WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

aPen Digital Recording Wireless Pen

Speed to First Woot:
3m 24.446s
First Sucker:
sandyk11
Last Wooter to Woot:
jdarvizo
Last Purchase:
2 years ago
Order Pace (rank):
Top 9% of Electronics Woots
Bottom 42% of all Woots
Woots Sold (rank):
Top 6% of Electronics Woots
Top 22% of all Woots

Purchaser Experience

  • 14% first woot
  • 9% second woot
  • 31% < 10 woots
  • 22% < 25 woots
  • 24% ≥ 25 woots

Purchaser Seniority

  • 9% joined today
  • 1% one week old
  • 5% one month old
  • 25% one year old
  • 61% > one year old

Quantity Breakdown

  • 89% bought 1
  • 8% bought 2
  • 3% bought 3

Percentage of Sales Per Hour

6%
7%
4%
2%
2%
3%
5%
7%
5%
6%
6%
6%
5%
4%
3%
3%
3%
3%
3%
3%
4%
3%
2%
4%
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Woots by State

zero wooters wootinglots of wooters wooting



Quality Posts


Ozzie2191


quality posts: 52 Private Messages Ozzie2191

Yay Woot, the a3 finally for us non-Apple-inclined!

**Witty signature fail**Out of cheese error**Redo from start**

CowboyDann


quality posts: 716 Private Messages CowboyDann

I'm having trouble clicking the thread from last month, so here's the last thread I commented on.

Lots of Discussion Here

Here are some sample images of notes I took for work:


CowboyDann wrote:That would be great if that is what was on sale today. Today's woot is the A4, therefore Today's Woot Does Not Have Bluetooth Capabilities!!

Here are a couple sample notes recorded by my A3:





And Here's a little love letter I wrote using my A3 Enjoy!


(Important note: My handwriting is really that bad. The pen doesn't make it any worse)



It's so nice to have a digital back up of all my notes in case a body shop accuses me of ordering parts for the wrong car, when they gave me the wrong VIN.

hviitd


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hviitd

bad reviews for A3 on amazon.....says no support for android tablets

http://www.amazon.com/Apen-A3-Wireless-Digital-Recording/product-reviews/B004QOIDLO/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

CowboyDann


quality posts: 716 Private Messages CowboyDann

Slow night. Here are some youtube videos.

A Video Demo:


A4 video


Here is the Apen Website. $129.00 for the A3 or A4 on their website.

jro2020


quality posts: 6 Private Messages jro2020

freaking typical I just bought the A3 on 7/28 when they had in their other deals, and when it was ten dollars more. I swear every time I buy a tech item from woot they rerun it again a few days latter at a significant discount. Ohh well Like the product it just arrived yesterday and I have been playing with it today and it is spiffy.

ptreno6


quality posts: 2 Private Messages ptreno6

Does anyone here know if the aPen is better than the Wacom Inkling?
Seems like I'd trust Wacom a bit more for quality, but I could be wrong.
Wacom Inkling sample video below.

http://youtu.be/fXbBA1DRE84

Trino

wingedsurfgirl


quality posts: 25 Private Messages wingedsurfgirl
jro2020 wrote:freaking typical I just bought the A3 on 7/28 when they had in their other deals, and when it was ten dollars more. I swear every time I buy a tech item from woot they rerun it again a few days latter at a significant discount. Ohh well Like the product it just arrived yesterday and I have been playing with it today and it is spiffy.



Have you done any advanced photo editing with it? I've been looking to get something similar for my photo business, but the ones I was looking at were way more. I'm so over using my mouse for editing. I'd much rather draw my selections. Does anyone have that kind of experience with it?

radi0j0hn


quality posts: 99 Private Messages radi0j0hn

The previous model I bought here was returned to Woot after I could never get ANY help from the company about my apparently DOA item. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I'll never know. It took them 2 weeks to email back something like, "We hear you are having a problem?" After numerous calls and emails. Call the tech support # and get the company receptionist? No thanks.

acpress.com Not cute, but useful.

JohnnyG29


quality posts: 4 Private Messages JohnnyG29

Ugh.. I really should stop looking at these daily deal sites every morning. I totally want/need one of these for my work. I guess on the bright side I didn't buy that non-stick 10" saute pan yesterday. Maybe I should send that drum set back I bought a couple of days ago for the kid.

I'm in for one...

