UNBOXED: Reviewing the Royole RoWrite Smart Writing Pad
Smart writing solutions are a new favorite pastime of mine. As a writer, this comes as no surprise to me or anyone who knows me. As much writing as I do with a keyboard, I still have drawers full of notebooks and notepads, some filled and others waiting for the next to-do list. So it was a no-brainer when Royole reached out with the opportunity to take their RoWrite smart writing pad for a spin.
At first, the offer was a bit of a surprise because, knowing Royole, it wasn’t immediately clear to me what business they had in the smart writing solutions space. This is a company that spends a majority of its time operating in the flexible sensor and display space. They also have a 3D mobile theater product on the market, but none of those options really seem to equate to smart writing.
But diving into the Royole RoWrite it’s clear to see the connection between the company’s bread and butter and this new venture. Royole incorporated its very same Flexible Sensor technology that allows for bendable displays and the like to exist into the RoWrite in order to enhance the product’s ability to accurately and precisely detect the stroke of a pen. Combined with a pressure sensing pen, the experience is one that is close to the most accurate I’ve experienced in the “stylus loving” era that we’re currently in.
For a very reasonable $129 the user get’s a well-constructed padfolio that holds the writing pad, a few notebook paper refills, the AAAA-powered pen, and ink refills, along with some recharging accessories. The pad itself is constructed beautifully and blends nicely with other work accessories. Same goes for the pen, which feels like a high-end writing utensil. You could conceivably use it in situations other than with the RoWrite pad, but that might end up feeling like a waste of the battery in the long run, but it does still write nicely on any kind of paper.
The company’s Flexible Sensor technology is baked into a writing pad that holds RoWrite-designed notepads. Royole acknowledges that you can use other types of pads and paper with the RoWrite, but these pads are designed thin enough to allow the sensor and pen to work together for supreme accuracy. Like other smart writing solutions, the pen and paper (or in this case the padfolio) connect via Bluetooth to an app where the digital notes are then stored, organized, and available for customization.
The app leaves a little to be desired in terms of features. You can see how the different strokes were recorded in a play-back mode, there’s convert-to-text, and you can share you notes. Additionally, you can change the type of stroke recorded on the page to things like highlighting, different colors, and thickness, but there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of post-writing adjustments—something we’ve experienced on other smart writing solutions. Users can adjust the background of the paper, highlight text, and add to the document by writing on the app, but manipulating the text as it was written on the paper doesn’t seem to be an option.
That said, the app does give the user greater flexibility to work within the app than most other smart writing apps I’ve come across. Typically, you’re not able to write on the page of notes through the app—everything has to be done on the paper or with the pen you’ve purchased. RoWrite gives you the flexibility to add to or remove notes and drawings from the page after the fact, which is nice.
Bottom line, this is one of the more accurate smart writing solutions that we’ve come across, and that’s due almost entirely to Royole finding unique ways to utilize their Flexible Sensor technology. The options and possibilities for this company seem limitless, and RoWrite is just the latest example.