Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Logipen Disappointment

Nearly a month ago, I ordered a Logipen. My interest was mostly due to a math faculty member who said he was using it on his Mac but wasn't sure if he was using it to the full potential. He was using it as a pen input device (aka mouse) to write, view it on the computer, and record it with Quicktime to make a tutorial. (Another alternative to writing on a Wacom and recording with a screencast program like Camtasia)

I thought that since it writes with actual ink on a regular notebook is could be a great option for people who don't like writing on a Wacom, where you can't see what you are writing directly where you write it.

I was a little disappointed it had to charge for 12 hours before use. When I finally was able to use it, I downloaded the software from the disc that came with the pen and it gave me an error message and never opened, so I finally found it on the website and downloaded it from there.  It did work then, but unfortunately the quality was horrible and it jumped around a lot. To the right is a screenshot of what I wrote, which looked perfectly fine on the paper. My hand was not blocking the camera.

I tried it on my Mac and was really confused about what was going on with the software. When I finally figured out what it was called in my Applications ("Notetaker Preferences" - thanks for the descriptive title, Logipen! I have a few notetaker programs!) all it does is actually open preferences, which I guess makes sense based on the title.

I know they don't have the same functionality for Mac, but I was really confused about what is actually available. There are all sorts of names being used here and there: LogiManage, Logipen Notes, MyScript Software - I still don't really know what is what.

Regardless, the Logipen worked ok as an input device on the Mac. Still some jumping but not as bad as it did on Windows. It has issues pulling up my dock though. The main problem I had on the Mac was that my active area for writing was smaller than a postcard. Word for Mac doesn't have pen tools so I had to use scriblink (an online whiteboard) since there was no software for Mac (I guess?).

I emailed Logipen support with the screenshot above and all they really said was that it shouldn't work like that and asked if I was using the handwritten note function. I responded yes and haven't heard back, other than a confirmation that my email was received and someone would get back to me.

I tried uninstalling the software, reinstalling it, uninstalling it again and installing it on a different Windows computer with no luck. During a short period of time today when I was at a meeting with a bunch of technologists, it worked ok. It worked better without the software installed, but I had the same issue with a limited active area for writing. Then I got back to my office and it did the jumping thing again. I decided I have had enough of Logipen and I'm going to return it. Top Ten Reviews that also found some flaws with the Logipen so I'm going to assume it's not just me. I get the impression from other reviews that the best use for it is to take notes not connected to the computer and then upload them. That did work fine for me, but that's not what I wanted to do.

I already have a Pulse Smartpen (by Livescribe - $99) which works fine and is really the simplest way to record an inked tutorial since you can record writing and audio together. I just plugged it in and noticed there were software and firmware updates, so I'll have to see what's new with the Pulse. The Echo Smartpen ($169) apparently can work as a mouse so maybe I'll have to try that out. 

First picture from


  1. I have to say I use logipen and it works well for me and I am very happy with it

    Dono what you doing wrong there But seems like some local technical issue you you had nothing more
    And using a special paper with the smatpen takes out the fun of real pen and paper anywhere

  2. I have to agree with this last comment. I use Logipen and never had this problem. you must have got a faulty one. You are right that the writing area is smaller when the pen is connected but another tablet pens I know are like that, plus your getting use to it after a while- I have been using the pen for over a year now and I really do love it- not sure what's wrong with yours.

  3. How did you finally return the product? I am having the same issues with my Macbook Proas you were and I've had no response from their customer service reps for the last few days on how to return it.

    What did you end up buying?