Who could have imagined that German fountain-pen maestro Montblanc would come up with a word processor to add to its impressive range of products? Well, it kind of has, with this über-deluxe, exquisitely giftable ballpoint pen/digital paper combo. It may not be as trailblazing as the US-made Livescribe I covered a few years ago, but in terms of quality and elegance it is sublime.
The Augmented Paper system comprises a Starwalker ballpoint, a leather folder and a pad of special paper. It’s a concept both simple and complicated; whatever you write – a variety of languages and scripts are catered for – or draw on the paper is stored in the pen until you press a button to transfer it to a phone or tablet; the text can be turned into type – pretty accurately if you have neat writing – and the whole thing digitised.
LiveScribe majors on a brilliant feature – keeping an audio record of what is being said at the time you write. It is a great idea, especially when handwriting meeting notes, but is let down because early iterations picked up the scratching of your pen, while later ones were rather complicated. Montblanc’s system doesn’t do audio, and is probably better as a result. It’s also aesthetically on a higher plane altogether.