73

This pen's high price and lack of a dock make it an impractical option for most

73

No matter how much we complain about the Sky's price or imperfect UI, it's nonetheless a genuinely useful product. For those who prefer to write with ink and paper, but who want to preserve and organize their notes in the cloud, it offers a simplified workflow that no other product can match. The most intense rivalry actually comes from Livescribe's other product, the Echo. If you're an organized person who doesn't mind a few extra steps, and if you're confident you'll never forget to carry your pen everywhere, then be quick: Snap up a $120 Echo before it's too late. If you already own an Echo or the older Pulse pen, think twice before upgrading to the Sky, because you might miss the reassuring nature of your old docking habits, even if they were sometimes inconvenient. The Sky's wireless syncing is a nice feature, but it's not a game-changer.

Then again, if you're less than impeccably organized, and you're still convinced the Sky smartpen could fit in with the way you work day to day, then you shouldn't be afraid to take the $170 leap. You may have to deal with a few syncing hiccups on occasion, but perhaps that's better than needing to carry a USB cable and laptop, or remembering to dock the pen to a PC. Funnily enough, during the course of writing the review, this editor lost his notebook -- likely it was misplaced at a recent Nikon launch -- but he was saved by the smartpen, which had already uploaded his notes about the new Nikon camera to Evernote's servers. It's hard to put a price on things like that.

Buy It:

$121.94

90-Day Price History

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$150
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$79

Critic reviews

7.3
10 reviews
  • Features
    7.6
  • Display
  • Battery life
    7.6
  • Ease of use
    7.6
  • Storage capacity
    7.3
  • Design and form factor
    7.3
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.4
  • Durability

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User reviews

no user reviews yet
  • Features
  • Display
  • Battery life
  • Ease of use
  • Storage capacity
  • Design and form factor
  • Portability (size / weight)
  • Durability
8.0
PC World May 21, 2013

This makes it a great tool for journalists covering events. Students and teachers could benefit, too. An instructor could share "pencasts" that explain trigonometry ratios, for instance, while students take interactive notes to spell out the formulas and shapes during class.

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7.0
PC Mag Oct 29, 2012

Livescribe's digital pens, which employ a unique combination of actual pen and voice recorder, have always been a top-notch way to take accurate notes, but the latest version, the Sky Wifi Smartpen, needs a bit more work.

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7.0
TechCrunch Oct 29, 2012

If you do a lot of interviews without your computer, attend math classes or like the novelty of a digital pen, then you are a potential customer. The initial investment is high, but the flexibility of paper brought to the digital environment is impressive and actually useful.

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7.0
AllThingsD Nov 8, 2012

The Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen is pricey, but for students and business users who take a lot of notes and want to be thorough, it’s a worthy investment.

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8.0
SlashGear Oct 29, 2012

For those ... who still enjoy the feel of a physical pen nib on physical paper, Livescribe offers the best of that tactile experience with the convenience of digital backup and sharing. The inclusion of wireless to streamline that process only makes it more appealing.

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8.0
Time Oct 29, 2012

... this is the first incarnation of the idea I can see working its way into my everyday routine.

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8.0
PC World Australia Nov 8, 2012

The Livescribe Sky wifi smartpen is an improvement over its predecessor thanks to built-in Wi-Fi connectivity that synchronises recorded notes and audio to Evernote. While the core functionality of the Sky wifi remains as impressive as ever, the buggy integration with Evernote needs to be ironed...

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8.0
Gizmodo Australia Oct 29, 2012

Should You Buy It? If you can afford it, absolutely. This will revolutionise the way you draw, sketch, take notes and interview. As a journalist, I don’t know how I have gone this long without it. For the price you’re paying, though, you’d want to use it every day.

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