This is an awesome product which just so happens to look very cool as well. Charge lasts about a week and stores up to 1000 sheets in PDF format. Some people may find the contrast poor as it needs to be used in good light but I've never found it a problem. Recommend purchasing the Portfolio case as well to protect your new bleeding edge gadget. As a sideline I also use an excellent program called PDF stacks which organises PDF's very much the same way as itunes organises your music. Highly recommended.
This is a really nice product. I had it on order for some time before it was delivered and read several negative comments about the inability to see the screen when writing. I've had no such problems and can see everything clearly. If you want to take notes (and save them) then take a look at this product, it's very easy to use and can save data to tablet/PC via Bluetooth and USB. I'm very impressed by it's abilities to date.
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...Black light flashing on a black background......
Really disappointing, the boogie board I tried previously had legible writing, good clear contrast and really only suffered because it had no way to send the notes taken to another device or storage medium.
Although the Sync 9.7 should have been at least half of what I have been looking for, for years, it turns out to be a real waste of money.
The writing turns out to be barely legible with almost zero contrast. I can't recommend it.....
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214 of 224 people found the following review helpful
If you want to stop taking notes with pen and paper, this may be the ticket1 Jan 2014
Jamie Kratz Gullickson
- Published on Amazon.com
Reading through the other reviews for this device, it's clear that many people who purchased one didn't have a clear understanding of what they were buying. I'm not sure if this is due to misleading marketing materials or lack of shopper diligence, but based on the fact that most of the complaints, questions and "limitations" are clearly explained in the owner's manual, I'm guessing the latter.
I highly recommend trying a Boogie Board in person (any model will do) before purchasing the Sync because that will tell you a lot about whether or not you can enjoy writing on the device.
The Sync is just like any other Boogie Board except that it can record and store your pen strokes. This means that you can't erase a line (just like pen & paper) and you can't "load" a note on the device that you previously saved. The Boogie Board isn't a "screen" or display like an iPad or other tablet, which is part of the reason it works so well.
Devices that use a screen for drawing require your pen strokes to go through a number of steps before they show up on the display, which can lead to delays or "lag" between the time you move the pen and when the line shows up. The faster or more complex your movement, the more lag. This makes taking notes fast on most devices impossible, but on the Boogie Board you're "activating" the pixels on the writing surface directly by the pressure of the stylus, so there is no lag or delay.
The precision and detail possible on the Boogie Board exceeds any other device I've used, which includes all iPads, many Android tablets and other more obscure devices. Even with high-end stylus the limitations of the digitizers used in tablets prevents them from coming anywhere close to the kind of fine detail pen and paper are capable of. I won't say that the Sync can match a fine pen, but it's pretty close to the average ballpoint, and much better than the "fat gel pen" that the best tablets can manage.
So in addition to being a nice writing surface, when the page gets full the Sync can save the page to internal memory so you can erase everything and start on a new page. The internal memory can hold something like 2000 pages, so you can go a pretty long time before you need to worry about running out of storage. The battery life is also excellent (going on more than a week since my first charge) so it's feasible that you could go "off the grid" with the Sync for quite awhile before running out of memory or power.
When you're ready to review you notes, the Sync can be attached to any computer via USB and the saved pages can be read like files off a flash drive. If you don't like cables you can use Bluetooth instead, and transfer the files using your operating system's built-in Bluetooth file transfer software, or install the Sync software provided by the vendor to automatically copy the files on to your computer.
The vendor's software has some other cool features that let you use the Sync like a "digital whiteboard", as well as use it like a mouse. There's also mobile apps for iOS and Android that will sync your drawings over Bluetooth and can then push them up to Evernote automatically (you can also email the drawings and export other ways as well).
As others have mentioned the software could use some work and it is somewhat unstable (crashes occasionally). The Evernote synchronization seems hit-or-miss, but I haven't tested it enough to know what the exact cause of that is. The upside of this is that the drawings are stored on the device's memory, so if the software crashes you can just try again without loosing work. In the long run I'd expect the software to improve, but since the files are accessible without the software, there's an opportunity for others to develop better software if the vendor chooses not to improve it.
One other note I'll mention is that the writing surface does seem to be sensitive to cold, in that when it's cold it seems less responsive and drawings have less contrast and require more pressure to show up than when the device is at room temperature (bear in mind that I live in Wisconsin, so when I say "cold" I mean single-digits fahrenheit). When my Sync first arrived it was cold from transport and was hard to see, but after an hour in the house it was warmed to about 65 degrees and worked much better.
The Boogie Board Sync trades the versatility of a general-purpose tablet for a dramatically-improved writing experience, better writing performance, incredible battery life and substantially lower price. If you are looking for a way to achieve the convenience and security of electronic note taking without extremely compromising the writing experience, the Boogie Board Sync might be just what you've been waiting for.
