You guys probably remember the Boogie Board a couple years ago from your local Brookstone stores. It was a great device, but I always thought it could be improved. What if I wanted to save my notes instead of erasing and forgetting? The $39.99 price tag seemed enticing, but I didn’t see it past a scratchpad tool. Well, the guys from Improv Electronics (makers of the Boogie Board) have walked out of R&D with the Boogie Board Sync! It’s just like Boogie Board, BUT it adds Bluetooth to save and send notes to your iOS devices! Let’s take a closer look at the Boogie Board Sync, which retails for $99.99, and the Boogie Board Folio Case, which retails for $19.99.
The Boogie Board Sync comes in a nice little see-through box, akin to the ones you usually see at Brookstone stores, and easily opens up without the need of a knife (Sorry, John…). The Boogie Board Sync has a small pen that snaps on the side of the board. There’s a “save” and an “erase” button on the front bottom corner and the power button on a side corner. You’ve got the micro-USB charging port on the top. The battery lasts about a week on “typical use” but with real-world usage it’s more of 2-3 days, which is not bad at all, and it has a standby mode that turns on after one hour of inactivity.
Throughout high school and university I’ve seen my share of these so-called “notebook replacers.” It all started with “the laptop” back in 8th grade which I always wanted to bring to school to take notes (or play flash games, depending on who was asking) and went onto tablets a few years later. It seemed like a large portion of students were getting these devices with the intention of decreasing their paper use but in my experience, and from what I saw from others, this lasted a week or at most a month. After that you’d see the student pick up an old- school pen and paper and go back to writing. There were plenty of reasons to go back to traditional pen-and-paper. From the fact that a laptop was rather an inconveniently bulky and not to mention risky to carry around the school to the inconvenience of having to constantly be on the lookout for a wall outlet as well as figuring out how to draw that figure the teacher drew on the board. Tablets sort of fixed the issue of drawing, but left the typing and note-taking to a myriad of third party apps which may or may not support the organization/formats you needed.
You might be wondering, where does the Boogie Board Sync stand? Well, I think its the next best thing to pen and paper. All I need to do is just need to bring my boogie board and iPhone to class, take notes, and be on my way. I don’t need to carry an expensive tablet or iPad or laptop. The cons may outweigh the pros though. If you have hard-to-read handwriting you might have trouble reading your own notes since the stroke thickness is not as it looks; Your writings may look easy to read on the boogie board, but when you transfer them to your iPhone you might not recognize those hieroglyphics. But for some the boogie board may be a great substitution for pen and paper notes.
Our own John P. has also played with the Boogie Board Sync and knocked out a few quick sketches on it. You can check out his thoughts and see what he drew here.
You can get the Boogie Board Sync over at Amazon.com for around $95 (Prime eligible!) and the Folio Case for $19.99. You can also get the old Boogie Board (without Bluetooth/note saving functions) for $24 at Amazon (also prime elligible).