academia, digital organization

first thoughts on the Supernote A5 X digital note taking e-ink device

We’ve got a new digital note-taking gadget in the house! It’s a second-hand Supernote my boyfriend got to streamline his many stacks of engineering notes. There are plenty of great online articles to learn more from, but in essence it’s a device that uses e-ink (similar to Kindles, Kobos and other e-readers) and a digital “pen” for writing, reading and annotation.

The Three Musketeers: Kindle, Supernote, and Mr. Bujo

My boyfriend loves it so far… so in consultation with him I thought it’d be worth sharing a few first thoughts with you, given that it’s a really cool piece of technology and hopefully something that will continue to improve in the years to come!

pros

  • It’s a fantastic solution for minimizing your papers/binders/etc.
  • Very responsive to the pen.
  • Healthier on your eyes for long-term use – essentially same benefit here to getting an e-reader instead of using a tablet.
  • Syncs to Dropbox for storing your notes.
  • LOTS of research was done to choose the company. It’s a great team and the product is one of the best of its kind on the market. Plus, there is no software subscription model like the Remarkable recently announced.
  • Some really cool features – like editing manuscripts with handwritten proofreading shortcodes.

cons

  • There is a delay when changing pens, pages, erasing, etc. – that’s just the current state of the technology!
  • The writing is slightly pixelated. Although there is a “smoothing” feature that somewhat fixes that after a few seconds (see below video).
  • It exports to PNG not vector, and it’s a fairly small size. So not very practical for artists in my opinion!

Overall, I think it’s a really cool product. However, those three specific cons are enough to make me personally hold off on purchasing until the technology improves. That’s because my anticipated use case would be drawing and speedy brainstorming notes, and it’s just not quite there yet.

That being said, seeing the device in use has really encouraged me to consider upgrading my Kindle soon! I’ll be looking into (A) a larger screen and (B) one that I can annotate with handwriting! Would definitely use that a lot.

Have you heard of these types of devices? What do you think about them, and can you see them becoming more widespread within the next decade?

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