Review about the Pegatech Tablet Mobile Note Taker (M210) / IRISNotes ..., a Digital Pen

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Frank, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The device consists of two parts:
    The pen and a receiver

    [​IMG]

    You place the receiver at the top or edge of a sheet of paper (no special paper required) and start
    writing on it with the special pen. All your written ink gets recorded and saved in the receiver.
    At the end of the day you connect the receiver via USB to your PC and download your notes to a special software which stores and organizes your notes. You can launch third party software
    to convert your handwritten notes to text ooziest copy it to windows Journal or office One Note.


    Both the pen and receiver need a battery.
    The pen two small cell-batteries, the receiver has a Li-lon battery integrated which gets recharged via USB.


    Who produces / sells this pen?
    Good question. It seems as Pegatech is the producer. They sell their technology to
    OEM partners, which rebrand the device and sell it with their own name. The most common seller is IRISNotes, probably.

    How good does it work?
    In my opinion very well and good enough to use it.
    Its light and simple to use. The accuracy isimpressive and it works everywhere because you don't need some special paper. The included software is a bit old, but has a lot of features. You can emulate a mouse / graphic tablet and live notetaker if the receiver is connected to the PC.
    Pegatech also offers a SDK for Visual Studio, so you can code your own software.


    The comfort of the pen is average. It has a bulky tip and odd form, but still remains natural.


    But who uses this?
    To be honest, as a tablet PC user I would have never bought such a device myself. I received it as a
    Christmas present. However, I'm impressed. l don't use my tablet PC everywhere.
    If I do some exercise or learn or study with friends I prefer paper. It's easier, more flexible, less distracting and the usable area much much larger.
    There I use this pen now. I don't want, nor can't take my tablet PC everywhere. The tablet PC
    is heavy, expensive and big. But a pen and a small piece of paper fits in every bay.
    I'll see it in the next few weeks how well it works and I'll report back!


    In the meantime take a look at the power of this not that expensive pen:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    PS: If you haven't noticed already: The whole post (except of this last sentence) was written with the digital pen and converted with OneNote on Windows 7, I've corrected only few errors, so the recognition is exceptional.
     
  2. thierryb

    thierryb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    One of my friend have one. He does not have a tablet, but he likes it. Expect the battery of the pen consumes to fast.
     
  3. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I thought about buying one before I first bought my first tablet, but decided I HAD to have a tablet. It looks pretty good though & like you said it's an extremely portable form factor. This would have been pretty useful in my live lectures :p
     
  4. norvillerogers

    norvillerogers Scribbler - Standard Member

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    In what format are the written notes saved? Are they vector-based, and when you copy notes to onenote (or a similar program), can you manipulate the text as if you wrote the it in the program itself?
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, I alreay ordered some replacement cell batteries (SR41), in fear of a dead pen :) However, I'll have to learn how long it lasts first.

    The notes are vector based and Windows Ink compatible.
    The manufacturer also distributes a SDK Kit , in which they describe how you can convert it to 'Microsoft Ink' if you code your own program which interact with the digital pen.

    However, I'm also able to copy page after page to OneNote with the supplied program. In the program itself I'm able to alter my notes afterwards. But I prefer to store it in OneNote. This also means that I can use it just like normal ink, erase strokes, add new strokes, convert it to text, resize it, ...
    Without this option the pen would have been almost useless for me, but luckily, it's vector based Microsoft compatible ink.

    In the following link I've attached the data file of the first page created by the supplied program and the OneNote file which contains the ink of the four pages copied together.
    digital_pen.zip - Windows Live

    I'll make a short video later, demonstrating the software and the things you have to do to copy your notes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  6. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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  7. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    so have you tried using it plugged into the computer with onenote like the video indicates? That was one of my reasons for not getting it initially i figured the learning curve to figuring out where on a sheet of paper equated to the location on the screen would have been similar to using one of the wacom art tablets.
     
  8. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yes, I also tried it in Graphic tablet mode. But well, it's not designed for this use :D
    It works, but not that great.

    In online mode (that's the mode if the device is connected to the PC) you're not only able to download the saved notes, which you have taken offline, but you can also use the digital pen as mouse or 'live' note taker.

    In mouse mode it just works as a Wacom graphic tablet. In a specified area (you can't calibrate it) it works just as a tablet. This means you have to mark, on your paper, where each edge of the display ends. Then you can start taking notes on the paper while OneNote is open or just moving the mouse in Windows around. You don't have to look at the display, but can focus on the paper, everything gets copied to OneNote at the same time. This works, but because I wasn't able to change the mouse sensitivity or calibrate it, it's a waste of paper in my opinion because you can't use the full page and you have to be careful because you could accidentally hit a button in OneNote or Windows while not looking at the display but the paper. It's not pressure sensitive, changing pen sizes is difficult because it requires you to look at the display again, ...

    In note taking mode the supplied software opens a new note taking window which emulates a sheet of paper. Now you don't control the Windows mouse but all your notes get written in the paper page of the software. That's a usable mode, because there you don't have to care where your cursor is, where some Windows buttons are, you just write on your paper and everything gets copied to the PC. So this mode is the same as the offline mode, just that you see, on your PC, your notes, at the same time. Later, you can copy the notes to OneNote again, for further optimization.


    So as a graphic tablet replacement it isn't ideal. It's a matter of software, which this device I use lacks.
    There's additional software available, MyScript Studio (only an old lite version was included in my package which I haven't used, because handwriting recognition wasn't ideal and it uses a proprietary file format), which may improve this things. With this software I can imagine that you're able to work in a more powerful online note taking mode with OneNote character.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
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