We here at WWR have a wide variety of interests. Sure, watches are definitely at the top of our lists, but we also like to dabble in such things as Everyday Carry and men’s style, for instance. Those are categories that we have started to write about more here, but there is a more recent interest of mine that has not really have much coverage on these pages – that being pens. Now, as a lefty, I have had my own contentious history with writing implements, but it is something you simply cannot get around – we need to write. Yes, you can take notes on a computer (which I do), but sometimes the written form is the better way to get the information down. That is where something like the Montblanc Augmented Paper and StarWalker Pen come in.
Yes, I have looked at a Montblanc pen before (here), and I have even taken a look at one of their watches (here). What they have come up with here, with the Montblanc Augmented Paper and StarWalker Pen, this is something rather unlike what I have seen before, from them, or any other brand, really (disclaimer: yes, I know these sorts of devices have existed previously, but I’ve not handle any myself). When I read through the press release for this product, I quickly found myself envisioning how I could use it – daily – which is somewhat rare for me with these singular purpose tech items.
You see, for daily note taking, I am heavily into the use of Evernote. It all gets typed up there, and then synced up to the cloud and whatever devices I have hooked in. For anything I do handwritten, I have to rely on the mobile app to snap pictures of the writing, which then converts it in to searchable text. While this is a workable solution, and one I have used for a while, the idea of eliminating some of those steps is very, very appealing. In fact, before I went the route of what I do today, I had explored using a tablet and stylus to get some sort of digital handwriting recognition, but at the time, that seemed to be a route rife with pitfalls.
On the other hand, the Montblanc Augmented Paper and StarWalker Pen seems like it would be right up my alley, along with being ready for primetime. Sure, any bit of new technology can have it’s own hiccups, but when a luxury pen company like Montblanc gets into this space, I rather doubt that they would let the writing experience suffer. Here, that takes the form of a StarWalker Pen that has some tech upgrades to it (likely for position tracking; no word if it also brings lightsaber noises to the table), as well as the main star of this show, the Montblanc Augmented Paper. This is in the form of a planner/folio that opens up to reveal what one would presume is a regular notebook.
Under that notepad, that is where the guts of the thing are hiding. The internal storage in the Augmented Paper can store up to 100 notes (handy if you take a lot of notes between uploads), and the folio itself has some regular storage that allows the regular variety (you know, the un-augmented stuff) to be tucked away. While the $680 price tag is nothing to sneeze at (it does include the folio as well as the pen and ink refills), this is an elegant solution, and one that fits into a variety of situations much more cleanly than typing notes on a laptop, or even busting out a hardbound notebook. And if those ink refills are the fast drying ones I experienced in the other Montblanc pen I looked at, well, then, it’s all the more compelling of a situation.
Who knows, perhaps I am alone in my draw to what the Montblanc Augmented Paper and StarWalker Pen is offering up – but I am sure you will let us know in the comments below. Sound off on this particular product, as well as letting us know how you like to keep notes, and digitize them (if you do so). In the meantime, we will be working to get one of these in to take it for a test drive, and we will of course report back on the real-world usage. montblanc.com
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