Pros / The included Moleskine notebook is very high quality and a pleasure to write in.
Cons / It is one of the least accurate pens for drawing.
Verdict / The fact that this pen comes with a high-quality Moleskine notebook may make it worth the cost for some people. However, there are more accurate smart pens for less money.
The Moleskine Pen+ is one of the sleekest smart pens we tested because it pairs Moleskine’s legendary notebook design with a version of the Neo Smartpen N2, which is one of the better pens available.
In our handwriting accuracy test, the Pen+ only recorded one incorrect stroke when we wrote out the Gettysburg Address by hand, and we awarded the Pen+ an A rating based on its single error. Other pens recorded errors when we had to scribble out an incorrect word or spelling.
In terms of drawing accuracy, however, the Pen+ recorded a total of nine errors across two test drawings. These errors weren’t the result of poor drawing skill or bad pen placement, the pen just didn’t pick up some of the strokes. Because of this high number of errors, we scored the Pen+ with a C- for sketch capture quality. This pen had two more errors than the Neo Smartpen N2, which is essentially the same pen without the Moleskine branding. However, we retested both pens to make sure our results were consistent. So if you like the design and feel of the Moleskine Pen+, you may want to take a close look at the Neo Smartpen N2 as well because it was more accurate in our tests.
The battery life of this pen is the same as the N2, five hours. To charge the pen, you use the micro-USB port located at the top. The Moleskine app starts up faster than the Neo Notes app, though, and this pen and app fired up and were ready to start writing in just 28 seconds, the second fastest time we clocked in our tests.
The Moleskine Pen+ weighs a little less than five Bic pens, and it has a sleek metal body and a triangular shape that fit well into our tester’s hands. At the top of the pen is a notification light that blinks different colors to show you the status of the pen.
This smart pen works with both iOS and Android devices, and the app is easy to navigate. Within the app, you can select a page of handwritten text and have the app transcribe the text into a digital copy that you can share and save on your device. The transcription takes longer than it does with the Livescribe 3 Smartpen, our top pick, but it was very accurate, even with messy handwriting. You can also record audio through the app, which is great if you’re a student looking to make recordings to go along with your written notes.
You need to purchase special notebooks from Neo or Moleskine+, but the Moleskine brand notebooks are well-known for their quality. The smart pen has a one-year warranty, and if you have questions about how to use the pen or the app you can search through a FAQs section on Moleskine’s website or view tutorials online.
The Moleskine Pen+ has great accuracy with written notes, and it is one of the most comfortable pens we tested. However, if you like to doodle or want to a pen to digitize sketches, we recommend that you look at the Wacom Bamboo Folio Smartpad, our pick for artists. If you do choose the Moleskine Pen+, it comes with a great Moleskine paper notebook, but the high price may not be worth a nice notebook.