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Digital Notepads vs Digital Pens

Updated on March 8, 2011

Digital Notepads

Digital Notepad with Photoshop
Digital Notepad with Photoshop
Cross Pen and Cross Pad
Cross Pen and Cross Pad
LiveScribe 2GB Digital Pen
LiveScribe 2GB Digital Pen
ZPen 1GB Receiver
ZPen 1GB Receiver

Digital Notepad

Digital Notepads versus Digital Pens – Which is best?

What is a Digital Notepad?

A digital notepad is a device that holds a pad of paper that looks a lot like a clipboard. It is not just a clipboard however because it has a special sensor that knows and records what ever you write. Some Digital notepads require a proprietary pad of paper while others do not. A digital pen is used to write on the pad of paper and anything that you write, draw or doodle will be recorded by the digital notepad base unit.

A digital notepad can be used while attached to a computer as well as when it is not connected to a computer. Again, your preference will win out. While attached to the computer your handwritten notes and drawings will show up on the computer screen simultaneously. When not attached to the computer your information is stored in the device and will be transferred to the computer as soon as it is attached.

What is a Digital Pen?

A digital pen is much like a digital notepad except the base unit is not part of the device. Most digital pens work on any pad of paper as well as a single sheet of paper.

The digital pen communicates with a small receiver that clips to the top of the paper. Some digital pens have to be connected to a computer to work. They are often referred to as wired digital pens. Others do not require that they be attached to a computer to work. They are often referred to as wireless or mobile digital pens.

What can you do with a Digital Notepad or a Digital Pen?

Anything that you can write or draw can be recorded by a digital notepad or digital pen.

Once you transfer your handwritten notes to your computer they can be left just as they are. They can also be edited. Most digital notepads and digital pens work well with Microsoft Office software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Since there are multiple brands and models always research them to assure that you are getting what you need.

Handwritten pages can be transferred to your computer and then emailed to friends, family and fellow students or co-workers.

Creativity can run wild when you use a digital notepad or digital pen. You are not stifled by the ability of the device – you are only held back by your own lack of imagination. That is what makes these digital writing instruments so much fun.

Taking notes in school or in a business meeting often requires the ability draw charts, designs and odd shapes. That would be difficult – if not impossible with most laptops. If you invested in a tablet PC you would be spending much more money than you would if you purchased a digital notepad or digital pen.

Compared to hundreds and possibly over a thousand dollars spent on a tablet PC you can expect to spend from fifty dollars to possibly a couple of hundred dollars on a digital notepad or digital pen. Many of the features you would buy a tablet PC for you can get with a digital notepad or a digital pen.


It is difficult to say which is best. I think that it depends on how you prefer to work. Do you like the substantial feeling of a notepad or do you prefer the compact and on-the-go feel of a digital pen?

The battery life is exceptional in either the digital notepad or the digital pen.


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    • celeBritys4africA profile image

      celeBritys4africA 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I like your hub. Awesome and useful list of gadgets.

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Nice work! These gadgets are really handy.