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Improv Electronics Boogie Board eWriters: Paper and pencil have evolved

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Improv Electronics Boogie Board eWriters: Paper and pencil have evolved

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We use a lot of paper. When the phone rings we usually take a message on a notepad. A grocery list usually hangs somewhere in the kitchen and of course there's that ever-lengthening honey-do list you've made for your spouse. Sometimes we write only a few words on a sheet of paper and it ends up in the trash or shredder. That's a waste. Improv Electronics has developed an ingenious line of LCD drawing and writing tablets that will save paper, save trees, and ultimately save you money. Boogie Board eWriters have arrived.

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An ad for Boogie Boards in the Sunday paper caught my attention a while back and I was intrigued. Improv Electronics kindly sent me 3 Boogie Boards to test. Improv makes 5 different Boogie Boards ranging in size from 4.5" to 10.5". All are lightweight and portable with features that will accommodate a variety of users.

Boogie Board Sync 9.7 LCD eWriter

The writing surface of the Sync 9.7 is a smooth matte black finish. Writing and drawing with the stylus is smooth as glass and just like writing with a pen on paper. After experimenting a bit with the stylus tip you will learn how to vary the thickness of the lines and shapes that appear on the tablet. It's efficient because there is no wasted paper and it's fun to use. The Sync 9.7 is the only Boogie Board that I tested with the capability to sync with your computer or other devices.

Bluetooth and More
Use Bluetooth to sync and share with Evernote, email and social media using the Sync desktop and mobile applications. Visit Improv online to find out more about the optional Virtual Desktop Companion Software and the Sync Mobile App which are free downloads for social network sharing and virtual whiteboard presentations. The software is not required to sync the Boogie Board with other devices. It just provides more functionality.

Rechargeable Battery: The Sync 9.7 comes with a rechargeable battery which charges using the included USB cable. The battery is not replaceable but will provide many years of service before it's time to buy a new Boogie Board.

Power Button: The small silver button on the bottom edge of the Sync activates the Save and Erase functions and turns on a solid green light that turns red with activity and a small blue light that flashes intermittently during use.

Save Button: Save your notes drawings and sketches with the Save button. They will be stored as PDF files in the Sync's internal memory which is about 2 GB of space. The Sync saves your work and wirelessly transfers it to your Bluetooth compatible phone, tablet or computer if you wish. You can also use the included USB cable to transfer your files.

The Sync 9.7 has an attractive black and orange shell and a black stylus with an orange clip. The stylus is about the size of a standard ball-point pen and is a comfortable writing instrument.
The drawing and writing functions are compatible with Evernote and Adobe Illustrator.

Sync 9.7 Features and Specifications

  • 9.7" plastic LCD
  • Weighs 11 oz.
  • 11.1" x 7.5" x 0.2"
  • Colors: Black and orange
  • Rechargeable Battery typically provides 5 days of average use
  • Save and Erase Buttons.
  • Power Button
  • Bluetooth and micro USB Connectivity
  • 2GB Internal Memory

The Sync 9.7 offers plenty of workspace and a comfortable drawing experience that will make you want to sit down and draw something. The feel of the stylus with the Sync as well as the other Boogie Boards is immediately responsive without that slight lag that one might experience on a conventional tablet and stylus. Maybe my aging eyesight is partly to blame here but the grayish marks created by the stylus lack enough contrast against the black drawing surface to be easily visible for me in any but the best lighting. Younger eyes might not have this problem. The contrast was fine on the other Boogie Boards and they were very easy to see even in poor lighting.

The Boogie Board Sync 9.7 is available on Amazon for about $95. You may also find it locally from Staples, Jo-ann Fabrics, Fred Meyer, Best Buy and others.

Boogie Board Original 10.5 LCD eWriter

The Boogie Board Original 10.5 LCD eWriter is the largest of the Boogie Board line and ideal for those who require lots of space for the creative process to take flight. The markings of the stylus were, to my eyes, a light blue color which was easier for me to see even in less than optimal lighting conditions. The durable, shatterproof plastic LCD is ultra thin and lightweight with a large, smooth, pressure sensitive, writing surface. A stylus holder in the top edge of the tablet keeps the stylus handy and secure. The Erase Button is on the front of the tablet with the erase lock on the right side. The erase lock preserves the battery and protects your work from accidental erasure. Just switch the lock off to erase the screen and then switch it back on again.

