UNBOXED: Reviewing the NeoLab Neo Smartpen M1
As someone with a penchant for writing in physical notebooks and who happens to cover the world of consumer electronics, I’ve longed for some sort of product that could perfectly meld those two worlds together in a way that wasn’t gimmicky or all around kludgy. If I’m being honest, this is a desire of mine that dates way back to early childhood when I first encountered the Talkboy recording pen, which was an extension of the line of gadgets that Kevin McCallister played with in those Home Alone movies. Ever since then, I’ve been on a several-decades-long journey trying to find the perfect smart pen.
I hate to declare winners with this being the first smart pen that I’ve actually had the opportunity to review for UNBOXED, but the rest of the field is going to have an incredibly hard time upending the Smartpen M1 from NeoLab Convergence—a product recognized as one of our CE Week 2018 Best in Show.
The second smart pen from NeoLab, the M1 is a $129 writing utensil that is packed with a whole host of smart features. But that’s not what makes the M1 smart pen an exceptional find—it’s the fact that NeoLab created a product that doesn’t really change the traditional writing experience. You don’t have to use some sort of funky pressure sensitive tablet, the pen itself is a pretty standard feeling sort of pen, and the M1-enabled notebooks would otherwise blend in with any other standard writing pad. In other words, I really don’t feel like I’m holding a piece of technology while using the M1—and that in and of itself makes this pen a winner.