The Nokia Digital Pen is the sleekest of the trio on test and has an equally compact USB base.
Bluetooth connectivity adds to the data transfer options. You can pair the Nokia pen to your phone but not to a desktop dongle.
Unlike the io Pen from Logitech, the Nokia can have the charger connected to the pen, which saves you having to carry the docking station with you everywhere. Conveniently most regular Nokia phone chargers are compatible with the Digital pen.
After installation, to download the data from the Nokia pen via the USB base you need to disconnect your firewall and anti virus system before the docking director turns from grey to white detecting the pen and your data downloads. You might also find that you have to disconnect your PDA during pen USB downloads to avoid it being blocked. This is certainly an inconvenience but once the Nokia software launches you can reconnect to the Internet.
The Nokia Digital Pen can store up to 100 A5 pages in digital format. Integration with Outlook, PowerPoint and Word is seamless and swift, providing you select the items you need on the page. The handwritten images and text appear as .gifs in your documents. With the Nokia pen you can clearly see the digital dots on the paper when viewed through Outlook.
One of the most entertaining features of the Nokia Pen is the ability to replay the precise action of your writing or drawing through the play button in the Digital Note Viewer. At this stage the animated replay is not exportable. According to Nokia later versions will be able to export this function which could make emails far more entertaining to receive as you see a handwritten note taking shape in front of you.
You can send MMS to compatible Bluetooth 1.1 phones which, according to the Nokia web site are currently only the Nokia 7650, 3650, 6650 and the new 6600. However other Bluetooth phones are compatible including several Sony Ericssons. Updating your phone software to enable the Bluetooth Pen profile could be necessary.
In this test a Sony Ericsson T68i and a Nokia 6600 were used to transfer images and text to the screen. When you send writing or a sketch to a phone, ticking the medium or thickest of the pen settings box makes it appear visible on the handset. Not ticking any boxes gets you a thin scrawl on the phone. Images transferred to a mobile by Bluetooth will be around 5k.
Sending images such as simple maps and handwritten notes via Bluetooth to mobile phones is a useful and fun feature that will draw gasps from your less tech savvy mates.
Combine that with downloadable pages via USB to your desktop and it will be enough to convince some people that the Nokia digital pen is the one for them.
The best design: Compact and has a cap that fits both ends. Impressive Bluetooth capability lets you send images to phones in a 10 metre radius from where you can then forward them. USB docking is a bit of a pain and means disconnecting your Internet connection to download pages.