The Sony Digital Paper product above is $799 and by all accounts has not set the world alight, probably because of the price. The size of it (A4) probably does not help either.
The WG-S20 from Sharp, above, makes a lot more sense to me. It’s small, more practical and comes with all of the features I would need plus a very smooth writing experience. Localisation is the problem here, however, because it appears that Sharp does not think we in the West want such a product.
If I may nab a couple of reviews from Amazon of the WG-S20-
In terms of functionality it’s great. Don’t worry about the fact that menu buttons are all in Japanese, the icons that go with them are very easy to understand, and there’s a video on YouTube which does a detailed demonstration of most of the functionality of the device. Don’t be put off by the fact there is no English language model. It’s very easy to use, and well designed in terms of the user interface.
You could use a small tablet instead, but they’ll be heavier, larger, shorter battery life. You use this product with a pen, you can erase and write and it’s very responsive.
“This electronic memo is going to be invaluable to me. Yes, its screen is sometimes a bit dark, but the advantages heavily outweigh that. Perhaps in two or three years’ time, electronics will deliver us writeable electronic paper that is as white as many current e-readers such as Kindles, etc. The Sharp WG-S20 is a brilliant little device. Its functionality is impressive. Do not worry about the lack of English instructions. They can be found online. The device is quickly mastered and just does what it was designed for.”
The above 2 examples explain why I hanker for such a device. It comes back to me every time I use my Kindle Paperwhite which is small, usable in every lighting condition, rarely needs charging and does one thing extremely well.
That’s what I want from a digital notepad, something that I can carry with me anywhere to doodle, write down thoughts and to be able to organise the notes how I want. I don’t need them to be synchronised with my phone or to write with a smart pen, I just want a plain and simple digital notepad.
I genuinely believe such a device has the potential to do for handwritten notes what the Kindle has done for eBooks, but maybe in a more niche way.
When will someone release this kind of product for everyone? My money is waiting…