Logitech io Digital Pen Review: Summary and Conclusions

My first week with the pen is almost over. I’ll try to summarize here what I’ve learned about the pen and how much I like it. If you haven’t read the other posts, you’ll find them here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.


You write with the pen on special paper that is fairly expensive. You drop the pen in its cradle. The io Software on your Windows computer presents you with digital copies of every page of special paper you’ve written on. You can organize and search your pages. Optionally, you can try to convert your scribble-scrabble into text using the included 30 day trial of handwriting recognition software.

Remaining Questions for Logitech (I also posted these questions to the Logitech io Forums)

  • When is the next version of the logitech io pen hardware being released? How soon is my pen going to be obsolete?
  • Since using the pen AT ALL requires writing on the included notebook, how do retailers feel about returns?
  • What is the manufacturer’s warranty policy on internal damage resulting from a fall?

Digital Paper

  • Pros
  • Cons
    • The paper is expensive ($25 for 3 notebooks – 160 pages each(80 sheets)).
    • It sounds like the pocket notebook paper format is not available for the Logitech Digital Pen.
    • Despite reports that photocopies of the paper are functional, I haven’t been able to get that to work.
    • Digital Paper is apparently not available in local office supply stores.
    • Aside from special printers from HP, there is no way to print your own digital paper.

io Pen and Desktop Application

  • Pros
    • After informal meetings, sending out gif versions of notes is easy and appreciated.
    • Unlike with Graffiti and keyboards, at meetings, I feel comfortable taking notes with the pen.
    • Unlike with Graffiti and keyboards, at meetings, I can record diagrams and quickly jump around the page.
    • Everything I write is automatically backed up to my computer.
    • It’s easy to categorize(in an arbitrarily deep hierarchy) and search notebook pages.
    • The pen is light and durable.
    • Pen syncs are fast.
    • Pages can be exported to gif, jpg and emf(vector graphics). The PalmOS Vector Graphics editor, Leonardo will, apparently, soon be able to import emf files. Pennovate Notes can already work with the gif exports after you convert them to 1bpp Windows bmp files with mspaint.
    • Owning the pen encourages me to write in a tablet instead of on random scraps of paper.
    • Given that the software was just recently updated, it seems that Logitech is committed to the platform.
  • Cons
    • The pen cost $158 at Amazon. A little pricey.
    • 3 or 4 times thicker than a normal pen.
    • The io software is slow to load.
    • The pen cap does not fit tightly on the back of the pen.
    • The ink refills are very small, and probably run out quickly.
    • Though you can export to Microsoft OneNote, OneNote will not recognize your strokes as text input, only as drawings.
    • There is no easy solution for synching pen documents to your Palm PDA.
    • There is no easy solution for using two PCs with the io pen.
    • The computer will not show you every piece of text you wrote for a specific time period(such as a meeting you had last week).

myNotes Handwriting Recognition Software

  • Pros
    • The pen comes with a 30 day trial of this software.
    • Luckily, I find that I only want to use handwriting recognition for about 1 out of 10 pages.
    • Adding words to the myNotes dictionary not only helps it process the current page, but assists future pages.
    • If I need to send out typed notes quickly after a meeting, syncing the pen and correcting the relatively few mistakes made by myNotes is A LOT faster than typing from scratch.
    • Sometimes myNotes has as much as a 90% hit rate on my chicken-scratch printed writing.
  • Cons
    • The software costs $40 if you want to use it more than 30 days. I think it should be free with the pen.
    • myNotes does not recognize indentation well. Your best bet is to select all and paste into another app for adding formatting.
    • myNotes does not recognize bullets. It does dashes a little better.
    • It does not understand words written in capital letters very well.


  • I haven’t tried to train the OCR with the included training sheets, but I think my printed writing is too unpredictable to accurately train it.
  • I’ve used the pen for less than a week, so far.
  • Everyone’s handwriting is different… your experiences with the pen and software could be very different.



I’m keeping it. Hopefully, I’ll find ways to do the things I currently can’t do with it, but the things I can already do are changing the way I work a lot already. This pen is a fantastic asset for the workplace.

Crossposted to PalmAddicts

One response to “Logitech io Digital Pen Review: Summary and Conclusions”

  1. Q says :

    Anyone knows where to download the Anoto digital paper ?

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