806 of 862 people found the following review helpful
Perfecting the nearly perfect,
This review is from: Livescribe 4 GB Echo Smartpen (Personal Computers)
I am a great believer in Livescribe's smartpens. The first offering three years ago Livescribe 2 GB Pulse Smartpen has worked perfectly ever since. It is not exactly svelte, but it had the capacity to record 200 hours of audio and has proved to be an extremely reliable and useful tool for a busy litigation practice.
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 hear. 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.
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.
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 even to me so I have never tried it. However the idea is great.
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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Showing 1-10 of 64 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 13, 2010 1:33:44 PM PDT
Albert Lorincz says:
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2010 2:25:24 PM PDT
Boilerplate consists of sections of a contract which are copied verbatim in many other contracts. I know because I read and write contracts for a living. The review is a positive one, something which has upset you for some reason. That is fine, but "boilerplate" it is not.
Posted on Aug 16, 2010 7:10:57 PM PDT
Coffee Fiend says:
After the 30 day free trial, do you know how much the text recognition app costs?
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2010 8:31:07 PM PDT
David P. Corey says:
After not being able to easilty find it on the Livescribe website, I am wondering this myself. However, I'm glad there is a demo, as I'm in the same boat, handwriting wise, as the OP.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 30, 2010 2:58:05 PM PDT
T. Black says:
It's called myscript...I believe it costs $29. You can search for myscript livescribe and download the 30 day free trial...
Posted on Sep 20, 2010 8:06:54 AM PDT
Thank you for this review. It sounds great -- I have been thinking about this pen for a while, wondering how I could use it so as to make the cost worthwhile, considering, especially, the cost of the paper. Is there any list anywhere of which inkjet printers will work? Also, there's a very interesting, very good article by Clive Thompson about the pen in yesterday's (9/19) New York Times Magazine. (I'd link, but Amazon removes links.) It suggests a use that I hadn't thought of and which will make it worthwhile, eg., book reading notes, speaking oneself into the pen as a way of organizing and keeping track of! one's thoughts.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2010 9:55:33 AM PDT
Thank you Betsy. I did read the Times article yesterday which was quite interesting. As to the printer issue, some work and some don't. The notebook cost is pretty reasonable however. I also reviewed Livescribe Single Subject Spiral Notebook ANA-00017, 4-Pack, Nos. 1-4 which is a very reasonable price, almost comparable to regular spiral notebooks.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2010 11:37:22 AM PDT
Thanks! I had not read the reviews/descriptions of the pad and was, indeed, thinking, printer model! Yes, $5/100 pages does sound (reasonably) reasonable. ...Maybe sometime there will be the possibility of saving and then "erasing" the pages.... Anyway, last question: how much of a learning curve is there in learning to use the pen effectively? (And I am encouraged to read that your handwriting is nearly indecipherable, including to yourself --- so is mine....)
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2010 12:51:47 PM PDT
There is not much of a learning curb once the software is installed and firmware updated. There is a support section online if you need it.
Posted on Oct 11, 2010 8:45:39 AM PDT
Craig Moore says:
how does it work for conference calls?