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Livescribe 3 Black Edition Takes Note Taking to Next Level

LAS VEGAS — Because Livescribe still believes in the power of the pen, even if that pen is digital. The Livescribe 3 Black Edition smartpen features new materials and comes with a sleek makeover. It also feels really nice. Announced at CES, the latest Livescribe pen is available today for $149.95 on Livescribe's website, Amazon and in retail stores.

The most evident change in the Black Edition is its striking new look, which includes plastic and covered metal with a black matte finish and a clip made of glass-reinforced plastic. Internal components in the pen have been updated to provide more balance and a better writing experience.

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The smartpen works with iOS and Android devices and can digitize anything you write or sketch in real time in the Livescribe+ app for storage, tagging and sharing. The pen also records audio notes and syncs it with your writings. 

Credit: Andrew E. Freedman/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Andrew E. Freedman/Tom's Guide)

The Black Edition was really smooth to write with. In fact, it made the older Livescribe 3 feel a bit like a toy.

The Black Edition smartpen will come with a 50-sheet top-bound notepad, and 6-packs of these notepads will launch in the first three months of 2016 for $12.95 each, according to the company.

Also, Livescribe is announcing an update to the Livescribe+ app with support for vector graphics. It will come later this month for Android and soon after for iOS. We see this support as critical to attracting illustrators, who might want to import their drawings into Photoshop or other Adobe Creative Suite programs. The update also includes decreased PDF sizes and better quality inkstrokes.

Anoto and Livescribe are pushing the Livescribe 3 Black Edition smartpen to working professionals who speak to clients and participate in interviews and feel that pen and paper keep electronics from getting in the way. But can it tear students and young professionals away from their laptops and smartphones? Time will tell.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.