Smartpen maker Livescribe has released Paper Tablet, a new app for its $169.95 Echo model that lets you connect the pen to a PC or Mac via its USB cable and write or draw directly into desktop applications. As always with Livescribe pens, you write on special paper (which you can buy or print on your own laser printer) with tiny dots that let the pen identify where it is on the page.
Paper Tablet doesn’t exactly render Wacom’s nifty graphic tablets obsolete–for one thing, it’s not pressure-sensitive, so it’s not well-suited to serious art. But it sounds handy if you need to sign or annotate a digital document occasionally or want to try doodling in a paint program. (It’s not, however, compatible with all features of Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator.) Unlike a Wacom, it lets you write or draw with real ink on real paper.
The app is $14.99 and works only with the Echo (the USB jack on the older Pulse model is on the barrel, where it would interfere with your hand).