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19Jul/100

Livescribe gets pensive, unleashes new Echo Smartpen

Livescribe gets pensive, unleashes new Echo Smartpen

Okay, so smartpens aren’t as common as smartphones, but, hey, they’re getting smarter too! That’s right, Livescribe’s taken the cap off its new Echo smartpen, and not only is it thinner and lighter than the original Pulse pen, but it also packs more power. Like its predecessor, the Echo can capture audio and handwriting, but it’s now armed with more storage and features.

The $169.95 4GB version promises up to 400 hours of audio recording, while the $199 8GB one up to 800 hours. However, the real updates come in the software arena — the Echo can now be password protected to safeguard those love letters, err notes / recordings, and has a new function for launching applications. Additionally, new desktop software lets users export pencasts — what the company has dubbed its visual note and audio recording — to share with others via social networks and e-mail.

But that’s not all, Livescribe’s promising more updates this fall, and they actually happen to be the most compelling of the bunch. By then you’ll be able to send notes via e-mail by just docking the pen to the computer and turn the pen and paper combo into a Wacom-like graphics tablet. Basically, you’ll be able to attach the pen to a computer via it’s micro-USB cable and just draw free hand on the screen. The latter option could be pretty awesome for designers and such, but we’ll have to wait a few months to test it out. Oh, you’re looking for some more Echo action now? We’ve got some brief impressions and a hands-on video after the break.

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