For those who want the skinny up front, here's the deal:
- This device is _NOT_ capable of working without being attached to a PC
- Think of this like a poor-man's digital tablet without the features - but you get to keep the handwritten bit as ink on paper
- The version of the software provided doesn't do much... You need to upgrade or use other products if you want OCR
- If you want true portability from IOGEAR, the GPEN200N is supposed to work... but I've subsequently decided to purchase a tablet from Aiptek, which I _know_ will work
The full story below...
When I first purchased the IOGEAR digital scribe I was expecting to receive a portable, wireless, tablet-emulation device - something with which I could take notes on the go and upload to my computer later. I've owned a tablet device in the past and it was great, but a bit bulky - so I was happy to see a tiny, portable device which professed to deliver the same functionality.
HOWEVER... It was not to be... The device which was described and listed on this page was not what ended up getting shipped. The description was for the GPEN200N, the pictures for the older model of the GPEN100C (note: after submitting a comment to Amazon this has now been fixed...). What got shipped? The GPEN100C.
Basically you get two bits of hardware: a USB-connected receiver and a transmitter pen. The receiver (which looks a little like a tiny console game controller) must be connected to a PC to function using the retractable USB zip-cord cable (about 2' maximum extension). The main part of the unit is sat on the top of your pad of paper (or piece of paper) and will capture the information transmitted by the digital pen.
Included with the package is the drivers for the note taking function, and then MyScript Notes (2.1) Light...
Down to details. For what it is, the device is reasonable. In pen mode, the capture of the writing is reasonably accurate, though I do find if you set the device up for one-page mode it seems to record my writing on an angle instead of horizontally on the page. Seeing your writing pop-up on the monitor is pretty nifty too, and the export capability from the basic application are simple to use (e.g. for keeping digital images of your notes or pictures).
The mouse mode is kind-of fun in drawing applications, particularly for making quick diagrams, but otherwise largely useless. The device has no pressure sensitivity; for graphical work you really want a device which can handle multiple levels of pressure (this give a true brush-stroke capability). If you are anything other than the most casual user, don't bother with this for that purpose.
The pen itself is comfortable and quite light for my hands, using two watch-batteries. If you have smaller hands, this might not be quite so comfortable, however.
I personally found the My Script Notes LE software useless. I use Adobe products to do OCR, and the basic application which comes with the pen drivers are otherwise more than sufficient.
In terms of using the device, I have both a laptop and a desktop. With the laptop, it's ok, because everything sits on the table, but with my desktop the 2' USB cable is far too short to reach. If you want to use it with a desktop, be prepared to purchase a USB extension cable.
All in all, an ok piece of kit, but for the price, I'd recommend you do what I did in the end - go buy a real tablet from a company like Aiptek.