessly to a personal account through a partnership with Evernote, the digital archive service.

The pen has up to 8GB memory. It also records audio, which can be beneficial for meetings and lectures. Users can playback moments of the audio by touching the pen at the corresponding spot in the handwritten notes.

Sky includes 500MB of free storage through Evernote. Once in the cloud, the notes and audio are accessible on any computer, or any iOS or Android mobile device.

The pen comes with an extra ink cartridge, two caps, a notebook ofmicrodot paper and a micro-USB cable for charging. The Sky pen and accessories , including extra notebooks, are available online at and Livescribe's website, as well as at retailers like Staples and Best Buy. I tested the four-gigabyte Sky pen, which costs $200, and found it easy to set up and use.

Instead of buttons, the pen's functions are listed in the notebook ; just touch the pen to the command you want. The pen, al- though chunky, felt comfortable in my hand when I was writing or doodling. And syncing through Wi-Fi to myEvernote account was effortless. I was able to see the notes quickly on my iPad and iPhone; however, I could not open the Livescribe player on my PC at work to play the audio.

Livescribe is working to iron out a few wrinkles, but the Sky smartpen could end up bridging the gap between paper and tablet.

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