Edit: Wow, the reviews are all over the board - this is a crap shoot... I just need something to store my multiple notes digitally with.

ejbntt


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ejbntt

Do not waste your hard earned money unless you have money to donate to Woot on the wireless pen. Very cheap quality, awkward to use, unreliable and I could go on. Pictures are deceiving, to use pen you must have receiver attached to source taking notes. If you have a writing tablet or similar the clip on the receiver is to small to attach. iPad and Andriod apps are very poor. Looks like a first year computer science dude that failed out of their second semester created them. In closing Woot money donations are not tax deductible!

JohnnyG29


quality posts: 4 Private Messages JohnnyG29
ejbntt wrote:Do not waste your hard earned money unless you have money to donate to Woot on the wireless pen. Very cheap quality, awkward to use, unreliable and I could go on. Pictures are deceiving, to use pen you must have receiver attached to source taking notes. If you have a writing tablet or similar the clip on the receiver is to small to attach. iPad and Andriod apps are very poor. Looks like a first year computer science dude that failed out of their second semester created them. In closing Woot money donations are not tax deductible!



Thanks, I'm out...

keriah


quality posts: 2 Private Messages keriah

Could someone who has this comment on attaching the receiver to a "pad" of paper? Some of the comments indicate that it will NOT attach to a standard pad of paper (claim that standard pads of paper are too thick for the aPen's clippy thingee to get around). Is that true? If so then, to those who do like this pen, how do you make it practical in your real-world use? Thanks!

frogpuddle


quality posts: 0 Private Messages frogpuddle

The rest of us REALLY appreciate your efforts at reducing our costs for these woot items!

Thanks a lot and keep it up!!!

lazymangaka


quality posts: 7 Private Messages lazymangaka

I picked this up a few weeks ago in a previous woot, and the wife and I have had a ton of fun with it. You can plug the device into your computer, attach the dongle to a normal pad of paper, and use the ball-point pen the same way you would a digital art tablet. It's pretty intuitive, and rather fun.

There is a bit of goofiness sometimes when it comes to the sensing. If part of your hand gets between the pen and the dongle it'll miss lines at times, but as long as you're inking with the device plugged into your computer, you'll be able to glance up and see if the lines are being recognized or not.

Personally, I couldn't see doing serious art with it, but for doodling, note-taking, maybe a little cartooning, it's totally workable and definitely a novelty.


keriah wrote:Could someone who has this comment on attaching the receiver to a "pad" of paper? Some of the comments indicate that it will NOT attach to a standard pad of paper (claim that standard pads of paper are too thick for the aPen's clippy thingee to get around). Is that true? If so then, to those who do like this pen, how do you make it practical in your real-world use? Thanks!



The clippy thing is too small to fit around the entire pad of paper, but it clips easily onto a few sheets, and it spreads pressure along the entire clip well, so there's not much risk of damaging the paper you're working with.

Annabanana1c3


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Annabanana1c3

For those of you wondering if you can use it even as a lefty, YES! Yes, you can. You just want to make sure that the top of your hand is not blocking the sensor. The grip of the pen is higher up, so that the side of your hand is not touching the paper much. (Lefties will know what I'm talking about).

aphroat


quality posts: 4 Private Messages aphroat

Yay, finally an aPen deal for the rest of us!

In for one A3, thanks Woot!

Entity325


quality posts: 3 Private Messages Entity325

I bought two of these about a year ago(one for me, one for a friend). They are fantastic, and I'm considering buying one or two more. The pen is really nice and writes smoothly even ignoring the fact that it's digital, and I've taken to using it as my regular pen even for notes that I don't want recorded. The fact that you can record notes and then throw the paper away is very nice(The case that the aPen comes with is usually smaller than a pile of paper sheets), and you can re-use paper by drawing over old notes and storing a new layer, which I've done several times.

ptreno6 wrote:Does anyone here know if the aPen is better than the Wacom Inkling?


I don't have an Inkling, but I do know it supports pressure sensitivity(aPen does not) and that the driver situation is more user-friendly. For 1/5 the price, however, the aPen does a fantastic job of capturing text and lineart.

ejbntt wrote:Do not waste your hard earned money unless you have money to donate to Woot on the wireless pen. Very cheap quality, awkward to use, unreliable and I could go on. Pictures are deceiving, to use pen you must have receiver attached to source taking notes. If you have a writing tablet or similar the clip on the receiver is to small to attach. iPad and Andriod apps are very poor. Looks like a first year computer science dude that failed out of their second semester created them.



