Genius G-Note 7100 review
No matter how light and portable laptops get, it's still sometimes seen as anti-social to tap away at a keyboard while in a meeting or seminar.
And in any case, you sometimes want to scribble a diagram or sketch out a schematic rather than typing words, and that's another of the things that keyboards and mice are bad at. The Genius G-Note 7100 attempts to fill the gap, allowing you to scribble down quick notes or whatever doodles you like and save them to your PC.
The G-Note works in a similar way to a graphics tablet, by sensing the movement of the included digital pens and storing the data in its memory chip, ready for the files to be transferred via USB to your PC when convenient. You can store up to 500 pages within the unit. Unlike a normal tablet, it provides you with ink pens and real paper, so you don't have to acquire the skill of looking at a screen while scrawling on a plastic pad.
For the most part, this worked well, with all of our test notes and doodles recorded perfectly. There are a couple of caveats, though. The data is saved in a proprietary format, not as an ordinary graphics file such as a JPEG, so you have to use the supplied software to view the files. You can only use the two pens provided, and while they match the writing quality of a premium ballpoint, they only take proprietary refills. Not content with that obvious opportunity to wring more cash out of you, Genius supplies the G-Note with only a 30 day trial version of the MyScript handwriting recognition software, so if you want to convert your notes into text files you'll have to shell out for that too.
In case you're wondering, you can take the notepad off and use the G-note as a graphics tablet when connected via USB, but it's clearly not intended to be used like this, as there's no stylus.
If you take a lot of notes, the G-Note 7100 does its job well, but it's a little too expensive for a one-trick pony.