Livescribe Echo vs Pulse Smartpens – Comparing the two

Since the Livescribe Echo was introduced last month we’ve had a lot of questions about the differences between the two pens. Should I stay with the Pulse, upgrade to an Echo, which is the better model?

In this post I’m going to discuss some of the core differences between the existing Pulse Smartpens and the new Echo range.

Smartpen Product Line Changes

By now you may have noticed changes to the product line up. With the withdrawal of the 4GB Pulse pen, the products available here in Australia and New Zealand include:

  • 2GB Pulse
  • 4GB Echo
  • 8GB Echo

As always, the Pulse and Echo Smartpens are offered with the option of MyScript for Livescribe.

Differences in the Product Packages

The introduction of the Echo Smartpens coincides with a number of new accessories being introduced to the Australian market.

This has resulted in a number of changes to what is included in the basic pen package. The following chart compares the two Smartpens for you and shows what has changed.

Comparing the Livescribe Echo with the Pulse Smartpen

Comparing the Livescribe Echo and Pulse Smartpens

What this chart tells you is that the Echo Smartpen doesn’t include a set of headphones or a carry case. It’s worth noting that the Echo Smartpen now has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so normal headphone like the ones I use with my iPhone now fit into the pen. This makes it easier for me if I want to quickly review content as I’m more likely to have my phone headset handy.

The lack of a carry case is made up by the fact Livescribe has introduced the Deluxe Carry Case along with a universal leather case (like the premium leather case for the Pulse Smartpen).

Changes to the Look of the Smartpen

The Echo Smartpen introduces a very different looking pen – on the surface. Under the hood there is very little difference other than the Echo being 4GB and 8GB models versus the 2GB Pulse Smartpen.

Obviously when you look at them you notice Livescribe has moved away from the anodised alloy case of the Pulse smartpen. The Echo Smartpen has a rubber-like grip area with the upper body being black plastic/Polyprop type material.

Here’s a simple image I took of the two pens with my iPhone

Comparing the Livescribe Echo and Pulse Smartpens

Personally, I found the Pulse Smartpen a very comfortable pen to use for long periods. I’ve been using an Echo now for 5 weeks and I’m finding it as comfortable, if not more so than the Pulse. The changes to the barrel are certainly appreciated as the Echo is less likely to escape from me.

So Which is the Right Smartpen?

There is no one answer to this question – it’s really down to how you’ll use the pen and your budget.

If you’re on a tight budget or you’re not that interested in some of the new premium accessories then I’d say go with the 2GB Pulse – here in Australia we offer it to customers as the basic 2GB Pulse pack, along with the option of bundling MyScript for Livescribe along with our own version of the Pro Pack.

If you’re in more of a business type environment or you think you’ll need to keep a lot of content on the pen for extended periods then I’d recommend the Echo Smartpen range. We offer the 4GB and 8GB as a standard package as well as both pens bundled with MyScript (handwriting conversion software).

I hope this post has helped answer some of the questions you may have about the differences between the Pulse and Echo Smartpens. As always, you’re welcome to contact me directly or ask questions in the comments section below.


About Mark Parker

Mark Parker is the founder of Smart Selling International Pty Ltd. Smart Selling International is a niche technology market launch expert - helping technology companies launch and grow their brands in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. Mark is focused on Augmented and Virtual Reality, IoT, and digital data capture devices. You can find him online at - Twitter (@smartselling or @smartpen), LinkedIn -
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46 Responses to Livescribe Echo vs Pulse Smartpens – Comparing the two

  1. Ellen Heard says:

    Howdy Mark,
    I have triplets who are first year college. Have been researching the Echo Smartpen for about 3 weeks and think I will bite the bullet and buy one. I have a son who is Dyslexic. This is what sparked my interest in the device. With that said – I would love to purchase each of the children one, as I can see how this could be a help to them with their classes. I continue to face financial difficulties with the kids all being the same age. As we have been blessed from above, our pocketbooks tend to feel pain. Is there any discounts, coupons or even help for those with disabilities that I could use towards purchase. We are honest and hard workers trying to help our children succeed in life and become assets to our community.

    Blessings from Texas,

    • Mark Parker says:

      Hi Ellen
      given we are based down here in Australia, there’s not much I can do to help. I’d suggest contacting the Livescribe K-12 team via the website.

      cheers Mark

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