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$99 NoteSlate may become the new college notebook

Among 2011’s impending hail of new tablet releases, there’s one slate that’s going to stand out among the rest in its single-function, single-colour glory: The NoteSlate.  An upgrade to the Boogie Board of yesteryear.

I fondly remember that day near the end of 2009 when me and my at-the-time girlfriend discovered our Sony Reader Touch’s drawing program. We wrote silly notes and drew silly pictures with the little stylus on the little screen; it brought us whole minutes of cheap laughs and good times.

Come June, the NoteSlate will take those good times to the next level – or a lower level. Possibly a different podium at the same level.

It basically looks like a tiny, sleek 13″ chalkboard or whiteboard, depending on which colour scheme you choose. Its touchable 750 x 1080 eInk display (whether that’s the same E Ink-brand display you’ll find in the Kindle is yet to be announced) runs almost right to the edges, giving some style to your either black-on-white or white-on-black doodles. That is, until the release of three single-colour-on-black versions are released down the road, as well as an all-three-colours-on-black version. It’s also got a full-sized stylus, offering the option of drawing or writing comfortably as opposed to solely using your fingers.  A USB charging port, SD slot where screen captures are saved to, and a slot for the stylus.  The three buttons across the bottom are Save Picture, View Last and Erase.

But that’s all it can do: Be the medium for and storage place of your notes and drawings. I mean, it plays MP3s, too. But what doesn’t these days?

That said, it’s not all bad. At $99 and with 180 hours of battery life, that’ll get you through more than a semester’s worth of college lectures on a single charge and within a student’s budget. And they do have big plans for the device.

Its initial release will be the bare-bones note taker, but it’ll be an open-sourced bare-bones note taker. Version 1.5 plans for PDF and text viewing capabilities, with version 2 incorporating OCR handwriting-to-text. Once this happens, it may really carve out a niche in the student demographic.

[Engadget, Zive via NoteSlate

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  • NZ Geek

    I’ll be able to use it for my D&D games, drawing during lunchtime, and just taking notes whenever I go away on holiday. The best part is I can take it to games days and roleplaying games and jot down notes that I can quickly erase and replace.
    Two concerns though:
    1: Heh, is it actually gonna materialise??
    2: How much lag is there between what I write and when it appears, and will it appear directly where I put the stylus? I hate digital signature machines because it always appears lower and slower than what I’m actually writing.

  • aemathisphd

    If a notebook at this cost turns out to actually have some power, it might actually make a dent in the market. Too many previous products have been weak comparative speaking to higher-priced products. This product looks promising, however.

  • jmnelso

    I def want one of these for when I go back to school and for work as well. Is the battery rechargeable? I want the blue one, and where can I buy one?

  • stealthcat

    What an simple yet awesome concept. I want one. Colours would be great… Vonn’s got some good ideas.

  • Rakewl

    Hey this is a pretty good idea.
    it should have a a button on to to skip between subjects and then a button on the side to skip between pages, like page 1 to page whatever.

  • http://sigh.com wrong

    what a load of shit, do a semester of notes on it, only to have it corrupt/break/get stolen/make you realize you need more than one page to refer too….. damn should have spent the money on 20 pads and 30 biro pens.

    • Badbez

      Guess you never heard about the cloud.

  • jeffb

    it really would be a great college tool if it had the ability to record audio and time stamp notes within that audio recording. could have application in the board room or the lecture hall. just a thought.

  • http://www.almekhlafi.com Almekhlafi

    Good design and smart idea
    thankyou very much

  • Lee156

    I hate to rain on the parade, but how exactly is this better than a paper note book and a four color pen? If you put all your lecture notes from all your classes in one Noteslate you’ve got an awful lot of eggs in one basket.

    The e reader with all text books makes sense. But this, not so much

  • Harry

    As a student, this would be absaloutly useless to me. Why not just go back to drawing on paper again? I won’t but this device seems inferior even to pencil and paper writing, and even less legible. Looks like someones trying to be a bit too innovative.

  • JoeShiner

    Like all such devices, it sidesteps the smarter path, which is to have the instructor pass out a well-developed and intelligent version of the sort of notes the “ideal” student would take under the best of circumstances, so that the student can listen (!) instead of slavishly trying to compose such notes in borderline panic mode.

  • John

    @Vonn, Hey Vonn, to answer your question about storage noteslate has a port for a SD memory card, so that’s where you will be storing your saved work for now. Unless it has a internal SSD drive chances are that it will be saved on a SD card. SD cards don’t cost that much, 4GB for $10 or 15. It’s not that bad considering that 1 page of notes on the noteslate would only be about 100kb.

  • Vonn

    This will def be a gotta have item for school or for just taking notes…. How much storage does it have… It should have 2 different format layouts… A blank screen for taking drawing notes… And the other a composition type so u can take notes like the good old notebook… It would beat to keep buying a new notebook when u run out of paper… But if i was the creator of this i would make the noteslate stylus writing project in at least 3 different colors kind of like a built in hi-liter.. A couple of buttons on the stylus pen so u can pick the color of ur choice… And have it compatible with some type of wireless printing bluetooth printer… And i would have a built in mic… Since it already has speakers to play mp3 why not b able to record audio notes as well… Or maybe just the whole entire lecture in the class… I would def get the black noteslate over the white one

    • Ben

      @Vonn,
      they should hire you

    • Donkasaurus

      I like your microphone idea. Along with the microphone, they should also give it voice-to-text capabilities so that recorded lectures can be taken down as text, then you can format it later in to a study sheet.