11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Sent mine back,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Livescribe 8 GB Echo Smartpen (Office Product)
I really wanted to like the Echo Pen, and based upon the other reviews, I thought I would. For the extra money compared to the 4GB version (~£15), I thought it was worth going for the best package.
I really wanted to love it, but I ended up sending mine back after two pages of notes for the following reasons:
3. Looking for the consumables; they're expensive and more importantly, hard to get. Shops don't have them and purchasing them online its hard to get the exact item you want, for example the gridded A5 notebooks. Even when you can find something, its almost impossible to find the next set of numbers (e.g. books 5-8), meaning you would have to start from 1-4 again.
2. Livescribe themselves - they withdrew the developer programme altogether, yet still advertise it on the site as a main sales tool, so while the pen does what you want it to do, the apps will die over time. Livescribe told developers they can keep selling the apps but will not guarantee they will work after future pen firmware updates.
This is discovering for two reasons; firstly to continue to advertise it to the end consumer who would not look at the developer section of the website, even though it is a dead area, and secondly having done a few Google searches, they just stopped the developer programme without any future warning, and removed the developer forum, that contained months if not years of useful resources for developers. While I appreciate the developer programme no doubt turned out to not be the goldmine they expected it to be, it concerns me this is how the company operates. At leave give me a significant amount of notice, after all they have help you to develop the product and you use this as a sales feature.
1. The pen is frankly rubbish. Having written my first few notes I found myself online looking for solutions to their ink and pen, and if I had been given two duff ones. It turns out this is the norm. The ink refills are dire, the worst pens I have ever used, below even the most dirt-cheap pens you can buy.
Do a couple of Google searches, people are desperate to find gel inks to make it a better experience, and there's numerous forum listings of people having to purchase other pen suppliers refills, cut them down to size (the Echo refill is very small), glue on caps to the end, etc. Not a road I want to go down for a £160 pen.
Looking at Livescribes responses to people's concerns on their own forums, they cite issues having to make the ink a certain consistency to work, however, people are saying the ink varies in quality considerably from refill to refill. Overall the quality of their supplier is simply poor, and for this kind of product it has to be superb.
Overall, I really wanted to like it, but the ink killed it for me. Maybe I just had a bad one, I don't know, but overall reading other user's experiences on forums, its too much hassle.
Tracked by 1 customer
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Initial post: 10 Nov 2011 16:28:05 GMT
Amazon Customer says:
Thanks for this, I'd thought of buying one of these after hoying several boxes of notebooks into the new house (2 decades worth as a writer) as the thought of being able to back up my notes from my handwriting combiend with audio sounded genius, but if the basics - the writing experience, and the software are inferior or suspect then frankly it's not worth the time or money. I'll just optical scan like the old days and job done.
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