Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack Review APA-00009

Livescribe Announces New Echo Voice Recording Pen for Students

May 23, 2011, Livescribe introduced the Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack APA-00009 for students.  I own a Pulse 2GB pen and have been so impressed with the pen’s ability to capture every word I hear when I attend a lecture or meeting as well as integrate the handwritten notes and drawings taken at the time.
After a little research I believe Livescribe’s new Echo is a top choice for students; I decided to write the Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Review APA-00009.
If you have to take a lot of notes during classes, lectures or meetings, you’re going to love the Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen as much as I do!  If a pen is mightier than a sword, a digital pen is mightier than an electronic missile.

My Experiences With Livescribe Smartpens

I started using a Livescribe Smartpen a couple years ago and fell in love with its abilities to capture  every note I heard and notes and drawings and synchonize the recording as well.
Saving,  storing, and then searching for keywords on the pen is a breeze.  I can also upload my pencasts to my computer for organization, searching and sharing with friends.
Some of the difference a Livescribe Echo 2 GB Smartpen (APA-00009) would make in my life would mean alot to students also:
  • At lectures and meetings I often write furiously, trying to capture what the speaker says, before the subject is changed.  Now I capture a complete voice recording and record subheadings and bulleted information for searching
  • I update my recordings with additional audio notes, drawings and handwritten comments about the teacher’s answers to questions slides, etc at the appropriate part of the lecture notes
  • When writing copious notes I had voluminous notes to organize and manage and no quick way to search or update.  Now my notes are mostly on my computer, easily searchable
  • I took notes in spiral notebooks; creating custom notebooks was a pain and now it is a breeze to search by topic and drag and drop the items of iterest>
  • I don’t deliver a talk prepared ahead of time very often. Now thought I can prepare an oral report, recording a practice run and noting changes to get it just right!

In the last couple years, after talking to many users, I have discovered many ways digital pens can help students take complete notes and replay them so that the student really understands what is being presented.  A Livescribe Echo 2 GB Smartpen can help students master the information presented; their increased understanding may help them raise their grades.

Ways Livescribe Smartpens can Help Students Learn and Get Better Grades

Livescribe Echo 2 GB  Smartpen Empowers
All the Livescribe Digital Smartpens are great; my research finally led me to research and review the Livescribe pen that I believe is now the best value for the money, the
Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen. My Review of the Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack APA-00009 follows.  But first let me tell you a little about the digital pen technology so effective in the Livescribe smartpen.

Digital Pen Technology

The Anoto digital pen technology has been used by digital pens for years to capture whatever a digital smartpen  writes and draws on special dot paper.
At the same time, Livescribe enhanced the digital pen technology so the digital pen captures synchronized audio sounds recorded while you take notes or drawings.
For more information about the Digital Smartpen Technology and Livescribe contributions  check out this post Digital SmartPen Technology:
Applying Anoto digital pen technology, a  voice recording can be replayed by tapping the pen to the dot paper at a special word (keyword) to  search using  handwritten word or phrase.
Tapping synchronizes the replay with the timing of your original notes, so you can see exactly what you took down at a given point during the original lecture.
The recorded audio visual clips are called pencasts.  They can be stored on the pen and transferred to your PC or Mac for storage, updating, searching, retrieval, review and exporting to friends.
The pencast works just like any computer file.  Files transferred to your computer can be organized in Custom notebooks on your personal Livescribe online webspace.
Your personal Livescribe space probably contains far more information than an armful of physical notebooks, and can be stored in much less space.  To be sure you have enough space for your virtual notebooks, Livescribe  gives you 500 MB of online storage.
Can you see why the potential for students is so great? For more details about the Livescribe pen basic comparing features and functionality,  check out this link: Digital SmartPen Comparison:

Ways the 2GB ECho Smartpen can empower a student

Eight ways I can think of quickly that a Livescribe digital smartpen will help a student learn and improve grades.

1. Capture Voice Recording While You Write. The Livescribe smartpen records everything you hear and everything you write or draw, synchronizing the strokes of your digital pen with the timing of the audio recorded, so that you have a complete multimedia record of the original lecture or meeting.  It’s dictation and transcription automatically rolled into one!
In a class, you will not miss a word the teacher says no matter how exhausted or distracted you are. You will have a complete audio recording and can focus your attention on the words of the teacher or meeting leader.

