Recently, someone pinged me the photo of a review I wrote in 2010 about an electronic note-taking device. She wanted to know if something similar, that converts offline strokes into online data was available. And this, coincidentally, happened exactly the same week as I got the Wacom Bamboo Spark for review.
Wacom has been a major player in the digital arts creation space for many years now. Illustrators around the world prefer to use Wacom products to create their works offline and transfer them online in a jiffy. Wacom is now bringing the same learning and technology to regular note taking.
Wacom Bamboo Spark
Price: Rs 10,975
The Wacom Bamboo Spark is actually a smart folio with a tablet sleeve Bluetooth ready smart devices. So this works for people who already have a tablet or a phablet, I don’t think it makes sense for those with a smartphone that has a screen smaller than 5-inches. But first you should have the need for something like this, which I think is a very niche space.
So how does this work?
The best thing about the Bamboo Spark is the fact that it is like any other folio. In this case, one which can easily hold your tablet, a pen and a note book. All three of these are crucial here. You write on the notepad, with the pen on the folio. The folio has Bluetooth inbuilt which lets it transfer whatever is written or drawn on the notepad to the tablet via the Bamboo Spark app. However, the pen is crucial, because that is what records the strokes and note pad is purely incidental. In fact, you can use any notepad of the size for this purpose.
How easy is it?
I had to read the instructions to find my way around the device. It has a power button at the bottom and a pairing button in the middle of the folio. The pairing button in also flanked by two LED lights which gives you the status of the device on pairing and power. Once you have paired the folio with the iPad or any other device using the app, the setup takes just about a minute. After this you can scribble away to glory on the notebook. Once you are done with scribbling, you just push the pairing button in the middle to push whatever you have done on the app. The digitised version is available on the app within a few seconds.
What I really liked about the device is the fact that you can start working on the digitised notes and scribbles as soon as they appear on the app. It is much easier for those who use the Apple Pencil to add value to their work.
Should you buy?
Obviously, the Wacom Bamboo Spark is not for everyone. It is a niche product, but those who like to scribble down their ideas or make plans with doodles will find great value in the product. Of course, you can use a stylus and do it directly on your phone or tablet. But then that will not give you the satisfaction of pen on paper. That is clearly the USP of this device.