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Hardware, Apps almost Ready...yet. RTFM!15 Jan 2014
C. L. Turner
- Published on Amazon.com
First in this review to everyone complaining about the screen and lines not being bright enough I offer this.
Download and READ the manual.
This device is pressure sensitive. Apply more pressure to the stylus, the lines get thicker. It is like magic. The "mystery button" on the pen? It's a mouse button for the digitizing mode (using this device as a "mouse" while connected to your computer). How do you pair this with your devices? Well, Reading Rainbow was right kids! There's magic in books...download it and read.
Rant over. Here's your link: [...]
Now for the interesting stuff.
I first used a Boogie Board in Japan. Awesome, loved it, didn't buy one because I wanted "this". Well, now I have it and leave for Japan again in a couple of days to conduct some training and the Sync has the potential to be what I have been shouting for. It is light, built well and simple. It's not as simple as the previous "dumb" Boogie Board, but it does so much more, so you just need to expect that and take the time to learn. Once you figure it out (takes about 5 minutes), it's great!
In the hardware sense, it is a bigger, solid version of its predecessors. Well worth the upgrade.
The Sync seems to have been released with a pretty good set of firmware. It does what it says and does it easily. I don't expect it to be a tablet and it isn't. The only real issue I have with the firmware so far? It seems to think all of its files were created in 1979.
That year didn't work so well for me. I'd like it to be 2014 now. There does not seem to be a way to easily update it (so I guess a trip to the Forums is in order)
The VDC software (version 0.9.166) for PC is a bit glitchy. I haven't had any success browsing the "connected device" yet and the digitizer mode, while VERY useful, still needs a bit of work. It's not labeled as a BETA on the Site (like the Android App in Google Play), but it should be. Since I do not know how quickly they roll updates, I'm still waiting on this one. Right now, I have some high hopes.
The Whiteboard piece is cool, I love it...but 50% of the time it's not available.
I've been waiting to browse my Sync for 5 minutes now...nope, just sitting there "Loading..."
I work in software, Improv Electronics...don't disappoint me.
I can honestly say this probably shouldn't even have been released yet. It just doesn't do much. Yes, I can browse the device from my tablet and download the files...but where do they go? Where is the path to find said files once I've downloaded them? (Nexus 7 running Android 4.4.2). Where is my Evernote sync? Where is my Whiteboard?
So, is this a negative review? No.
The Sync hardware is great. They got it to market. IF they follow up quickly with good Firmware, Software and App updates? Well, they can have a real hit on their hands...but they need to be quick about it (like start making improvements within a week or so...be iterative! Be bold! Go!)
I rarely give 5 stars to anything, but if the non-hardware pieces were in shape, it *could* get a 5.
I'll update this review as I use this device more and have it longer to put it through its paces in different environments.
***Update 2.21.14*** The software and app have both gone through some updates and they're good!
Bluetooth sync with phone and tablet (Android) seem to work well now; very happy that's working! The software now lets me browse the device from my desktop (Windows 7).
Happy with the progress they're making, just wish they'd move a little faster.
*Hardware* Now that I've had some time with the Sync, I really do like it (I've added a star!). I have drawn a little arrow on the device to let me know which way is "up" (just me being dense...hate having to flip my downloads). I can see everything just fine in most situations. The only real exception is when I'm at a really bad viewing angle from the screen, which is expected, this IS an LCD and that is the nature of LCDs. This has gone to Japan and back with me and is in my backpack every day. Pretty scratch resistant, no issues, no problems.
Enjoying this more and more every day!
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Useful, but not without some issues.31 Dec 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
I managed to place an order on Christmas day and received the Boogie Board Sync (BBS) yesterday; so far, I am rather pleased with the device.
My specific use case is taking notes at school, and thanks to the Evernote integration, having those notes available on all of my other devices.
After a day of testing, here's my take:
HARDWARE (FOUR STARS):
The device is super-light and very thin; in fact, it's so light and thin, I worry about accidentally breaking it if I look at it the wrong way. That's not a knock on the device though, it's actually a plus.
As others have mentioned, the contrast compared to other Boogie Boards is really low, so it can be a little difficult to read. I'm not sure if this is a defect or if it is inherent to the technology required to capture and save what you're written. Not a deal breaker, but if Improv wants to send me a replacement, I'll take it.
I would love to keep this on my fridge as a whiteboard when not in use; however, there are no magnets in the device. Was it an oversight or did the magnets interfere with the devices ability to capture the input? You'll have to ask Improv Electronics.
And speaking of input, you can use most anything to write on the device, but only information written/drawn with the stylus is saved.
