If the pen is mightier than the sword, that means the smartpen is, like, a knowledge bomb ticking away and about to explode with crazy confetti. From pens that create electrical circuit-forming doodles to ones that spell check as we scribble, we’re never the type to turn down awesome new technology that combines the best of our digital and analog worlds. Here are 11 smartpens, all with some seriously handy superpowers, that we would be okay keeping at our desks and in our office toolkits.
1. A Smartpen Fit for Photoshop ($75): It writes, it saves, it makes a digital copy of your drawing that can be loaded directly into Photoshop or Illustrator via a USB connection. In other words, the Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen is an illustrator and hand letterer’s dream. Possibly the coolest feature is its ability to add layers into your work that you can then edit or remove in digital post-production.
2. The Best Smartpen for Taking Notes ($40): The sleek simplicity of this Smart Stylus Pen is what initially caught our eyes. A fairly straightforward addition to your collection of writing instruments, it pairs a soft touch sensitive nib stylus pen with a high quality rollerball. Perfect for those of us who can’t seem to choose between tablets and traditional day planners.
3. A Smartpen for Staying in Sync ($120): The perfect pen for a contemporary girl in perpetual motion, this WiFi-connected smartpen syncs your handwritten notes and any recorded audio (it can hold over 200 hours worth) with your personal Evernote account, giving you quick and effortless access to information wherever you go.
4. The Best Smartpen for Editing Your Work ($125): This Mobile Notes Pro pen captures your handwriting and then, once connected to your PC, allows you to save and edit what you’ve written.
5. A Smartpen Score for Sketching ($112): Another pen for the creatives, Staedtler’s Digital Pen 2.0 saves notes and sketches and then transfers them wirelessly to your PC or mobile devices. It also seamlessly adapts them to computer text.
6. The Tech-Savviest Smartpen ($25): You may remember our article about the Circuit Scribe pen last year, but just in case you missed it, these tools take something as simple as a pen, an LED module and two coin cell batteries and allows you to use them to create personalized electronic sketches. We just want to know why these weren’t around when we were in middle school.
7. The Top Spying Smartpen ($40): Trying to figure out whether it’s your dog or your significant other who keeps eating all the freshly baked cookies straight off the counter? Wondering who’s stealing your carefully prepared lunch at work? Just want to film a fun time-lapse scene at the next party? That’s precisely where the Video Camera Spy Pen comes in. It captures still, audio and hours of video all in one seemingly innocuous little package.
8. A Smartpen to Spark Your Creativity ($79): Still in the making, Creopop is a 3D printing art pen that has definitely caught our attention. It allows you to create objects practically out of thin air with a cool melting technology that won’t burn your fingers + the option of different inks, including, possibly, one that’s magnetic.
9. The Most Versatile Smartpen to Do All the Things ($150): This Livescribe 3 smartpen is a premium writing instrument that also contains an infrared camera, an ARM processor, Bluetooth technology, a flash memory and an ion battery all dedicated to bringing your notes to digital life on either your tablet or smartphone. Sign us up.
10. A Smartpen for Fine Points ($75): Specifically created for the art of taking crisp, clear notes on your tablet, the Jot Script Evernote Edition Stylus has a thinner barrel, a textured grip and a 1.9mm tip reminiscent of your favorite writing utensil. We’ll take two.
BONUS: A (Dream) Smartpen to Color the Rainbow (TBD): We’ll admit it. We want a Scribble. The dreamers behind this crowdfunding-bound project say they are creating a scribbler that writes in any – seriously, any – color you can find. Supposedly, you’ll be able to simply hold the pen’s scanner up to a color you like and in a matter of moments the hue will be saved in Scribble’s internal memory, where it can be used to draw on either paper or your favorite device depending on which version of this super-smartpen you purchase. Here’s hoping that this incredible idea actually comes to life, and soon!
Our smartpen research is complete. Which high-IQ piece of tech will you be adding to your purse? Let us know in the comments!