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Logitech io Pen

On opening the box the first thing you notice is the size of the Logitech io pen. It is the largest of the three and tapers in the centre before widening at the end. Despite the weird shape and size it is surprisingly comfortable to hold.

The Logitech io is the only digital pen which could be described as ‘handist’ in positioning the power and data LEDs to benefit right-handed users. (The Nokia SU-1B pen has three white LEDs that discreetly line the top and the Chat Pen has colour changing LEDs either side.)

During the set up you are prompted to install .Net Framework 1.1 which is supplied on the CD. The USB lead differs to the Nokia in that it has an individual mains powered connection that joins the PC end of USB connection.

On returning from a trip away using the digital notepads, docking the io Pen creates a message appearing above the system icons confirming new documents and creating a shortcut to launch the io software. Additionally you get a note with the date you last downloaded the pen and the battery and memory status.

The io 2.0 software is the most advanced of the bunch yet intuitive to use. Once you’ve downloaded your page you can then customise the images using a lasso tool to select irregularly shaped chunks of text or images. They can be stretched or flipped and you can alter line thickness and colour.

File formats of graphics to be embedded in your documents can be set. Choose between .gif, .emf, .jpeg, .png or .tiff and pick resolution from 72 up to 300 dpi.

Other options include a rules tab that lets you to specify from a drop down list where each of the digital paper types will go to when docked. For example you can assign your Post-Its to open in Calendar or your digital notes to open in Word, or in the io Software application.

A key feature of the Logitech pen is converting handwriting to text with bundled ICR (intelligent character recognition) third party software: MyScript Notes developed by Vision Objects supplied on a 30 day trial. The full version costs £30 which is a nasty extra expense but worth it. Character recognition quality is average and will take some patience to get the best results.

An observation about all the email address boxes in the digital pads is that they are small so be prepared to do some correcting unless you have exceptionally neat handwriting.

There is no need to worry that you could lose your workon a long trip because the 1MB of non-volatile flash memory dedicated to storing your data will not be lost after the battery is flat.

The well developed Logitech io Software editing package is unmatched by the other two digital pens but they compensate with their connectivity. If you are content to download your stored notes via USB instead of Bluetooth then the io Pen could be the digital pen to get hold of.

Verdict

Despite the large, toy-like design the io pen is comfortable to hold. This pen has the best editing software, docks by USB with no problems and has some rudimentary character recognition software on a 30 day trial, with £30 for the full version. Simple to use and great editing tools.

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