Today, we have smartwatches, smart air and heat systems, smart refrigerators, smart tablets, and even smart pens. Most smart pens take the form of a stylus. However, some digital pens take the work out of writing. Gone are the days of being a college student with many different notebooks for note-taking. Now, you can keep track of everything with smart pens and tablets.

How Smart Pens Work

Most smart pens that record your writing have an infrared camera. This camera copies what you write on paper and reflects it on your iPad or Android tablet. Some smart pens immediately transfer what you have written to your device, while others need to be placed on the charger to download the material to a mobile device. Either way, these tools for taking notes are incredible and take a lot of the work out of written notes.

Stylus vs Smart Pen – What Is the Difference?

While a stylus only works with a parent device (eg. ApplePencil with Apple iPad), a smart pen usually has ink and can be used on paper or a specific notebook that can be cleaned and used again.

When searching for the term “smart pens,” you need to be aware of the differences your search will bring you. Currently, your search for the best smart pen will also award you with a ton of different styluses that is just that, a stylus. However, they are labeled as “smart pens.” This can sometimes be confusing and misleading.

Because of these results, we have noted what it is within the article description to ensure you are getting exactly what you need!

Smart Pen Comparison

Product

Features

Scanmarker Digital Highlighter

  • Translates highlighted texts into over 40 languages and reads them out loud.

  • Works with Apple and Android products (Mac and Windows).

  • Does not connect via Bluetooth.

Scanmarker Digital Highlighter

  • Has 50+ hours of battery life (120 days of standby battery life) significantly more than any other stylus or smart pen.

  • No apps are required to use this stylus.

  • No audio recording capability compared to the Livescribe or Moleskine pen ellipse.

 Livescribe Symphony Smartpen Digital Pen

  • Recognition of up to 28 different languages (the only smart pen that can do this!)

  • Like the Moleskine pen, Livescribe is compatible with Apple and Android devices.

  • Compatible notebook, similar to the Moleskine.

  • Both Livescribe and Moleskine allow you to download to Google Drive.

Moleskine Smart Writing System

  • The Moleskine Notes app translates from paper to digital format like the Livescribe app.

  • Download digital notes to Google Drive.

  • Audio recording capabilities (like Livescribe) but cannot accommodate various languages.

  • The Moleskine is a bit more.

  • Pen tip ink refill is very inexpensive.

Apple Pencil 2nd Generation

  • You CANNOT use this smart pen to write on typical paper (unlike the Moleskine and the Livescribe).

  • The Apple Pencil does not record audio.

  • Pen strokes match handwritten notes.

  • Works only with the accompanying smart pad

  • Creates detailed digital images (as does the Microsoft Surface Pen).

Microsoft Surface Pen

  • You cannot write on plain paper.

  • The round pen design is more accessible to hold than triangular digital pens.

  • Bluetooth and pairing settings are automatic.

  • There is no built-in audio recorder as with other smart pens.

Wacom Gen. 4 Bamboo Ink Stylus

  • Has a smartphone app that is compatible with both iOs and Android devices.

  • This smart pen doesn't have audio recording capability as other smart pens do.

    This smart pen does not have a battery.

  • Price is significantly less expensive than other like devices.

MoKo Stylus Pen for iPad

  • Is not compatible with devices other than Apple.

  • This pen only works with Apple devices made in 2018 or later.

  • There is no cloud storage on this device.

  • No special paper is needed for this stylus and there is no ink dispensing.

  • Has a palm rejection feature like Ailun stylus pen.

Best “Smart Pens” on the Market Reviewed

Any time you spend your hard-earned money, you want to make sure that your money is well spent! No one wants to waste cash on something that doesn’t work. Our list consists of basic model smart pens that are inexpensive and more complex smart pens that are pricier but have more features. We want to ensure that you have the best options for whatever needs you may have.

1. Scanmarker Digital Highlighter

Scanmarker Digital Highlighter

You would think that the modern-day college student would ease most textbooks being online. However, this is not always the case! Unfortunately, college students still need to re-write and highlight main points and then make detailed outlines. While this is not a smart pen, this is a very smart highlighter!

The Scanmarker Digital Highlighter will ensure that you can easily create your outlines with only the information that you have digitally highlighted. Plug the USB end into your computer, pull up your word document, then highlight all the essential things you need. One cool thing about this product is that it will read the text to you as you scan it. This digital highlighter is a fantastic tool if you have difficulty reading or have a reading disability.

2. Ailun Stylus Pen with Palm Rejection

Ailun Stylus Pen

When it comes to a quality stylus, the Ailun Stylus Pen is one of the top smart pens on this list. This pen comes with a plastic tip (and a replacement!) and features a 1.7mm fine point tip for precision writing and drawing. Use this pen with either your iOs or Android device with ease and the push of a button.

The palm rejection feature allows you to continue writing without having to worry about lifting your hand the entire time so that it doesn’t interfere with your note-taking process. Lastly, this smart pen’s battery life is impressive, lasting almost fifteen hours.

