How do I Choose the Best Digital Pen?

Autumn Rivers

Despite the fact that most people use computers everyday, many are still more comfortable taking notes by hand than typing. If you have ever wondered if there was a compromise between the ease of writing by hand and the convenience of having it on your computer, you might be interested in a digital pen. This device allows users to make the motion of writing as usual, but the result can be easily transferred to the computer. This can make it easier to email, file away, or store notes and drawings on the computer so that you have easy access to them. Finding the best digital pen requires you to consider how you would likely use it.

Portable devices like tablets often come with pens.
Portable devices like tablets often come with pens.

Not everyone currently has a use for a digital pen, but most could think of a way to put it to work. For example, many people are faster at handwriting than typing, which makes quickly transcribing notes possible. The ability to have them on the computer typically also makes emailing easy. Other frequent users of digital pens include artists who want to post their work to the Internet, web designers, and those who need to transfer signatures or hand drawn graphs to the computer. If any of these describes you, finding a quality digital pen may be essential.

A digital pen may be used with a graphics tablet to draw images.
A digital pen may be used with a graphics tablet to draw images.

Many of the original digital pens on the market required a special tablet that users had to write on. Only then could the data be stored on the computer. Some still require a tablet or digital notepad, but newer technology has made it possible for some digital pens to write on any surface. An even smaller number of these are cordless, which means you can use them while away from your computer. Since you can usually expect to pay extra for such convenience, consider whether you would use it before you purchase the pen.

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Some pens have even more unique features. One type can record audio, allowing users to synchronize the recording with the notes. Another kind is child-friendly, allowing kids to draw images and then interact with them on the computer. Other computer pens offer the choice of having notes saved as an image of the original handwriting, or converted to a typical computer font so that they are easier to read.

Considering your needs can help you save money while obtaining the features you need. Most of the latest digital pens feature the highest prices, but not everyone needs the abilities on these high-end gadgets. If you are intent on finding one that has it all and fits within your budget, take advantage of sales. You can also put your money to good use by ensuring that the digital pen that you have your eye on consistently gets good reviews by users.

Graphics tablets may allow users to mimic drawing with a pen, for example by creating heavy lines by pressing down with the stylus.
Graphics tablets may allow users to mimic drawing with a pen, for example by creating heavy lines by pressing down with the stylus.

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Discussion Comments


Nobody says anything about what happens when the ink runs out. Do you have to buy a whole new pen?


Digital pens and tablets are also very useful for artists of web comics, because they eliminate the need to draw everything on paper, then scan, then color- you can just draw, save, and fill in with shading. Of course, some artists still draw on paper or use other mediums, but "digital" pen and paper have made it that much easier.


I have never really thought of them as something useful to me, however it's interesting to see how far digital pen technology has come. I imagine they would also be especially useful for students, because it would allow them to take notes during long class lectures and then easily transfer those notes to their computers for future study or sharing with classmates.

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