It’s not platinum-plated, doesn’t run on fountain ink and definitely won’t be seen sealing any international peace treaties, but that doesn’t mean the Livescribe Pulse isn’t the most important pen you’ll ever use. Read on for our full Livescribe Pulse review and see how the humble biro has been given a 21st century reboot.
The Livescribe Pulse is a chunky fella. Clasp it betwixt your digits and it’ll feel more like an educational aid than a state of the art scribbler, but that’s exactly what this is.
Touch the Livescribe Pulse to the included notepad, impregnated with a unique but hard to spot, dot pattern, and it’ll track its position, making a note of any marks you make. It’ll also record audio as you jot your notes, acting as a sort of uber-dictaphone.
But that’s simply where the smart stuff begins. Plug the Livescribe Pulse into a PC or Mac and it’ll spit those notes, and the accompanying audio, onto your desktop. You can re-play the note-taking process on-screen, watching your doodlings appear as the accompanying audio plays, skipping through meetings or reminding yourself of who said what, and when.
It’s ultra- clever, but simple note taking barely scratches the surface of the Livescribe Pulse’s abilities. It’ll also interact with pages too. Each Livescribe notepad comes with a handy calculator printed inside the cover, so simple maths answers, with the results shown on the Livescribe Pulse’s screen, are never far away.
The Livescribe Pulse will even translate words as you write them, with set words written in English instantly shown, and spoken, in the likes of Spanish and Mandarin.
There’s the opportunity to show off too. Draw a simple piano on a sheet of paper, and the Livescribe Pulse will let you play it, simply by jabbing at the keys. It’s astounding, and addictive.
But the real benefit of the Livescribe Pulse is the confidence it gives you during meetings, lectures and interviews. The safety net of a voice recorder (and one that packs noise cancelling and 3D recording too) means you’re free to concentrate on what’s being said, rather than noting it all down.
Likewise, the Livescribe Pulse software’s ability to search your scribblings once they’re transferred to a computer is a godsend for prolific note-takers. If you’re the sort to jot down pages of notes a day, the Livescribe Pulse deserves a place in your briefcase.