Livescribe

The Pulse smartpen is about the size and weight of a large pen (5/8" x 6 1/8"), and is equipped with a removable ball-point ink cartridge, a microphone to record audio, a speaker for playback, a small OLED display, and internal flash memory that captures handwritten notes, audio and drawings. The user can choose to record audio in addition to the handwritten text. Recorded audio is kept indexed with the handwritten text - tapping on a written word starts playback of the recorded audio from that part of the recording. The pen is available with either 2 or 4 Gigabytes of flash storage. The 2GB of memory can hold over 200 hours. The 4GB of memory can hold over 400 hours. Actual recording time varies by audio quality settings.

The Pulse allows the installation of as many applications as there is memory, and ships with several applications. If tapped on the correct images, it can function as a calculator, for example, or can translate words (the translator software as shipped includes only 21 words in a small selection of languages). Some users have noted that ambient noise can be a problem. The built-in microphone on the pen can pick up small amounts of noise from writing on paper, and adjacent ambient noise is often louder than a far away speaker. However, the included headphones have embedded microphones that reduce this ambient noise.

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