Is it a pen? Is it a stylus? It’s Electropen 3 — a designing tool that works on paper and on a touchscreen.
What: Electropen 3
At a glance: 1GB internal memory, inbuilt sensor
USP: Converts handwriting to editable digital text
Best buy: Rs 4,500 on amazon.com
The days of jotting down the minutes of a meeting, and then having to type them out on your computer are officially over. Portronics Electropen 3 aims to redefine the note-taking process by bridging the gap between the analog and the digital. How? It gives you the liberty to write on a normal sheet of paper using regular ink. Then, with the help of a Bluetooth sensor, it records the movement of the pen and recreates the same for your phone. In simple terms, everything you do on paper with the Electropen 2 will be recreated as an e-copy for digital editing. All one needs is an app called the Electropen 3, available on Android as well as iOS.
What’s good: The pen has a built-in transmitter that communicates with the sensor device via Bluetooth. The sensor comes with an attached pin, so one can use it on any paper or notepad. The interface of the sensor device is user-friendly: for instance, a pen icon appears on its display indicating that the sensor is recording the movement of the pen for digital recreation. It also displays a reminder for the user to save his actions before shutting the device down. Both the actual pen and sensor clip come with powerful batteries. The sensor went three days on a single charge and the pen continued working seamlessly for a week. The pen’s biggest strength is the design. The royal blue metal body adds a sense of style to the device.
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What’s not: Despite the colour and the finish, the pen is too thick and too heavy. We tried doodling with the pen and the weight made it quite difficult for us to get the details right. The thickness is an issue too, as finding a comfortable grip on the pen is a hassle. Additionally, when not being used as a digital pen, the refill is shaky, which obstructs the flow of the ink. The app that is required to view the digital versions lags significantly and often shuts down mid-job. Though the original data is saved on the pen, the edits made on the digital platform don’t autosave when the app shuts down, forcing you to start working from scratch.
Verdict: Despite the glitches, Electropen 3 provides value for money in terms of the digital copies it provides. If you are a gadget hoarder, this one needs to be on your list.