Do New Livescribe Models Mean Better Technology?

A key question I’m asked by customers all the time is – “I want the latest and greatest version of the Livescribe pen…”

In the general consumer electronics space (CE) this is often the right question to ask – vendors typically release new models that are either incrementally better or step change better.We see this regularly with phones and tablets.

With Livescribe though, that is not the case – so let me explain what I mean…

What Smartpens Are Current Models?

The Livescribe smartpen range consists of two core models:

  1. 2GB Echo smartpen; and
  2. Livescribe 3 smartpen Black Edition.

Models that have been retired from the range are the Pulse smartpen (the round alloy shape), the 8GB Echo, the WiFi smartpen (originally referred to as Sky smartpen or Sky WiFi), and the LS3 Pro Edition.

Note also that within the two ranges I’ve also listed numerous bundles that comprise the core pen, paper, and accessories. These bundles are discounted to RRP and are called smart writing sets. You’ll find the most popular bundles on our homepage.

What Are The Key Differences Between Echo and Livescribe 3

This is a simple summary of the differences:

  1. Pen design – The Echo smartpen has an OLED screen, microphone, and speaker on the pen so the top section of the pen is marginally thicker
  2. How Audio is Captured – The Echo models capture audio directly onto the pen whereas the Livescribe 3 models require the use of a companion device (smartphone or tablet)
  3. Where Content is Stored – Livescribe 3 smartpens store content on your companion device – it can be on-shared to cloud services like Evernote, or OneNote, or shared via email. Echo smartpens store content on a laptop or desktop computer.

Is The Technology Inside The Pen Different?

Short answer is no. Both the Echo and Livescribe 3 use the same core technology inside the pen to capture notes, and also sync notes and audio. Converting hand written notes to text also uses the same core technology from Vision Objects – though in my experience the desktop version of MyScript is superior to that found inside the mobile app Livescribe+

Back To The Original Question

Does a new Livescribe model mean its better than existing smartpens?

The answer clearly is no.

The question probably have now though is Which model smartpen is right for me?

The answer to that question is the subject of my next blog post!


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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8 Responses to Do New Livescribe Models Mean Better Technology?

  1. Buz Mayo says:

    I gave Livescribe a generous 18 month trial. I write. I journal. I take notes. I wanted a way that worked for me to capture my writing digitally. I owned the Echo and the Livescribe3. I wanted to like both. I have currently given up on both. The fat pens are uncomfortable. The technology to turn handwritten text into digital text is klunky, at best. Maybe the folks who design this stuff will be at a better place in 5 years. But for now, I’m back to basic pen and paper… and really enjoying it.

    • Mark Parker says:

      Thanks for the feedback Buz. As you would have noted in my post I noted that I’ve found the desktop version of MyScript to be far superior to the mobile app version – clearly when they engineered it for mobile devices it lost some capability. In my personal experience, the desktop version consistently hits 85%+ accuracy. I wrote a patent application 2 years ago that stretched to 87 pages and was able to tidy up my scrawl into text in just over 4 hours.

      Keep an eye on Livescribe and its parent Anoto – they have some exciting technology due into the market later this year.

      cheers Mark

  2. Dan Smith says:

    Any ideas / word about new version of the Livescribe pen?

  3. Mark says:

    Hi Mark,

    I take a lot of notes whilst in meetings into a standard note book but my failing is not accessing the note books once i return to the office and chase up the tasks i have listed down, what would work best for me is the functionality to write notes during a meeting and then email them to myself in the office so I can then complete the tasks once returned to the office. i travel with an iPad and iPhone, what device would you recommend for me. The functionality to record voice transcripts is not that important to me mainly note taking and being able to send notes as an email to my work account.


  4. Sid says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the information on this post. It’s really helpful. I’m seriously considering purchasing the LIvescribe 3. Just a few questions:

    1. Can you use the pen while it’s charging? Another page on your website states that combined audio + writing would give a battery life of 5.5 hours. I regularly go to workshops and seminars that are often 8-10 hours and I’m worried that the pen might run out of juice before the end of the day.

    2. What is the storage capacity of the pen? Can I comfortably record 8-10 hours of audio + 20-30 pages of notes at a time?

    3. Do I need to have the pen connected to the app on my phone? Does the Livescribe 3 store data in the pen to transfer to the app/my computer at a later stage?

    Sorry for asking so many questions and thanks again!

    • Mark Parker says:

      Hi Sid,
      Livescribe 3 doesn’t record audio on the pen, it uses a companion device like smart phone or tablet. If you want to record lots of notes and audio, purchase the Echo model. With the 2GB Echo you’ll get easily 8hrs of notes and audio per charge. It holds up to 200 hrs of audio before you need to archive files.


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