Way back in August, during Engadget Live! Seattle, we had a chance to visit with the ultra-light, ultra-thin Boogie Board Sync from Kent Displays. It was one of those devices where you read about it, take a look at the website and then finally make the decision that $100 is just too much for a tablet that doesn’t do anything but let you write on it. Well, it’s time to rethink that because after about a month of replacing paper around here, the Boogie Board Sync is now on our must buy list.
Starting with the basics, the Boogie Board Sync is pretty close to the size of a sheet of paper. It uses a powerless E-Ink display and saves your notes in an easy to read PDF format. The included stylus is comfortable to hold and reacts beautifully with the screen. The average note page we saved synced via bluetooth in seconds to our mobile devices and uploaded to our computer using the included sync software just as easily. As we wrote story plans, it was simple to rename the files on our phones, tablets and PCs to sort them for later. It literally replaced a case of legal pads in just one month.
The Boogie Board Sync really only features three buttons on its frame. The first is the chrome power button on the edge of the device. The next two buttons are the ‘save’ button and the ‘erase’ button. These are the reasons a battery is even needed for the Boogie Board Sync, otherwise the display draws no power. The other nice part about the Boogie Board Sync is that if you accidentally tap the erase button, you won’t actually lose that work. It’s saved in an archive folder in the device that you can access via the computer software.
The included USB cable allows for the Boogie Board Sync to be connected directly to a computer. This connection is used for accessing the Sync software from the PC for either uploading documents or for using the tablet in direct mode.
The software is what sets the Boogie Board Sync apart from other digital pens and note taking systems. With a quick click, the entire note pad is uploaded to Everenote. Another click and live notes are being taken on the PC screen. The Boogie Board Sync software is simply flawless. Kent Displays also recently released an SDK for the Sync, which should only make for more awesome Apps that the Sync should be able to take advantage of.
This was a photo of the screen as a note was jotted on the board in direct to screen mode in the Sync software. The digitizer captured all the text without any issue.
The onboard filing system leaves a bit to be desired, but with a bit of homework and frequent uploads, the shortcomings of the software are quickly made up for. The ability to rename notes on the PC really makes organizing them for long term storage very nice.
Overall, in the month spent with the Boogie Board Sync, the benefits to this amazing little guy far outweighed the $100 price tag. The fact that no paper was used and more notes were actually taken is a testament to how well the Sync performs. The fact that the office is loaded with regular tablets that could have been used for note taking, yet the Sync was the first choice every time is yet another reason to grab one. Ultimately though, it came down to one little thing – no tablet batteries were drained in the making of these notes. The Sync lasts for days, weeks, it would be fun to say months, but until ours arrives from Amazon, we just can’t say how long that little battery lasts.
Until then though, it’s back to legal pads and annoyances like putting that note somewhere you can’t find it, or worse yet, losing the entire legal pad with the story planning for the next month on it. Do yourselves a favor and do what we are doing. Order a Boogie Board Sync today and start enjoying the freedom that it brings.
Purchase: Boogie Board Sync