The Boogie Board Original 10.5 Includes

1 Durable, shatterproof, plastic LCD Tablet
2 Replaceable Batteries: 2 AAAA batteries included
1 Cleaning cloth for the LCD screen
1 full-sized stylus

Features

  • Ultra Thin Drawing Tablet: only 5.7mm thick
  • Large 10.5" scratch-resistant plastic LCD screen
  • Erase Lock Switch: conserves your battery and protects your work until you're ready to erase the board.
  • Built-in Stylus Holder: Holds the stylus securely at the top of the tablet
  • Weighs only 8.1 oz.
  • Dimensions: 10.5" x 6.88" x 0.45"
  • Colors: Black tablet with silver and black stylus

The Boogie Board Original 10.5 eWriter offers ample room to write messages, create a grocery list, draw a masterpiece or perform math computations. The writing surface is smooth and comfortable with stylus output that is easy to read. This is great for those temporary notes and drawings that don't need to be saved for posterity because there is no Save button on this tablet. No more wasted paper here. Boogie Board Original to the rescue. There is also a smaller 8.5" Original Boogie Board that is available in a variety of fun colors and comes with a magnet kit for use on the refrigerator. Visit Improv Electronics online to find out more.

The Boogie Board Original 10.5 is available on Amazon for about $47 with free shipping. It's also available from many local retailers including Staples, Jo-ann Fabrics, Fred Meyer, Best Buy and others.

Boogie Board Jot 8.5 LCD eWriter

This Boogie Board Jot has a Silver/gray front with blue accent trim across the top and a matching blue panel on the back. The Jot is available in Graphite, Red or Blue. There is a hole called a Stand Slot in the top left corner. This hole is designed to insert the stylus to use as a stand allowing the tablet to be used in landscape position. Obviously if the stylus is being used as a stand for the device, you will need to use your finger or another stylus as your drawing instrument. Either will work fine with the Jot. When not being used to draw or substitute as a stand for the Jot, the stylus snaps securely into the Stylus Dock in the top right edge of the Jot.

The Erase lock button is on the upper left edge of the tablet. Leave it turned off until you wish to erase your work. That both conserves the battery as well as protects your creative process until you're ready to erase it.

Erase button won't work unless you first switch off the Erase lock on the left edge of the Jot. Then, just press the Erase Button and LCD screen will be clean again. Flip the Erase lock back on again to save your battery.

The Stylus Stand Slot is designed to allow the stylus to slip through the slot and support the Jot in landscape position so you can draw or write with your finger or another stylus.

Integrated Magnets: Strong magnets are imbedded in the top and bottom of the back panel so the Jot can be used as a refrigerator note pad. The Jot 8.5 is the ideal solution to update your old refrigerator notepad for your grocery list and more.

Stylus: The uniquely shaped stylus not only acts as a stand for the Jot when required, it is also a comfortable and precision writing instrument. Writing on the Jot using the included stylus is truly just like writing with a fine pen on smooth paper.

Boogie Board Jot 8.5 Features and Specifications

  • 8.5" Reflex LCD Pressure sensitive screen
  • One-click Erase Button and Erase Lock Switch
  • Integrated Magnets
  • Built-in Stylus Holder and Stand Slot
  • 3V CR2032 Battery is included
  • Weighs 5.3 oz.
  • Size 9.7" x 5.57" x 0.39"
  • Colors: Graphite, Red, or Blue

The Boogie Board Jot 8.5 is available on Amazon for about $33 with free shipping on orders over $35. The Boogie Board Jot is also available in a smaller 4.5" model that will fit in your pocket. Visit Improv Electronics online to find out more. Visit Improv's Where to Buy Page to find local retailers for the Jot models and all their Boogie Board tablets.

I really like all 3 of these Boogie Boards. All are well made and surprisingly comfortable to use but the Jot 8.5 turned out to be my own favorite of the 3 products that I tested. That surprises me a bit because I started out leaning towards the largest model. The size of the Jot was so comfortable in my hands and the stylus just skated across the writing surface like a fountain pen. I was hooked. The stylus response for all the models is fast and precise making them easy and fun to use as you save the planet one sheet of paper at a time.

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