I am an Apple junkie. Any Apple product, I either have it or I have it on my wish list. I love my iPad, and when I bought it, my number one desire was to be able to use it to take electronic hand-written notes in meetings. Except, it’s really terrible at that. (I’m sorry Apple, but it is.) The apps that are available do not simulate a writing tablet effectively, penmanship is a challenge, it’s difficult to save them, and it’s not intuitive. It’s just altogether cumbersome. Old fashioned paper is better and if I lose a 99 cent pen, no biggie. Lose a stylus and you could be out $40 bucks.
So when I walked into my office meeting last week toting the Boogie Board RIP – there was a gasp of surprise, all eyes were on me.
And in a blink of an eye, it was out of my hands and travelling around the table.
The Boogie Board RIP (RIP = record image, preserve) from Improv Electronics is an LCD writing tablet that allows you to save your pages to PDF with the click of a button – and it works with my Mac. (Would be a deal breaker if not…) Boogie Board technology utilizes Reflex™ liquid crystal displays for unique, sustainable applications. These special LCD screens can retain an image without power and offer superior optical characteristics including sunlight-readability and wide viewing angles. Write on the screen, then simply connect the provided USB cord to each device and I can see my files on my computer instantly in the order they were created, easily ready to organize and save. It’s very lightweight and even has a storage clip for the electromagnetic stylus which is pressure sensitive — meaning the harder your press, the wider your lines.
The Boogie Board RIP interface is simple. For people who are overwhelmed with complex technology options, this is streamlined with limited options. There are only a few things you need the Boogie Board RIP to do: Wake, write, save. That’s it. And it does that beautifully. It has plenty of memory, the Boogie Board RIP can store 8MB which is approximately 200 PDF images, but the micro USB port allows you to expand the device memory so whatever you want.
I’ll admit my first experience with the Boogie Board RIP was a misfire. Kind of embarrassing actually. There are only a few buttons on the device: status indicator, erase, wake/save. I failed to “wake” the tablet
first and so none of my pages saved correctly (it really helps if you actually read the instructions, just sayin’), so the meeting notes from that inaugural run are lost. But now, I’ve done my homework and I’ve got this. Press the “wake” button, the status indicator will light up and let you know that the Boogie Board is recording your writing. When you’re done, press the “save” button, then erase, and start all over. I’m in looovvve.
The Boogie Board RIP has additional free software (the Virtual Desktop Companion) that allows your tablet to work with Evernote to easily organize and access all your files that you created on your tablet. The Virtual Desktop Companion can also be used as a presentation tool with a virtual whiteboard, and it allows you to see your writing/drawings in real time. It will even prompt you to save or email your files anywhere you like. If that wasn’t enough, the Virtual Desktop Companion (VDC) software will convert your handwriting to digital text. Uber cool, but unfortunately, the VDC is not compatible with my Mac – yet. (Just PC version for now.) No sad face though, even without the VDC, I’m better off than my messy, PITA iPad app.
More importantly than the companion software, the Boogie Board RIP FEELS good to write on it. It’s FUN. Just like the classic Boogie Board that my daughter can’t take her hands off of, (Her preschool classroom has 5 of them by the way.), it’s addicting to just sit and scribble. My handwriting actually LOOKS like my handwriting, and I can’t stop doodling because I love drawing on it so much. I love my daughter’s Boogie Board, but the grown up version is thicker, sturdier, is rechargeable, and has a better stylus (and place to put it).
If I had to say one shortfall of the device, I’d say that it’s a little frustrating that there’s no way to scroll back through my notes to see what I wrote previously. Summarizing action items at the end of a meeting that has produced several pages of notes might tax my ADHD brain a little too much.
Even though I can’t enjoy all the awesome software features that the Boogie Board RIP has to offer on my Apple island, I still dig this innovative device and am thoroughly excited about the next generation that will follow.
The awesome people at Improv Electronics sent me both the Boogie Board 8.5 and the Boogie Board RIP to review. If you’d like to win your own Boogie Board RIP (retail approximately $120), enter below. You can read my review of the Classic Boogie Board (retail approximately $40) on my other website and enter to win the Boogie Board 8.5 there too!