Live Scribe Smart Pen or Wacom Bamboo Tablet

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by crystalio, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. crystalio macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2008
    Hello. I am going to be a biology major at UCLA in a couple of weeks, and I was wondering if I should get the smart pen or the tablet. If I want the smart pen then I will have to wait a month or perhaps more for the macintosh software to come out. The only con to the tablet is that it's bigger but then again it functions as a mouse. I just need it to help me organize my math and science notes. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you!
  2. elvance macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I was hoping you could answer a question about your question


    i really wish i could help you, but to be honest im curious as to where you heard about the mac smartpen software as well as its release date.

    I actually ordered the pen based on how much my lawyer friends depend on them in court (I live in west hollywood but know a few people across the country who use the pen in various grad schools. They all rave about the pen - from my type A acedemic friends to my more laid back/ADD friends. i even have some family friends who have practiced law for 20+ years without the smartpen and now that theyve gotten the pen, they wouldnt set foot in court without it and cant believe they ever functioned without it.

    My general consensus is that the people i know love their smartpens like most people love their iphones, etc. I was accepted to law school but decided to go for a medical CRN degree first, so im about to take a bunch of science pre-recs with the pen (possibly at UCLA actually), even though i originally purchased the smartpen to use in law school.

    It never even dawned on me that the software may not be mac compatible (bad move on my part, i know). It arrived this week and to my major disappointment, the pen manual says nothing about macs anywhere (about being compatible or not being compatible - nada), and the pen is definitely out of the box so im keeping my fingers crossed that they will make smartpen mac software and SOON....I dont know anything about the device you are comparing it to - but i will say ive heard from grad students in various fields who use and love the smartpen.

    I used the recording program in word during my last year of undergrad and i totally see how the pen is much more useful. otherwise you waste a huge chunk of your study time rewinding, fast forwarding, etc looking for a specific phrase, etc. So the concept of the smartpen definitely seems to be the best of both worlds and appealed to me the second i heard about it. im also hoping to find it easy to carry around for business meetings and luncheons, etc. If i ever get it up and running with my macbook pro I'll add my own opinions about the smartpen, etc.

    i hope thats a little help - i know its not much - but im eager to find out if its going to work with my mac in time for spring semester..ideally sooner than that for my business meetings, etc. but the real concern is if it will be ready when i start my spring semester.....
  3. crystalio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2008
    dudeee no problem! :D that was a very detailed response =]
    YEA I just like researched into and signed up for the email list that tells me when the mac version will be actually can use the one you have on a macbook but you have to use bootcamp and have the windows xp operating system :)
  4. mcarvin macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    Southern NJ
    Like elvance, I just started using the smart pen this week. While Livescribe says there will be a Mac version by the end of the year, that didn't stop me because I have access to a Windows laptop.

    So far, I'm really happy with the pen although the Livescribe Desktop isn't the most intuitive app I've ever used. The workflow I'm looking to make happen involves taking the smart pen's digital recording (audio + notebook) of notes, then move them into Evernote where the actual image text can be parsed and searched on. This would also work with the notebook strategy, where #1 and #2 would be more traditional classroom/client notes, then #3 and #4 would be sketches from the unlined journals. I think there are a lot of similarities in how I'm using it and how you might use it for math and science.

    HTH. Let us know how things work out for you.
  5. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816


    Aug 8, 2004
    America's Wang
    I just got a Livescribe Pulse and I like it a lot. I have used it to take notes in class and to do some homework which I emailed out to my study group. I am an Engineering major and I never could take notes with a laptop because we have to draw lots of technical diagrams and pictures in our notes usually...

    Just so you know, it will work under bootcamp and I have had some success with it under VMWare Fusion w/ WinXP SP2. The only problem I have encountered here is that I can't seem to get my notes to post online in the Livescribe software in Fusion. As a workaround, I downloaded PrimoPDF in the Windows virtual machine and printed all of the notes from the LiveScribe software as pdfs and then transfered them to my Mac desktop. From there, I suppose you could use preview or acrobat to save the .pdfs as .jpegs and use the OCR program of your choice on them... You could probably even make an automator workflow to streamline this process...
  6. 137489 Guest


    Nov 6, 2007
    I have both

    Wacom is good for when I have more time and I am working with notebook and inkwell. However, the professor of my seminary classes moves very fast, that is where my livescribe comes in. I can record every thing he says.