USE (FIVE STARS):
After trying my hand at taking notes on a standard tablet with what amounts to a pencil eraser (iPad/Nexus/etc.), or taking notes on my Venue 8 Pro with its proprietary stylus, taking notes on the BBS is a dream. There are no delays in capturing what you're writing/drawing. And a huge plus is that you can actually set your hand on the device while writing/drawing; no errant lines or smudges. Basically, you can use the device like a pad of paper - how refreshing.
It's true, you can't undo mistakes or go back to previous pages on the device, but if Improv/Kent included that technology on the BBS, the cost would not be $99.
CONNECTIVITY (FIVE STARS):
At this point, I've found no reason to physically connect the device to anything via USB; all testing has been done via Bluetooth on a Moto X and a Dell Venue 8 Pro.
The device is easy to connect via Bluetooth, just make sure you read the instructions as it's not overly apparent how to do so.
Transfers to both my phone and PC were fast and painless.
I quickly tried out the real-time whiteboard functionality. It works, but as it's not something I intend to use, I didn't really put it through its paces.
SOFTWARE (THREE STARS):
The images/PDFs come out looking great - no complaints there - but the SYNC app (Android) could use some work.
1. The app crashes when trying to upload notes to Evernote. I'm sure it will be fixed, but for now, it's an issue (at least on my Moto X).
2. Uploading to Evernote via the Android app means syncing each note individually; there is no batch action here.
3. The device does not know which way is up, so unless you're using it in portrait orientation with the stylus holder on the right, all of your images/PDFs will be rotated/upside down. Granted, you can change the orientation once transferred to a PC/Evernote, but it would be nice to adjust via the app BEFORE transferring to your PC/Evernote.
4. Right now, each page is a separate "note" that needs to be merged in Evernote after syncing.
5. No ability to choose a notebook to save to in Evernote. As far as I can tell, you have to manage this after the fact.
As with my other "complaints," none of these are deal breakers, but it would be nice to see Improv leverage the power of your phone to do some of the formatting that the BBS can't handle on-board. Easily fixed, I'm sure.
I would love to give the device five stars, but I have to take the software into account, and since the apps are not at a five star level yet, I'm giving the BBS a four star rating. The apps do the job of getting your info off the device and uploaded to Evernote, but it's clunky and missing some helpful features. Granted, the Android app is only version 0.1.0 at this point, so I'm hoping Improv/Kent intend to do much more with the apps.
In the end, the Boogie Board Sync is not a tablet or eReader, so if that's what you want, look elsewhere. The Boogie Board Sync is what it is and that's all that it is - a cheap method for digitizing your notes/doodles - and if that's what you need, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest this device.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This Teacher Loves It!10 Feb 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
I purchased this device when it became available in January in spite of the negative reviews. If you never owned a Boogie Board, the dark screen will be a problem at first. The device is perfect in many ways wherein both parents and school districts should consider investing in to save paper. I've conducted several demonstrations for both administrators and faculty at my high school with positive results.
The dark screen has its benefits in the classroom. Both white and yellow rule paper irritates ones eyes after a long period of time. Storing the single sheets in my file cabinet only introduces clutter, and heaven forbids if I leave them at home the day I need them for a lesson. Yikes! The Boogie Board Sync eliminates these two problems due to converting and storing up to 1,000 single pages on the device. Such features can assist parents with reviewing information their child recorded for a subject to determine their mastery level in addition to communicating with his or her teacher for various reasons. Yet, the biggest perk when using this device is in the classroom.
The dark screen allows students to be independent learners when solving real-world problems for my technology and Engineering courses. The screen prevents cheating when students are sitting close in the classroom, and it forces them to learn the information without shortcuts. Also, the dark screen allows students to use the device for a longer period of time due to the reduction of reflected light.
The bluetooth capability is a bonus for it allows me to walk around the classroom while displaying my "page" on the whiteboard. Such feature provides a personal, one-on-one tutorial experience instead of having to remain in front of the class to explain and/or to solve technological information. I noticed students are more comfortable asking for help when I float around the room opposed to announcing to the class of their shortcomings (which they should not be ashamed of). The cool part is saving the information I provided during class as a PDF file and uploading it to my course website for students to retrieve at a later date due to being absent or for studying purposes.
The device is lighter than the average wired notebook, one charge can last over a week, and the price is affordable for parents due to it lasting for for a long period of time. The Boogie Board Sync not only saves paper but energy too. It is the perfect solution for a long term solution to reduce if not eliminate both paper and copy machines.
55 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Cannot see what you write28 Dec 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
I never write reviews, but felt compelled to share with others thinking about ordering the Boogie Board Sync. Ordered on Dec 5 and received on Dec 27 due to it being out of stock. Sending it back on Dec 28 because you cannot see what you had written on the screen! We have a "regular" Boogie board and that has decent contrast and your able to see whats on the screen. The Sync is a completely different story. You have to push really hard on the stylus (almost feels like your going to break the plastic) just to barely see it on the screen. Good idea, put poor execution.