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Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen Hands On: Digital Note-Taking Gets More Magical

As you take notes and record audio with Livescribe’s new Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen, the device automatically uploads the data to Evernote. This is an update to the company’s Echo pen. That 2010 launch digitally stored your notes onboard and transferred them via USB, but the Sky does it all wirelessly.

MORE: Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smart Pen Review: Old Dog, New Tricks

So how does it work? Link the pen to your Evernote account, fire up the pen, connect to Wi-Fi, and take notes using one of Livescribe’s special notebooks. If you’re not hooked up to the internet at the moments, your notes will sync with Evernote once you get online. Then, you can retrieve your scribbles through Evernote’s smartphone apps or on your desktop.

Like the Echo, the Sky doubles as a recorder. It’s so nice when reviewing your notes and wondering what the hell your own abbreviation means. With the Smartpen, just click on that section of the notes — down to the very word — and it will play what you recorded as you wrote that line. Also like the Echo, the pen requires Livescribe’s proprietary journals, which come with self-explanatory little buttons at the bottom that you press as if you were using a tablet and a stylus — one for record, one to pause, control the playback, and toggle the volume.

The 2GB pen is now for $229 in Australia. A 4GB model is $345, and there’s also a professional package with a fancy folio notebook available. Replacement notebooks go for around $20. But most of us probably don’t need a whole lot of space, considering notes are auto-pushed to Evernote to begin with. This is something I wish had existed when I was in university. I would have been a much better student.

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