    I even started using my livescribe for work. I work at home and am on webexes a lot. I can just put in the 3d airbuds and slide my phone headset over the buds and that records very well.

    I cannot live without either product. But if you are looking for something in a fast moving lecture, livescribe is the way to go.

    I also found you can copy the pages to another document (they are imaged though, so you lose the search outside of the livescrive desk top). the audio is saves as AAC formats. I think you can combile (with some work), everything into Circus ponies notebook, if you wanted to have webclips, your notebook, and audio. the only drawback is losing the place in the text were the audio was.

    to find the audio:The path would ber similar to

    C:\Documents and Settings\ScottH\My Documents\My Livescribe\Library\2594160269832\0x87e2ad1f71be2fa5_0\Sessions\PRS-2b7f27c7e

    then look for the AAC files.

    Be sure to look in every PRS... folder

    I am really hoping they come out with export to PDF that retains the audio (since adobe 9.0 fixed having flash inside a file). they say that is in their roadmap, but maybe not till next year, until they get the mac version completed.
  7. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    the smart pen i am using on a macbook pro with boot camp/vista installed. it works great. i'd recommend it. they are releasing the mac software in the future. but it works great.
  8. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    I just picked up two of the Livescribe pens a few weeks ago. They work amazingly; it's one of the few products that actually works exactly as advertised. Handwriting recognition is excellent, and the ability to playback audio notes that correspond with your writing at the touch of the pen is amazing. I wish I had this as an undergrad. I've used it so far in the lab, at conferences, and lectures. It's truly phenomenal.
  9. ViM macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2006
    I'm thinking about getting this for uni but i have a couple of questions. Is the software able to change the recorded writing into typed format in word/nissus writer/scrivener? Also how sensitive is the inbuilt microphone and realistically is 1gb enough or should i go for the 2gb version?
  10. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Jul 4, 2007
    My paperium pen has just arrived. I decided on paperium because it's for Mac and does vector graphics. This is an Austrian product so it has that German-quality feel to it like other German art materials and comes in a classy white package (as befits a product for Mac :) ). The paper is smooth and high quality. It comes with a spiral bound 210x210mm sketch book, and you can buy extra book packs of varying sizes. I got the additional (black) hard-cover A4 book which is also very good quality, like an executive diary except completely blank.

    The pen charges via a USB charger, but actually works via bluetooth connection as soon as you pair it up with the computer (after charging the pen). There is a PIN number required for pairing to prevent it working if someone steals it. The registration process is also security-conscious (to the point of being a PITA like Adobe) requiring registering both the pen serial number and software CD code on the paperium website before you can even start to use the paperium app.

    There's an add-on for character recognition which looks pretty good, but I didn't get that as I only want this for sketching and doodling. Never having used one of these things before, I am very impressed with this particular one. You can select from a list which file format you want your scribbles to be (jpg, png, pdf, svg etc etc) and simply drag and drop the page onto the desktop or other app to convert it. Very Mac-like dragging my paper scribbles into Illustrator and having them converted instantly into vectors.

    Each book/let and each page is unique so if you go back to a page to add more scribbles, the same page on the computer is updated. A feature that I wasn't expecting is that each update is a 'revision' which you can show/hide like layers in photoshop so you can go back in time if you need to, or remove an initial layout sketch if you do a more comprehensive sketch over it.

    I highly recommend this product, but both pen and extra paper are relatively expensive so would be difficult to justify for those on a budget if they don't have a specific purpose for it. Sort of like buying a Rotring and art paper. If you just want handwriting recognition or to take notes and scribble diagrams, I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives.

    PS. From what I can gather, apparently the pattern on the paper which the pen/software recognises covers a virtual several million square miles or somesuch staggering area without repeating so the pen knows exactly where it is anywhere in that whole area down to the micro mm. Each company which licences these pens buys a small segment of that area to print up, so no two pages are ever the same.
  11. tablettweet macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2009
    I think both have a different use. For me, a Livescribe Smartpen is for quick sketch your idea or write quickly something while you away from your computer and Bamboo tablet is for when you want to do some serious graphic. Buy both ! :)

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