2. Use the Instant Audiovisual Replay Feature: Play back the sounds you have recorded by tapping a word or phrase taken at the time of the audio recording. The smartpen also allows you to go forward and back through recorded pencasts on the pen or desktop to find the word or words you are looking for. Search by keyword or keywords to find exactly what you want.

The pen is incredible for reviewing class notes or research. The digital pen can record a formula for calculating an algebraic equation, as well as an audio of the instructor reviewing each step needed for solving the equation.  Record personal notes, questions asked and answers.  You will have a complete audio recording of the explanationa to prepare for your next test.
The syncronized audio clip or pencast about using the formula can be updated with additional notes from the instructor as well changes to the wording and examples.  When you review using this formula, calculating results will be so much easier!

3. Carry an e-Notebook Right in Your Pen: your notes electronically in your smartpen as a digital e-notebook to lighten your load! No need to lug around bulky ring notebooks and dig for m emo pads! With the digital smartpen, your e-Notebook will fit right in your pocket or purse!

4. Store Your Digital Notes on Your Computer: Plug your pen into your computer and transfer your e-notebook to your desktop or laptop, where you can use it just like a regular computer file! Store it, update it, search for information by keyword, or combine your audio and written notes with text files, sound files, images, and videos. Turn your original notes into your own audio presentation, or video!

5. Upload Your Notes Online: Livescribe gives you 500 MB of space to store your notes on your Desktop! You can use this extra storage to save memory on your computer. You can even retrieve your notes from any computer, or send them to any computer in the world!

6. Create Multimedia Pencast Presentations: Instead of giving a  talk that sounds like everyone else’s or passing out boring notes, you can animate your presentations with multimedia pencasts!
Give the teacher a pencast or publish a public pencast to the Livescribe Community.

7. Share Pencasts Online, by Email or Mobile Phone You and your friends can post pencasts on websites as well as the Livescribe Community or share pencasts via email or mobile phone. Create team or class notebooks, and share them in different formats like PDF files, pencasts, CDs, podcasts, movies, even on Facebook!  Great for virtual meetings with team mates.

8. Add Your Own Applications to Build Your Customized Electronic Toolkit: You can customize your Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack APA-00009 by adding handy applications, MyScribe for Livescribe Handwriting Conversion software, Connect Premium and Spanish to English translation software. Turn your digital pen into your personal electronic toolkit!

Those are just a few of the special uses I can think of off the bat. I’m sure once you begin  using your Livescribe Echo 2  GB Smartpen APA-00009 at school or at home, you’ll come up with other interesting applications.
The smartpen effectively puts the power of a tiny computer with a recorder into your pocket, making it almost as versatile as a laptop or IPAD, especially when you consider that you can literally plug it into your computer or the Internet. For details on a virtual extension of your laptop that you can carry in your pocket,

For details on the Echo 2 GB Smartpen Click Here: Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack 

How Much Will A Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen Cost?

The Livescribe Echo 2 GB Smartpen Starter Pack APA-00009 is available on Amazon’s website for $96.95, including shipping.  This is the best price I’ve been able to find.
What’s Included with the Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen APA-00009?
Out of the box, you get:
The Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen
Livescribe Connect Basic
2GB of memory
500MB of personal Livescribe online storage space
1 ink cartridges
Dot paper starter notebook
Standard 3.5 audio jack
Micro USB Cable
An interactive Getting Started Guide
A Smartpen Tips and Tricks Guide

Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen APA-00009

The pen has storage for both Livescribe pens, 200 hours audio recording and more than 32,000 pages of notes without transfer of notes.

The pen is incredible for replaying a lecture or reviewing class notes or research. The digital pen can record a formula for calculating an algebraic equation, as well as an audio of the instructor reviewing each step needed for solving the equation.  Record personal notes, questions asked and answers.

You will have a complete audio recording of the explanationa to prepare for your next test. The syncronized audio clip or pencast about using the formula can be updated with additional notes from the instructor as well changes to the wording and examples.  When you review using this formula, calculating results will be so much easier!

Livescribe Connect Basic: Easily send notes and drawings to people and to organizations,  Facebook and Livescribe Community Online. Add optional Livescribe Connect Premium for email and Google Docs capability.

