Mole­sk­ine Pen+ El­lipse

A writ­ing ex­pe­ri­ence like no other

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Alex Cox

$179 From Mole­sk­ine, mole­sk­ine.com Needs iOS 8.1 or later

When is a pen not a pen? When it’s a Pen+. This is a pen which sees what you’re writ­ing, and where you’re writ­ing it, and beams it to your iPhone as you scrib­ble.

The Pen+ El­lipse is Mole­sk­ine’s re­fined ver­sion of the orig­i­nal Pen+, slightly slimmed down and more matte, with pres­sure sen­si­tiv­ity built in. It has a rather short re­place­able car­tridge, with much of the body re­served for its 300 mA bat­tery.

The Pen+ writes ex­cep­tion­ally well — you can sketch any­where with it, but to ac­tu­ally use the in­ter­ac­tive fea­tures you need one of Mole­sk­ine’s spe­cial note­books, which in­clude a mi­cro­scopic and barely vis­i­ble dot pat­tern, read by the tiny sen­sor in­te­grated next to the nib of the pen. That pat­tern is so unique that the Mole­sk­ine Notes app knows ex­actly where you’ve writ­ten, down to the lo­ca­tion on the page of the note­book.

With the app open, you can write and record audio at the same time, and later play back the audio and see your notes ap­pear as you wrote them. If your phone’s away, the Pen+ stores a fair amount of writ­ing, up­load­ing it to the app au­to­mat­i­cally.

You can then edit the notes: add color, scrib­ble your own dig­i­tal-only notes on top and ex­port them as a PDF, a PNG, or vec­tor graphic image in SVG for­mat. If your hand­writ­ing’s any good, the app will tran­scribe it.

It’s not per­fect. The in­struc­tions in the app have been, “in­ter­est­ingly” trans­lated into English. It’s also pricey. But it works so well that you’ll find ways to jus­tify us­ing it.

the bot­tom line. An ef­fec­tive if pricey sketch­ing tool.

Mole­sk­ine’s note­books are, of course, bril­liant — but only Mole­sk­ine+ Pa­per Tablets are com­pat­i­ble with Pen+.

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