Livescribe's Echo smartpen has been revamped to include shortcuts for sending notes to popular Web services, such as Facebook and Google Docs. The entry-level 2Gb version now costs $99, and the new line of pens features the ability to make interactive “pencast” PDFs that animate recorded handwriting and synced audio.

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At a Glance
  • The latest addition to the Livescribe smartpen family is sleeker, better-looking, and has more memory than its predecessor. New tricks include password protection, an app store, and the ability to function as a USB-connected input device.

    Pros

    • Thinner and more comfortable than the Livescribe Pulse
    • Increased storage capacity for same price as the Pulse
    • Fun and useful way to take notes with audio
    • Ability to add features via Livescribe app store
    • New USB port location allows usage as input device
    • Ability to share notes and audio via pencast
    • Password protection for sensitive audio files

    Cons

    • No bundled writing-to-text transcription app
    • Still a bit bulky
    • Requires special paper to work
  
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