Ink Cartridges
One additional ink cartridge supplied unlike the other Echo pens where two additional ink cartridges are supplied

Pen Cap: One additional pen cap provided instead of two for other Echo pens.  The pen caps have a tendency to fall off and get lost.  The pen cap keeps the ink in the ink cartridge from drying.

Storage and Battery

How much can you record? The battery is rechargeable and lets you record up to 5 hours of audio along with your notes before recharging. With the pen’s 2GB memory capacity, you can record two hundred hours of pure audio, or a hundred fifty pages of notes, which is probably enough for a semester of notes. To incrase this limit simply upload notes from your digital smartpen to the Desktop and delete some of the pencasts from your pen, which is a good idea anyway.

Audio Jack: Supports Livescribe Premium 3D Binaural Headset for Echo smartpens, your own premium Ear Buds, and other Premium headsets rather than the 2.5 Audio Jack sold with the Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen APA-00003.  Your own premium Ear Buds or the Livescribe Binaural Premium Ear Buds are likely to be  more effective in large conference rooms or large meeting rooms where voice come from all directions

Micro USB  Cable:

Micro-USB Cable is in the pen rather than a cradle to facilitate transfer of notes and battery charging; the pen can be carried in the pocket 24/7 with no need for a separate cradle for recharging and note transfer

Paper:
The Livescribe Echo 2 GB Smartpen Starter Pack comes with a Starter Notebook of Livescribe Dot Paper, regular paper with a special pattern of micro dots for capturing notes, drawings and audio

Are Accessories Available?

There are some  great optional applications are available.  Among those I found useful:
MyScript for Livescribe handwriting-conversion software which allows you to export your handwritten notes to digital text.

American Heritage 70,000-word English Dictionary: the meaning of a word by either tapping on it, or writing it down. It comes with audio support; you can hear the pronunciation of the word you have looked for as well as the definition. Great for students in Advanced Placement classes and ESL students

English/Spanish-Spanish/English 40,000-word Dictionary: Tap on a word with your pen, hear the translation, pronounciation and definition. Write a word in Spanish and hear the pronunciation of the English word and definition. If the word is a verb, hear the conjugation. A real blessing for English and Spanish language learners and travelers!

Travel Applications: Many free travel apps can be downloaded from the  Livescribe website. These apps allow you to write an English sentence and translate it into the selected language. This is particularly useful when talking to cab drivers in foreign countries.

For more details about this great digital pen Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Model  APA-00009, Click Here: Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack 

 Customer Support

I have contacted Livescribe’s customer support to download software and found the service excellent. The reviews on the Internet are very favorable. Most of the reviews have praised the quality and responsiveness of customer support. It is good to know that if I have a problem with the my digital smartpen, I will more than likely get excellent customer support.

Pros and Cons?

I haven’t found any major complaints about the Livescribe Echo 2 GB Smartpen Starter Pack APA-00009. Some of the minor issues are:
  • The handwriting conversion software is not included in the price. This is probably the most common issue raised
  • The Connect Premium is not included in the price
  • Only one pen cap and 1 ink cartridge are included (that’s a bit cheap!)
None of this affects my use of the pen, for me they’re minor issues.

Warranty

The Livescribe 2GB Echo  Smartpen APA-00009 comes with a 1 year warranty.

What Are Others Saying?

The best sources for Livescribe Echo 2 GB Smartpen Starter Pack APA-00009 reviews are by those among Amazon reviewers who have actually used the Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen (APA-00009) or a Livescribe 2GB Pulse. The smartpen has received top reviews from most Amazon customers, with an Amazon average rating 4 to 5. The Livescribe Echo smartpen currently is rated #4 for sales in Amazon’s Electronics category.
Here are some of the comments to date:
“The Best digital note-taking smartpen on the market”
“Invaluable Tool for Students”

To read more review on the Echo 2GB Smartpen,  Click Here: Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack 

Where is the best place to purchase the Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack APA-00009?

 Amazon has the best price and purchase includes free shipping at the moment. I believe after comparing prices with other online merchants, Amazon offers the best deal, especially considering the free shipping option.

For a Great value for the cost of a 2GB Echo APA-00009, Click Here: Livescribe 2 GB Echo Smartpen Starter Pack 

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