I always take notes; it’s how I learn best. But retyping all of my notes onto my computer so I could edit and study them later was a thing I told myself I would do but never actually ended up doing. It took way too much time, and I kept pretending to study or staring at an empty Word document hoping that something would write itself. Typing up my notes seemed like a definite waste of time.
When smart pens first hit the market, they gave a lot of hope to handwriting enthusiasts. But they were bulky, unwieldy, and heavy, making it clear that there was still a lot of work to be done. Earlier this year, NeoLAB Convergence released its newest model, called the Neo Smartpen M1. It looks just like any of the pens on my desk. Weighing in at just under an ounce, it’s the lightest and thinnest smart pen on the market. With its easy setup and ease of use, you can connect it via Bluetooth and start writing in less than a minute.
It has a great design and comes in 3 colors. The pen connects to iOS, Android, Windows devices, and other smartphones. It’s very easy to connect and NeoLAB provides a video tutorial that is straightforward and easy to follow.
The transcriptions are most successful when written in capitalized, block lettering; the transcription of regular handwriting depends on how legible your own writing is. Cursive writing sometimes gets hiccups (i.e. the text doesn’t get fully transcribed or the letters get mixed up), but overall it works very well, transferring all words and images exactly as they were written. Another great feature is the 15 available languages that, when downloaded on the Neo notes app, are immediately recognized by the pen.
The M1 does require special N notebooks to work, but they’re really well made and come in various formats. The pen recognizes when you switch pages and stores about 1000 pages in its offline mode, which can be uploaded later. It doesn’t have the longest battery life, with about 6 hours of continuous use after a full charge and 125 days in standby mode.
The M1 is perfect for note writing. It transcribes your notes, making them available to edit in the Neo notes app, as well as makes them exportable as pictures, videos or audio files. It’s not the most ideal tool for sketching and detailed drawing, though, as the camera in the pen has to always be facing the paper – otherwise, the pen strokes might not be picked up digitally.
The M1 is sold on Amazon, Blucoil, and the company’s website for $129. The N notebooks sell for roughly $20 and come in bundles of 5. Step into the future with the Neo Smartpen M1 and let your writing do the talking.
Under-Caffeinated College Student