REVIEW – Livescribe 4GB Echo Smartpen

by Valerie, Mom Knows It All

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Livescribe 4GB Echo Pen


Located in Oakland, Calif., Livescribe has developed a new low-cost mobile computing platform that enhances productivity, learning, communication and self-expression for anyone that uses pen and paper. The Echo and Pulse smartpens revolutionize the act of writing by recording and linking audio to handwriting, so users never miss a word.

Take the stress out of tests and meetings with an Echo smartpen from Livescribe. Record everything you hear, say and write, while linking your audio recordings to your notes. Quickly replay audio from your Livescribe paper, a computer, or a mobile device–all with a simple tap on your handwritten notes. It’s never been easier to take notes and stay organized.

Record and Play Back

Smartpens record everything you write and hear so you’ll never miss a word. Replay your meetings or lectures simply by tapping on your notes1.

Save, Search and Organize

Livescribe Desktop saves your notes and recordings to your computer for fast, easy access to what’s important. Search for words within your notes and find what you need fast.

Send and Share with Livescribe Connect

Easily send notes and audio to people and destinations such as Email2, Google Docs2, Facebook, Microsoft OneNote, Google Sites2, MyLivescribe, your mobile device or your computer3–all from your paper or Livescribe Desktop.
4 GB of Memory: More Space for Recordings and Notes

When digitizing your notes and audio you’ll need storage space; with 4 GB of memory, your smartpen has it. An 4 GB smartpen can hold over 800 hours of audio* or 128,000 pages of notes.

Included Smartpen Applications

Your Echo smartpen comes loaded with applications ready to work right out of the box:

  • Livescribe Connect Premium: Easily send and share notes and audio to Email, Google Docs, Facebook, Microsoft OneNote, Google Sites, MyLivescribe, your mobile device or your computer
  • Quick Record: record audio without using dot paper with just a press of a button
  • Quick Calc: Write an addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problem on dot paper and get the answer on your smartpen screen
  • Launch Line: launch your favorite app by writing its name
  • Password: protect your recorded paper replay sessions with a 4-digit number
  • System Utilities: multiple language support, time, date, storage info, and battery charge

Livescribe Dot Paper

Livescribe dot paper uses regular paper printed with a unique pattern of tiny microdots. This tiny pattern works a lot like a GPS system for your smartpen. It allows a smartpen to capture everything it writes or draws on dot paper.

Livescribe smartpens only work with Livescribe Dot Paper, so there’s a variety of dot paper sizes and types available: College-ruled Notebooks, Lined Journals, Blank Journals, Mini Journals, A5-sized Notebooks, Grid Notebooks, Flip Notepads, and Sticky Notes. You can even print your own dot paper for free from within Livescribe Desktop on many printers.

What’s in the Box?

Livescribe Echo Smartpen with 4 GB of memory, Livescribe Connect Premium (includes Connect Basic plus additional connectors for Email, Google Docs and Google Sites), Livescribe Desktop software for Mac or Windows, 500 MB of personal online storage, starter dot paper notebook, Micro USB cable, interactive Getting Started guide, Smartpen Tips and Tricks guide, 2 smartpen caps, 2 ink cartridges.

System Requirements

Windows XP 32-bit SP2 or higher, or Windows Vista 32 or 64-bit, or Windows 7
Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.5.5 or higher
600MHz CPU or higher
300 MB minimum free disk space
Available USB 2.0 port
Livescribe Desktop 2.7 for Windows or Mac OS
Smartpen firmware version 2.7 or later
Internet connection


I received a Livescribe 4GB Echo Smartpen. This thing is cool! When I first saw it in New York I was very impressed. After receiving the opportunity to try it out for myself, I fell in love.

The package includes the pen, some ink, and a USB cable. Notebooks are not included.

Livescribe Echo SmartPen

The Echo Smartpen is super easy to use. First you install the software on your computer, as well as connect and register your pen. To use the pen you need a special notebook, or dot paper that you can print yourself.

Livescribe Echo SmartPen

When you look closely at the paper inside of the notebook, it’s full of very faint tiny lines just like graph paper. You use your pen to choose the commands for what you are doing including record, pause, stop, jump and bookmark. You can also adjust volume and playback speed, if you are playing back recordings right from your pen. So to record a meeting you’ll turn your pen on and press record. Then you’ll write any notes you may have, as you would with a regular ink pen. The Livescribe Echo feels thicker than the typical pen, but without feeling uncomfortable. The next time that you connect your pen to your computer it will sync everything that you’ve recorded. From there you can read all of the notes that you’ve recorded while listening to the recording. You can even organize your notebooks into custom notebooks. Not only can you access your notes and recordings, you can share them with others. The Livescribe Echo Pen will connect to Google Docs, Google Sites, Evernote, Facebook, Microsoft OneNote, MyLivescribe, and email programs. You can even share an imae of your notes by text message or Twitter!

I think the Livescribe Echo Pen is very cool and has many uses. You could even use this for crafting! I am using it for PTO meeting notes, as well as notes from some other meetings that I go to. The pen is just so easy to use. And the recordings surprised me. I thought I’d have to be close to the speaker. Over the course of a couple of meetings I tried different seat locations in the room. I was able to site several rows further back and didn’t lose any quality or volume in the recordings. I expected lots of background noise and almost never have any.

At just under $100, the Livescribe Echo Pen would make the perfect gift for almost anyone – students, teachers, professionals, PTO, nonprofits, stay at home parents, just anyone. There are so many uses for it, it’s unbelievable. The pen is available to purchase both online and in select retails stores such as Best Buy. The pen is also available in other sizes including 2GB and 8GB.


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The product(s) featured in this post was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. This review has not been monetarily compensated. Please note that as always any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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