Livescribe Echo 8GB Review

Well this has to go down as one of my strangest purchases and six months on I still dont know if it was a good one or not! In my job I take copious amounts of notes, and sometimes record meetings as well for future reference. In case you didnt know this pen combines these two functions and perfectly ties them together, for instance you can go back to your notes from however long ago (memory permitting on the pen – not so much on the desktop app) tap on the notes and the audio from that exact time will play through the pens speaker.

The desktop app syns this data from your pen, so in my case I was going paperless alongside the ScanSnap scanner and this seemed the perfect way to be able to throw away all my note books from that point forward. It does do its job very well and it amazes everyone that sees it, I’ve had to explan what it is about 100 times!

Here are my brief pros and cons


  • Battery amazing
  • Syncs Perfectly
  • Conversation Starter
  • Always got Dictaphone with you


  • Cartridges can get  stuck in the pen pretty easily
  • Although it seems a massive improvement on the Pulse its still quite big and awkward to write with
  • The downloadable apps from Livescribe are an utter waste of money, the ones that aren’t are very expensive
  • I hate writing with a biro and just wish there was a fountain pen option (sure this is a technical limitation of the ink!)
  • Have to use the ‘special’ paper- again another technical limitation which can’t be avoided


Overall would I buy it again? Probably not but for now while I still have loads of paper and ink for it I’ll carry on using it.


What Livescribe say:

Product Design Sleek ergonomic design with soft rubber grip
Processor ARM 9
Screen 96×18 OLED Display
Camera High speed infrared camera (over 70 images/sec)
Storage 4GB NAND (over 400 hours recording time)*8GB NAND (over 800 hours recording time)* * Actual available memory will be less. Recording time varies by audio quality setting.
Battery Rechargeable lithium (non-removable)
Audio–Record Smartpen embedded microphone – mono recording**
Audio–Playback Embedded speakerStandard 3.5mm audio jack for use with your favorite earbuds or the Echo 3-D Premium Recording Headset** ** 3-D Premium Recording Headset is required for binaural or stereo recording, and is sold separately.
PC Connectivity Micro USB cable for charging and data transfer
Size & Weight Length: 158 mm (6.22 in.)Width: 19.7 mm (0.78 in.) at top, 11.5 mm (0.45 in.) at tipWeight: 36 grams (1.3 oz.) without cap


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