E-Pens Mobile Notes for Mac £109

18th Jan 2012 | 09:30

E-Pens Mobile Notes for Mac

Convert handwritten notes to text

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Like:

Good results; Works as a mouse

Dislike:

Lengthy setup; Takes time to get the hang of

The idea of writing on a piece of paper for it then to appear on your Mac as ready-to-edit text is intriguing. That goes especially for anyone who has taken notes and had to type them up when they're next sat at their Mac.

The E-pens Mobile Note Digital Pen for Mac isn't a unique product. But it has an advantage over one of its nearest competitors, the Livescribe Echo Smartpen, because it's able to use any piece of paper to record your handwritten notes. (The Livescribe Echo Smartpen needs you to write on specially marked paper.)

This additional level of flexibility is achieved via a small receiver that attaches to the top of the sheet of paper you're writing on. If you want to use a flip notepad you'll have to turn the pad upside down to attach the receiver.

You need to install NoteManager and MyScripts from the included disc. Because there doesn't seem to be an easy way to install these programs from the E-pens website, it meant we had to use an external DVD drive to install it on our optical drive-less MacBook Air.

Initial results when we imported our notes were not that impressive, with some words being recognised, and others coming out as gibberish. It took practice on both sides to get better results. On our part we wrote more slowly and clearly, while the MyScript software created a profile to help it recognise our handwriting. Our second attempt was much more successful with only one error.

While the receiver is connected to your Mac you can also use it as a mouse. It takes a little getting used to, as you need to hover the pen over the pad, while pressing down on the paper replicates a mouse click. The Digtial Pen comes with a plastic 'fake' ink cartridge to use in these cases.

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