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If you’ve been wondering what digital pens are made of, you’ve come to the right place.

Digital pens also called smartpens are made of internal electronics with touch sensitivity, input buttons, transmission capabilities, and also memory for storing handwriting data. With such features, it’s able to convert handwritten data into digital data.

digital pen

What is the difference between a stylus and a digital pen?

Both the stylus and digital pens are modern input devices that are used to key in data. The two however have differences in functioning, like the stylus keys in data by pressure exerted on it while the digital pen has motion sensors. 

The stylus

It’s mainly used for the input of data on a PDA device. These faux-pens enable users to select through menus, make drawings on their devices and also write notes. However, they have a shortcoming because the PDA screens are small and hence will need you to use shorthand script and also very limited diagraming when taking notes.

Digital pens

Digital pens are usually connected to the computer or pads via Bluetooth or USB cables, they offer more functions compared to a stylus. The sensors fit in the digital pens to detect motion and then translate the motion into graphics, art or writing. Mostly used by graphic designers to make drawings and sketches on their computers while for some students they take notes using digital pens.

Other differences

 There are other differences between the stylus and a digital pen such as: physically the stylus is smaller and thinner in size compared to a digital pen since the digital pen has internal electronics. Secondly, many digital pens need a special type of paper but the stylus doesn’t and only needs the screen of its parent device.

Thirdly, many digital pens perform more than one action whereby some have inbuilt voice recorders, and for modernized ones they have some cameras in them. The stylus does not have such features. Lastly, for the recording data when using a stylus on a PDA screen pressure will be needed. 

For digital pens it’s different since for data to be recorded they require a connection with the computer either via Bluetooth or a cable.

What are digital pens made of?

Digital pens are devices that capture the brush strokes of users and convert handwritten information to soft copy data that can be editable and usable in different applications. Digital pens are used together with digital notebooks.

Digital pens are made of internal electronic circuits, sensors, Bluetooth and also internal storage memory. This also transmits the data to your computer automatically when connected wirelessly or through a cable connection.

What can you do with a digital pen?

Am sure you get tired and bored of doing the same work twice especially if you first have to put it down on paper and then later type it to your computer, but thanks heavens there has been an invention of digital pens.

These gadgets have made work easier and translate data into softcopy notes on the computer. However not all digital pens are the same, they perform differently as follows:

  1.     Some digital pens are thin, handheld scanners that are made to convert printed text into editable text on your computer via optical character recognition. An example is the IRISPen.
  2.     Others are designed to import or transfer data from normal ordinary handwriting to softcopy computer editable text. Such pens come with computer software packages that help transfer the data the pen has stored.
  3.     Others work by reading and tracking complex printed patterns and are mainly used for filling in order forms, additionally, they can do handwriting recognition.

Handwriting pens

They are digital pens that are made in a special way that they capture your handwriting and then upload what you were scribbling down onto the computer where you can later print out notes that are well-typed.

They are good at reducing a lot of human tasks like for students where after class they upload and later print notes that are neat and orderly.

Scanning pens

They are digital pens but are mostly used for scanning. For these pens, they don’t write text or upload text data. They are mostly referred to as pen scanners. They are equipped with onboard memory that stores things that you can and later upload everything to the computer.

Some scanning pens are battery powered hence quite portable.

How do you use a digital pen and pad?

For a very long time man has only used a traditional ink pen and a piece of paper to write down information or take notes and later spend hours on the back of computer keyboard typing, but thanks to the invention of digital pens this is no longer the norm.

Digital pens are used just like paper and pen is used where one writes on the special pad and the data will be neatly transferred to your computer when the digital pen and the computer are connected.

However just because your computer has touchscreen features doesn’t mean that digital pens will work as input devices hence you will be required to confirm if your tablet PC is compatible with the digital pen. The procedure to do that is:

  1.     Click on the start button
  2.     Select the settings icon
  3.     Then click on devices
  4.     From the categories on the left side of the windows, select pen and window ink. If you see a pen heading on the right side of the screen, it means your tablet can use a digital pen.

There are various settings where one can alter and change them according to one’s wants. Always remember to set them in a way that you are comfortable and enjoyable for you.

digital pen2

What is the best digital pen to buy?

You are probably thinking of purchasing a digital pen for yourself and are now in an array of questions wondering which to buy and which not to, worry no more because I got you covered. I have listed for you some digital pens to put into consideration.

Below is a list of the most popular digital pens:

Wacom Bamboo Spark

These digital pens are unique from other digital pens in that they can be used on both special and regular paper. This is possible due to the presence of a high-end sensor array at the tip of the pen. These pens can also hold up to 1000 pages in their internal memory.

Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen

These digital pens were basically and mainly made aiming the visual artist who wants to copy  their art easily from paper into an image on their computers

Neo smartpen N2

These smart pens have IR cameras fitted in them unlike other digital pens that don’t have this feature. This feature makes them slightly heavier but beautiful and incredible. They can only identify writing on normal Anoto dot pattern paper, and they can remember up to 1000 pages of handwritten notes.

It also has an interchangeable ink cartridge of 8 different colors

Livescribe 3

It works on paper with an Anoto dot pattern like graphing paper, however, you can print your own but the restriction is that you can only use color ink cartridges given by Livescribe themselves. They also are heavy but unlike others they can record sound which makes them more helpful during daily work.

Moleskine Smart Writing Set

Moleskine can store up to 1000 pages and comes as a complete set of notebooks hence having additional features that are not in other digital pens. Since they only work with Moleskine notebooks, they can detect different dot patterns on each page hence enabling writing software to identify which page you are currently on.


This digital pen is heavier than the rest of its competitors but is one very unique in that it enables artists to draw amazing art on real paper and also transfer the same high-quality pictures into digital form. It also enables fast transfer of data to the computer and also to mobile devices if both are connected.


Digital pens or rather called smartpens are made of electric circuits with sensors that enable communication with the computer hence have made work and transfer of written data into soft copy easier.