You sir are a liar, an mosquito, or both. I have had no reliability issues and found the pen to be of exceptional quality even just on its own. The receiver works without being connected to a computer or iPad, but allows you to turn the aPen into a Wacom-style tablet if you do connect it, and as the previous commentor mentioned, you can easily attach the receiver only to a few pages on a notepad.(Binding on the top? Attach it to the side! WOAH, MAGIC!)

Lord John Whorfin


quality posts: 27 Private Messages Lord John Whorfin

I'm missing the benefit compared to using a special pen on the iPad, anyone care to enlighten me?

legendaryhen


quality posts: 0 Private Messages legendaryhen

Anyone know if the A3 would work with a touchpad?

Bluetooth says yes, but the fact that it doesn't work with honeycomb (apparently, according to amazon reviews) throws me off.

sasquatchcubed


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sasquatchcubed
CowboyDann wrote:Slow night. Here are some youtube videos.



I love how these ads were obviously written by someone in China with all of the broken English.

The best part is how the announcer has a perfect American accent, yet still reads it as if it is correct English. It's like he said, "This is what I'm getting paid to read, so this is what I'm going to read..."

skfederle


quality posts: 0 Private Messages skfederle

Does anyone know if you can switch out the ink cartridge? And if so, what kind of cartridge does it take?

hewhoispale


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hewhoispale

The company's product page (http://apenusa.com/productcomparison.php) shows the A3 coming with OCR software, but the Woot specs only mention it for the A4. Can anyone clarify this?

bookwormlex


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bookwormlex
Lord John Whorfin wrote:I'm missing the benefit compared to using a special pen on the iPad, anyone care to enlighten me?



This way you don't get lines from dragging your arm accross the ipad. the ipad recognizes any capacitance touch, this only recognizes what the pen writes.

renatus


quality posts: 1 Private Messages renatus

I'm really torn about this. Looks neat for the price, but reviews are all over the board.
for one, I don't get which version is actually for sale here and is one 'newer' than the other or are they just for different devices.
2, whichever one it is, does anyone know if it has software that is actually Mac compatible (including the OCR software)?
Oh, and though I don't have this I can see that this is not intended as competition for a Wacom tablet, don't get this for that people. This is for taking notes, not doing graphics work.

jkh


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jkh

I got an A4 the last time it was on Woot & have spent way too much time figuring out what it can & cannot do. The final verdict is decidedly mixed. To sum up:

1. There are about a dozen different versions of what is basically a cheapo portable digital drawing pad. I believe the original is by Yifang (Taiwan, not PRC), which supplies multiple other OEMs, including the Wacom Inkling (at least I suspect that).

2. They share in common a sensor that clips to the top of a "page" (in the case of the Apen A5, the "page" is an iPad screen; the A1-4 is a piece of paper) & a pen that has a ring of sensors/transponders close to the tip of the pen. The sensor follows the movement of the pen's transponders to record what the pen has written/drawn. The sensor subsequently (or simultaneously depending on implementation) transfer information to a Mac or PC, or iPhone, or iPad, or Android device via USB or Bluetooth (the A3).

3. The sensor doesn't work w/ a legal pad, b/c of how the clip is designed - it can't attach to more than a few pages of paper - so you're forced to use loose sheets or a spiral bound notebook. The pen uses a replaceable ball point cartridge (the same as is used in multi-pens - widely available, not a great writing experience). I understand that some of these devices - the A5 & maybe the Inkling - are pressure sensitive, but the A4 & A3 definitely aren't. The pen requires 2 watch batteries. I don't know how long they last. The sensor charges via USB (but I don't know about the A3 which has bluetooth)

4. All in all, it's pretty clever technology for digitizing your drawings or handwriting. However, as you might imagine, the real issue is the software available on the host computer/tablet/smartphone.

5. I got the Apen4 b/c it seemed kind of cool (it is) & hoping to use it to turn handwritten notes, taken when I interview patients (I'm a physician) into digital text. The Apen advertising clearly implies that their device can do handwriting OCR. I also knew that the Mac (which is what I use mostly) has built in handwriting OCR (Inkwell).

6. I finally did get things working to my satisfaction, but it took 3 days of web searching w/ zero assistance from Apen. There were definitely points of time when I felt very ripped off. I could get the Mac built-in handwriting OCR to work when I used the Apen4 purely as a digital tablet, data entry device, although going back & forth between writing & mousing wasn't simple. There was no way to turn the remotely generated notes I took using the Apen 4 into digital text, however (despite Apen's advertising)

7. Fortunately, I finally found a workaround. Visionobjects.com has a Mac (& PC) program, Myscript Studio Notes, that is designed to work w/ all these devices & can import the note files produced by the Apen4 & do the OCR. It does a pretty credible job of OCR, but not miraculous: basically, if you can't reliably read what was written, the OCR won't work well, either. It does come w/ a training module, however.

