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Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen review

The Newyes SyncPen 2 works on multiple surfaces and backs up digitally and offers more features with the LCD pad or Notebook.

Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen review
(Image: © Newyes)

Our Verdict

The Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen works with a built-in camera and dedicated notebook or LCD pad to digitize handwritten notes. The pen is impressive but it does require specialized notebooks.

For

  • Paper and LCD tablet uses
  • Writing to text
  • Intuitive power on/off

Against

  • Specialist notebooks required
  • Pen angle sensitivity

The Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen lets you write in pen and have that recorded digitally via the connected app. This pen not only converts handwriting to digital images but also converts to text for editing digitally.

Unlike a lot of the competition this also works with an LCD pad, allowing for more blurring of the line between digital and real-world writing which means more colors and quick sharing options. The Newyes SyncPen 2 is priced at $169 and comes with pen, LCD pad, notebook, ink and plastic tip refills. It sits on our current list of the best smart pens for 2021.

Newyes SyncPen 2: Writing and drawing tests

The Newyes SyncPen 2 in ink mode works much as a normal pen would. The metallic build quality feels premium, without being too heavy. The ink flows naturally and the pages feels like normal paper, despite featuring those subtle dots that allow the pen to pick up handwriting. 

Newyes SyncPen 2 is pretty stylish

(Image credit: Newyes)

When used on the 10-inch LCD pad a new tip can be inserted which has a plastic finish. This is like writing on any tablet with a stylus. This allows you to vary your color displayed and access quick icons for more controls, like sharing. But, as you'd expect, it's far less natural a way of writing and - we feel - goes against what a smartpen is all about. That said, it's more sustainable that paper and means you don't need to keep buying specialist notebooks. It also allows you to take audio notes as you write. 

Crucially, whichever option you're using the accuracy is excellent with no mistakes to be found. This applies not only to text but also to equations which this can pick up. It also works across 66 different languages. The notebook included has 160 writable pages and comes with a bookmark to keep tabs. 

We enjoyed that the pen auto powered on and off as you removed and replaced the cap.Another great auto feature was its ability to recognize the page being worked on, even if you skipped forward and then came back.

Newyes SyncPen 2: Apps and connectivity

The Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen app is a very powerful feature as it quickly pulls in any data from the pen's memory to be stored, used and shared digitally using a connected iOS or Android smartphone.

The pen features Bluetooth 5.0 meaning it's got the best possible battery efficiency and connectivity smarts. It also means very fast data transfers, which is great for voice recording. This works with both the notepad and digital LCD pad, using icons at the bottom which can be touched with the pen to activate, then the app listens as you dictate.

We liked the extras features in the app, allowing you to further edit your writing once it was pulled in. This included highlighting, erasing, inserting images and changing the background.

Newyes SyncPen 2: Comfort and ease of use

The Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen claims to offer a 360-degree writing angle but the reality is nearer to 45-degrees. This is thanks to the camera which needs to angle down to see the words. In reality it means an uncomfortable angle to make it not work, so this is fine for the job, it's just worth mentioning the company's 360-degree claims seems a bit much. 

That said the ink flows freely and the weighting of the pen is such that it feels natural, like any pen.

Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen is great for drawing on tablets

(Image credit: Newyes)

The plastic tip used on the LCD Pad is very hard but rounded in such a way that it moves smoothly across the displays surface. The angle of the pen here is irrelevant as it works, whatever, and the lean of your hand doesn't affect anything either, so the experience is as paper-like as you're going to get from a tablet. 

Newyes SyncPen 2: Extras

The Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen battery life goes for around eight hours on a charge via USB before giving out. Not amazing, but not terrible either. The key here is that it can fast charge meaning a 15 minute burst will get you hours more use. If you carry a charging pack or laptops this can be great to get more than a few days use.

The app cleverly also allows you to scan in writing from a normal pen and paper. This can then be added into your digitized notes and will even allow you to convert that to plain text and have it be searchable.

Should you buy the Newyes SyncPen 2?

The Newyes SyncPen 2 smartpen is a novel take on this gadget, offering both paper and tablet based writing that is automatically digitized and converted to text. The addition of the ability to pull in normal hand-written text is also useful.

This isn't the cheapest option out there but you get a lot for your money and for anyone that likes the tablet features this is a great choice.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.