Review: Moleskine Smart Writing Set

Updated / Thursday, 8 Mar 2018 18:26

The kit uses a smart pen to replicate what you draw on paper digitally in the app

By Will Goodbody

If you are a prolific note-taker or doodler, but are still wedded to paper when you know you should be doing it digitally, then this product may be for you.

The Moleskine Smart Writing Set is comprised of a paper notebook (described as a Paper Tablet - but it is really just a notebook), a Pen+ smart pen and an app.

The notebook looks more or less like a regular Moleskine, save for the unusual dots on the pages - more about that later.

The pen is a comfortable three sided aluminium design with a standard removable ink tip cartridge.

It has an inbuilt rechargeable battery with micro USB port and enough power for 5 hours writing, a power and pairing button and an LED status bar.

The app is available for both Android and iOS.

The idea is this.

After downloading the app and pairing the pen with your device, you open the Paper Tablet - I mean notebook...

You then use the smart pen to write, draw or whatever it is you want to do with real ink on the page.

If you have the app open, you’ll simultaneously see your physical scribbles on the page appear in digital form in real time on the device.

The colour and thickness of the digital strokes can be manipulated as you draw.

If you do not have the app open at the time, no matter.

The next time you do, you can download the writing or pictures from the pen to the app.

Once in digital form, written words can be converted to text, with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

You can also edit the notes, export and share the files, reorder the notes into particular notebooks and more.

Particularly clever is the pen and app’s ability to detect which page you are on, so that if you hop from page to page to add or amend existing notes or add new ones, the page changes automatically to the correct digital one.

How does it all work? Each page in the notebook is covered in dots set out in a grid pattern. 

According to Moleskine the dots have embedded technology which tell the smart pen where it is on the page.

The notebook comes with a decent number of pages - 173 to be precise.

But that’s good because at €29.90 each, replacement notebooks don’t come cheap.

The pen can store 1,000 note pages in its memory.

Huawei in partnership with Vodafone has been using the device to demonstrate the AI capabilities of its new flagship device the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. 

There are other similar products out there like the Wacom Bamboo Spark, Slate and Folio for example.

If note taking is your thing, you’ll probably love it and be willing to shell out the €229 it costs to buy the set.

If you aren’t, you’ll probably wonder what the point is and spend that money on something more useful.

Either way, you will likely have to admit that it is clever.

Comments welcome via Twitter to @willgoodbody