updated 10:40 am EDT, Mon July 19, 2010
Livescribe Echo Smartpen adds PDF, tablet input
Livescribe today revamped its approach to its smartpens. The Echo is slimmer than its predecessors but significantly expands its functionality beyond note taking or even apps. A headphone jack and microphone now support stereo recording, and a micro USB connector will turn the Echo into a direct tablet input source for a computer with an update this fall.
The pen can work with PDF files and now has a significantly improved interface. It's now faster to launch an app; pencast files can be shared to replicate drawings elsewhere; users can now make custom 'notebooks' of drawings organized like playlists; and password protection is now an option to lock out access to the audio.
Capacity doubles on the new pens, which at 4GB and 8GB hold about 400 and 800 hours each of recorded writing. They continue to interact with Macs and Windows PCs and should be available now for $170 (4GB) and $200 (8GB) at Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Staples and Target.