Tech Review: Digital notepad saves paper, transfers notes to smartphone

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Data pix.

For many of us, the legal notepad is staple during our workday.  It's a place to jot down notes and keep thoughts and plans for later.  A digital alternative may be able to replace that yellow notepad.  I tested out the Boogie Board Sync 9.7 by Kent Displays.

Kent Displays Boogie Board Sync 9.7
Kent Displays Boogie Board Sync 9.7

The Board

The Boogie Board Sync looks like a tablet.  It's made out of black and orange plastic and has a black LCD screen on the front.  It looks like an e-reader screen.  The difference is that you can use the plastic stylus to draw or write on the screen.  There is a power button along the edge of the Board and two buttons on the face, one to erase the image and another to save it.  The Boogie Board Sync is as simple as it should be.  If you're going to re-invent something as simple as a notepad, you have to keep it super simple.  They did.

Writing on Boogie Board Sync 9.7"How it works

Write on the Boogie Board, hit save.  That's it.  It saves your current image to the Board as a PDF file.  You can use bluetooth to connect the board to your smartphone or tablet or use a micro-USB cable to connect it to your PC.  There is also a live mode that lets you watch your notes or drawing appear as you write on the Boogie Board.  It's pretty cool to watch the image appear on your phone as you draw on the board.

Things I'd change

The thickness on the screen is going to be thicker than you're used to with a normal pen on paper.  This essentially means you won't be able to write as much on the screen as you would with a piece of paper.  No big deal, you can just save the page and start a new one but it's something to know.

Also, it would be nice if there were OCR capabilities built into the smartphone app.  I love being able to transfer my saved pages over to my phone but it would be even more useful if I could convert those notes into text quickly.  There are OCR apps that you can use easily along with the Boogie Board app but it would be great if it was part of the Boogie Board Sync app.


The Boogie Board Sync 9.7 is the best digital notebook yet from Kent Displays.  It's thin, light and uber simple to use.  Syncing it with your smartphone or computer is easy too.  If you're looking for a great way to take digital notes and save them quickly, this is it.

The Boogie Board Sync 9.7" is $100 but I found it for less on Amazon.


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