3. Livescribe Symphony Smartpen Digital Pen

Livescribe Symphony Smartpen Digital Pen

If budget isn’t an issue and you want a great smart pen that can do it all, the Livescribe Symphony is the right one for you. This smart pen has it all: the ability for simultaneous audio recordings and note-taking, audio playback, use on mobile devices, use with iOs or Android devices. Additionally, this pen can recognize up to twenty-eight different languages! Something that the other smart pens cannot do.

The Livescribe app allows you to access notes from any mobile device. Plus, you can turn your digital notes into a PDF and share them via text. One thing that I think is cool about this device is that Livescribe makes a special paper for all your notes. If you draw directly on this paper, you can attach audio recordings to that particular paper. How cool is that?

4. Moleskine Smart Writing System

Moleskine Smart Pen

This Moleskine Pen Ellipse is much more than typical traditional pens. This is one of the best smart pens on the market, and the price tag reflects that concept. Don’t be fooled by the look and feel of this pen. At first glance, this looks as though it is a regular pen, as it has a ballpoint ink dispensing system. However, this smart pen has refillable ink.

Further, this smart pen comes with everything you need to make your handwritten notes that much more incredible! The set includes the USB recharging cable, the 1pen tip ink refill, and the user manual for ease of use.

The Moleskine pen ellipse also allows you to record audio with ease, just in case you missed something while taking notes in class (or wherever). As far as battery life is concerned, if you have a full day of classes, you will want to ensure you bring your charger as you will likely get four or five hours from this smart pen.

5. Apple Pencil 2nd Generation

Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)

The Apple Pencil is undoubtedly worth looking into if you are a big fan of any Apple Ipad products. While these digital pens do not allow you to physically write on a piece of paper, however, this pen can accommodate a ton of unique features. First, the second-generation Apple pencil charges by simply attaching it to the top of your iPad. A simple 10-minute charge will give you hours of battery life. Plus, because you don’t need a USB charger, it is easy to remember to charge because it attaches to the top of your tablet.

This pen features a double-tap to change tools, tilt and pressure sensitivity, and no lag time! Plus, your handwritten notes (via Ipad) can be as creative as you want them to be with a plethora of different writing tools.

6. Microsoft Surface Pen

Microsoft Surface Pen

The ideal smart pen will accommodate all kinds of writing: which this one does. Whether you are on team iOs or Android, the Microsoft pen and tablet are some of the best smart combinations on the market. This digital pen has almost zero lag time and has over four thousand different pressure points.

Without a doubt, when using the Microsoft tablet, this becomes one of the best smart pens available. Further, this pen pairs with your device via Bluetooth and automatically launches the Windows ink workspace. The Windows ink workspace can allow you to create 3D CAD designs, work in Microsoft office, excel, and many more programs.

7. Wacom Gen. 4 Bamboo Ink Stylus Duo with Ballpoint Pen

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Pink

Here is where the stylus meets the smart pen. The Bamboo ink stylus for the price can not be beaten. One end of this pen is a typical ballpoint pen that can be replaced and allows you to work off of writing pads or a paper tablet. No specialized paper is needed!

The Wacom Inkspace app allows you to take a picture of your written notes to be converted into digital format. This pen can also utilize the Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP), which in short, allows you to launch the Microsoft Ink Workspace. Doing this opens up a whole world of capabilities for your use. Lastly, the other end of this stylus is made with

Wacom Bamboo Folio Smartpad Digital Notebook Gray, Small

While this is not a smart pen product, I felt like this one was note-worthy if you consider the above stylus. The Wacom Bamboo Folio smartpad is certainly worth pairing with the Wacom Bamboo stylus. With this smartpad, all you have to do is place a clean sheet of paper on the pad and begin writing and drawing. The Wacom Bamboo Folio pad then translates written word into digital text.

8. MoKo Stylus Pen for iPad with Palm Rejection

MoKo Stylus Pen for iPad

The MoKo stylus, while not technically a smart pen, is a great stylus! One thing I love about this stylus is the fact that you do not have to download any additional apps or mess with Bluetooth pairing. Just turn this on and it is ready to go! One thing that makes this the best smart pen (or stylus) is the rave customer reviews on Amazon. With a 4.9 out of 5-star rating, you know you are getting something that real customers before you believe is a great product.

I really love that this stylus has the ability to perform different types of tasks for writing and drawing. For example, shade with the greatest of ease, or, write calligraphy all with the same writing nip. The 1mm nib allows for precision writing with no lagging. This stylus charges with a type-C charging cord and has multiple charging indicator lights.

Final Thoughts on the Best Smart Pens

Famous playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” With the right smart pen, this is the case! I hope that among our “best smart pen” list, you will find exactly what you are looking for. There are so many options available that educating yourself on the features of the various kinds of devices will allow you to purchase the best smart pen for YOU.