Electronics: Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse review 2020

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Moleskine is synonymous with premium products. Their notepads offer fantastic quality and style if you can afford to pay for it. The Italian pen and notepad company has taken this design ethos forwards and applied it to the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse, their second stab at the smart pen market.

With a smooth metallic case and a rectangular silhouette that apes that of the Moleskine Classic Pens, the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse certainly looks and feels the part. But it’s not all style and no substance — the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse offers a comfortable writing experience and great digital replication of your work. Whether that’s worth the cost is up to you.

The Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse has an MSRP of $129.99. Since the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse only works with proprietary notepads, you’ll also need to purchase a Paper Tablet which start at $29.95. There is a bundle which includes both the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse and a Paper Tablet available with for $149.99, offering a saving of $10 over individual purchases.

The Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse functions wonderfully both for writing and drawing, with almost no errors in translating your work into digital form. This is a vast improvement over the previous model which scored poorly in our writing tests due to consistent errors. 

The down side is that the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse will only write on Moleskine’s proprietary notebooks, the Paper Tablet. These don’t come cheap, with each Paper Tablet notebook costing $29.95 for the large (5 x 8.25-inches) and $34.95 for the extra large (7.5 x 9.75-inches).

The transcription feature allows you to instantly turn your digitized notes into workable text, which can then be copied, pasted and edited. The accuracy of this feature varies and it’s likely you’ll have to tidy up your notes, but it’s a useful addition.

Where the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse falls down is its poor battery life. At full charge, the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse will last for around four or five hours before needing to be recharged. This isn’t ideal if you’re looking to use the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse for long writing or drawing sessions, though it’s probably fine for occasional use throughout the day.

The Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse comes with its own dedicated app called Moleskine Notes. When your write on a Moleskine Paper Tablet, your pen strokes are instantly recorded and digitized by the app. The app then allows you to store, edit and share your digitized notes with ease. You can also add tags to notes, allowing you to organize them into groups.

When taking notes, the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse offers a new feature over it predecessor  — the ability to write without activating the companion app. When you write with the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse, your pen strokes are saved within the pen itself. The next time you activate the Moleskine Notes app, you will be asked if you wish to sync your previous writing session. It’s a small feature, but one that means you don’t lose work when you forget to activate the app.

Our Verdict

The Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse offers a comfortable, premium writing experience with excellent writing and drawing replication. The battery life is poor though and while the pen itself is reasonably priced the cost of the proprietary notepads will quickly add up.

For

  • Stylish design
  • Excellent writing and drawing accuracy
  • Comfortable

Against

  • Only works with proprietary notepads
  • Poor battery life



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