8. Myscript Studio Notes has a 30 day free trial, but then costs $42.75 to register (which I did just do).

9. I fiddled w/ the iPhone a little bit, but the results were very unsatisfactory. I think the Apen 4 (& 3) does OK w/ creating images & drawings, but there was no way to do handwriting OCR. Vision objects has myscript notes, an iPhone/iPad/Android app but it doesn't work w/ the Apen hardware (you write w/ your finger or a stylus on the touchscreen, then the app sends the image to a vision objects server which does the OCR - just like Siri - this costs extra, of course)

10. The bottom line: Apen, the company, sucks, although I don't know that any of the other OEMs using the Yifang technology (eg Wacom) are much better in terms of telling you the limitations (btw, I strongly suspect that some of the glowing comments about Apen on Woot are plants). However, vision objects software does make the Apen 4 (I don't know about the A3) usable for digital notetaking. If you just want to digitize drawings & images, then the Apen isn't bad (although I imagine it wouldn't compare to a real Wacom table). If you want to digitize handwritten notes, you'll have to purchase additional software

ctmiller


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ctmiller

Why not just simply scan your papers/drawing in? Am I missing something?

lyamcweld


quality posts: 1 Private Messages lyamcweld

I have bought a total of 6 of these pens, because I teach at an MBA program (top 25, so not too shabby a school) and am trying out different technologies with the students to see what they like, and what works.

Pros - inexpensive, easy to use.
It does a very good job of clipping to the top of a spiral notebook, turn it on, and take notes. When you get home, plug the receiver into a PC, and your notes are now in digital form.
There are software packages available that convert the handwriting into machine readable characters, but so far, the APen software itself does not convert it into a document which is editable into, say, Microsoft Office Word.

It is not particularly effective as a bamboo tablet alternative for me & student guineapigs. You can use it as a "mouse", but it tends to be a bit sloppy.

So, it gets really high scores for doing basically what a scanner would do, but without having to run the pages through a scanner. And, since a shocking number of students seem to have scanners which break, or only output GIF files, this is a pretty easy solution for that. I also like it better than a stylus on and IPad, since the stylus is relatively crude in its sensors, and can be upset by an errant finger or palm resting on the screen.
I like it better than the lightscribe, since it works on any paper, not expensive dotty paper.
Overall, pretty good at a limited number of tasks, and for the price, it is great.

jmanes


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jmanes

I just ordered the Apen A4 to use with the iPad 3. I don't want to do anything fancy with it....just take notes in faculty meetings, save them to my Dropbox and print them out later. (Alternatively, if they are in my Dropbox, I could display them on my SmartBoard, if necessary.) I don't need it to transcribe my handwriting into typing; I just want my document saved for use later. Will it do this?

aphroat


quality posts: 4 Private Messages aphroat

Spent the weekend (and some of baqui63's time) trying to first obtain, then install the .apk for the Android A3 pen. So far, no dice. The .apk is provided via GooglePlay and a creator named ByZero Inc. That creator links back to a slick but uninformative website offering an iPad app for digital pens with no mention of the aPen product or of the Android .apk.

I've re-rooted two of my three Android gadgets today in an effort to install the OEM .apk that baqui63 sent to me via email. Install fails. I suspect the .apk is looking for something that says "phone", which my tablets are not.

I am currently on terminal hold on apenusa's tech support line. My cellphone's battery is fresh, my limiting factor will be my need to leave for class in about two hours. Based on others' comments re: tech support I imagine nobody will ever get on the horn.

As an interesting side-note, the "corporate address" on the apenusa.com "contact us" page maps to a freeway interchange - smack under an overpass, in fact - in West Covina, California.

If I can't make this thing work in the next 10 days I'll be asking Woot to take it back. If that fails I'll offer it to a friend with an Android phone running an old ROM. If *that* fails I'll dump it via craigslist.

UPDATE: after an hour in the support queue (one guy in the whole joint maybe) a helpful dude with a laid-back California attitude hooked me up with an app called iNote, which will install on Android tablets. If you can't find it or can't pull it off GooglePlay drop me a PM and I can email the .apk file to you. I've verified by doing it that it can be side-loaded successfully.

Now to make the aPen talk to its gadget, and make that gadget talk to my Android gadget.