Smart writing gadgets review

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Is it possible to combine the benefits of paper and the convenience of electronic devices? Some technology companies and leading stationery brands are trying the bridge the gap… with mixed success.

With the holiday season just around the corner, Business Optimizer takes a look at four of our favourite smart writing gadgets.

 Montblanc Augmented Paper

The perfect gift for Montblanc connoisseurs and luxury tech aficionados alike, Montblanc’s Starwalker pen has been reimagined, via a partnership with technology company Wacom.

The digital version of Starwalker is a pen that transfers strokes on paper to digital notes on a Montblanc app. Paper notes and sketches can be transferred onto a mobile device with just the press of a button. Montblanc claims the Augmented Paper delivers best-in-class handwriting recognition in 12 languages including English, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

The Montblanc Augmented Paper set retails at $680 and includes a luxe leather-bound booklet and paper, the Starwalker pen, three refills (with tweezers for exchanging), a USB cable charger and the Montblanc Hub app which is available on iOS and Android.

Moleskine Smart Writing

For a company that has made its business selling beautiful paper products, Moleskine’s entry into the smart writing space is surprisingly convincing.

Comprising of a paper notebook or “Paper Tablet” and sleek black aluminum pen, the Neo smartpen, a USB charger, and the Moleskine iOS app, Moleskine’s Smart Writing Set is another stylish way to create automatically digitized notes.

Weighing in at just $200, it might not have quite the caché of the Montblanc package, but Moleskine Smart Writing is an attractive alternative. And when you run out of the 173 usable pages in the Moleskine Paper Tablet notebook it is just $29.95 to purchase a new one.

Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook

A budget way to turn your paper scribbles into digital notes via the Rocketbook mobile app, the Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook has one unique feature. Each Rocketbook includes a FriXion pen by Pilot, the ink of which turns clear at 140 degrees F / 60 degrees C.

This makes the Rocketbook Wave the world’s first microwave-to-erase smart notebook. You can erase and reuse the Rocketbook Wave up to five times using this microwave-to-erase technique, provided you have used a FriXion pen for your scribbles and notetaking.

Retailing at $27, the Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook includes the microwave-to-erase smart notebook, one FriXion pen by pilot and the Rocketbook Wave app.

Neo Smartpen N2

Sitting somewhere mid-range, the aluminum Neo Smartpen N2 comes in silver white or titan black. The pen was a winner of an iF Design Award in 2015 but does lack the style of the Montblanc Starwalker.

However, priced at $147 it is significantly less expensive. Designed to be used in conjunction with the N notebooks (which will set you back a further $30) and the Neo Notes app, this smart writing solution supports transcription in 15 languages, and is available for iOS and Android.