Moving to a paperless environment has always been my dream- but I do realize that being able to hand write notes and draw are two things that pen and paper have over many different digital technologies. In this respect, the developers at Kent Displays have been providing paperless writing solutions for the past several years that make hand writing, using a device, both affordable and practical for the average user. I have written about
the Boogie Boards on my blog for the past couple of years and have found them a useful adjunct for writing down appointments, doodling, and for jotting down tasks and shopping lists. The Boogie Boards are easy to use and only require a charge for erasing the contents of the screen so that the battery lasts for a long time and are replaceable. The beauty of the Boogie Boards is that you can grab them and quickly jot down an idea or note without having to power them up. The ease of use is critical for students that want to use them and in this regard it meets the test. After you have written on the Boogie Board you can press the button to erase the contents or capture the information using their handy apps (IOS and Android support) for archiving and storing the contents. Over the years I have found the Boogie Board to be a great tool for quickly capturing ideas and for drawing-but was always yearning for the capability of being able to erase just a portion or my drawings, if I needed to modify it. I have always been a patient individual, so it was really exciting to learn that Kent Displays was releasing a new product called Blackboard featuring Liquid Crystal Display which would now allow you to erase whatever part of your notes or drawings that you wished.
I want to thank Kent Display for sending me a Blackboard LCD to review for my blog. The opinions expressed are my own and there was no remuneration for this review. The Blackboard LCD writing surface is 8 1/2″ x 11″ with a small bezel going down the right and left side of the device. The Blackboard LCD comes with a pen with a hard plastic tip, that is made of plastic and metal with a clip ,that has a good feel to it. The Blackboard LCD has a small bezel at the bottom of the device which is channeled to hold the pen via a magnet. The top portion of the Blackboard LCD has a small round button placed in the middle of two rectangular buttons on either side. The round button when depressed will erase the contents of what has been written on the Blackboard LCD and the button on the right of the round button when slid over to the right will lock the Blackboard LCD and prevent any of your drawings from being accidentally erased when pressing the button. The button to the left of the round button is used for two different functions, one to collaborate the erasing feature when you set up your Blackboard LCD and two, for erasing any part of your drawings. Once you have set up your tolerance for erasing, you can erase any portion of your drawing by holding down the Erase button and using the eraser on the back end of the pen that is provided. The erasing function works quite well and will eliminate whatever part you want to remove. The Blackboard LCD also has a unique feature in that it includes four different overlays that can be slid into the back of the device to give you a blank slate, dotted grid or lined template for your written work. This is a nice feature and worked well-giving me some guidelines when drawing on the device. With this feature you could easily place a photograph or other drawing behind the Blackboard LCD and mark it up for others to see.
I really enjoyed using the Blackboard LCD and found it easy to use. The pen glides on the surface of the device and when you draw on the device, the display reveals a green hue. The Blackboard LCD can create a thinner line width when you apply less pressure to the surface, but I would have liked to be able to draw slightly finer lines. When you do apply
more pressure you can draw thicker lines. Having the ability to make changes to what you are writing or drawing is huge, and one that I had wanted to see for some time now. With this addition, the Blackboard LCD is something that you may want to consider to throw in your bag to quickly jot down ideas and capture notes. Pairing up the Blackboard LCD with the Blackboard app to archive your notes form the device will give you the power to organize and archive and share your notes with others. The Blackboard app can quickly scan your Blackboard LCD drawings and let you store your notes into folders that you have created which you can edit from your Blackboard app using the Drawing and Enhancement tools. The Blackboard LCD app makes it easy to share your notes by sending them as Image or as a PDF file.
If you are a fan of the Boogie Boards then you have to take a look at the Blackboard LCD with all of the new and enhanced features. The ability to erase is high on my list of new features which will make your experience using this device shine. Similarly, being able to change out the templates makes this a flexible tool when working on different types of drawings or projects. The Blackboard LCD is very light and you will barely realize it is in your bag when you are carrying it. However, in this regard, I would love to see an A5 version of this device in the future that has a smaller footprint. If it is technologically possible, I would also like to see the device be able to render black ink on a grey or white background. At the time of this review the Blackboard Desk Easel and Blackboard Folio was not shipping but these are two accessories you my want to take a look at that can add value to your investment.
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