Bamboo Slate – Charming Simplicity

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Bamboo Slate by Wacom is a simple handwriting-to-digital tool. With the free Inkspace app, you can sync your handwritten notes to your phone with a push of a button. It’s as basic as you can possibly get in the realm of handwriting to digital conversion.

I know what you’re thinking. What about the Moleskine, Livescribe, and other products that have been doing this for years?

And you know what? Those are all great systems for what they offer. But the Slate and Folio are not about fancy bells and whistles. It’s about simplicity. 

Here are the features I liked about the Bamboo Slate / Folio:

  • Two sizes available – A4 / letter format or A5 / half letter format.
  • Slender, lightweight, and easy to hold.
  • Pen has a nice flow to it and feels good with my grip.
  • Battery life is impressive and charges with a micro USB cable.
  • Easy to sync and it goes to the cloud (free 5GB cloud space is included).
  • You can use your favorite notepads with it. No special paper to order (pen refills are around $9.99 for three).
  • You can collaborate in real-time via the Inkspace web portal.
  • With a premium Inkspace account, you can export to text or to a vector format from your device or the Inkspace web portal.
  • Collaborate in real-time directly from the app or on the Inkspace web portal.
  • Export to JPG, PNG, PDF, WILL (Wacom specific file format).
  • Starting price is reasonable at $130 – $150 depending on size.

Some areas I felt it was lacking:

  • You can only get the ink-to-text conversion with a premium Inkspace subscription which costs $2.99 a month (ink-to-text is the ability for your handwritten notes to be translated into typed text and then exported into a text file for editing).
  • You can edit your text with the pen, selection, or eraser tools, but the feature is limited and your changes won’t reflect in any ink to text exports.

The biggest pet peeve of mine is you cannot add to a current page after you sync it. With each sync, it automatically starts a new page in the system.

If you’re a designer and need to take your ideas from paper to vector format, you don’t need the bells and whistles of the Moleskine. You also probably want to use the paper you are familiar designing on, so that’s a bonus for you.

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If you are a student and just want your notes you take in class to be available on your phone, go with the Slate. No expensive paper replacements to eat into your already tight ramen noodle budget.

Verdict?

The Bamboo Slate delivers for what they are designed to do–take your paper ideas and put them into the digital world with no fancy paper costs. The Slate is a nice size for the average user who just wants something they can toss in their backpack or purse and go. The Folio has a more professional look with its cover and pockets for business cards.

With the holidays around the corner, it’s a great gift for the student in your life.

The Bamboo Slate comes in two sizes and both are available from Wacom directly and through Amazon.

Disclaimer: GeekMom received a review sample.