Editors’ Choice Digital Notepad
Boogie Board Rip
Review by Angie Kibiloski (January 2012)
Last year, I gave an Editor’s Choice to the original Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet, from Improv Electronics. This year, I am pleased to announce that their latest version of this super cool product, the Boogie Board Rip (Retail $129.99), has also earned this recognition. This latest model has all of the great features of the original, as well as some major improvements, like the stylus holder and rechargeable battery. The very best thing about the Rip is the long awaited Save function! Yes, now all of your witty little notes and artistic doodles will not disappear forever when you hit Erase, they will be saved for posterity, or at least for your own future perusal. I love this product! It is fun and easy to use, and best of all its green. Think of all the paper you will save with this device.
The 9.5” LCD writing surface is scratch resistant and pressure sensitive, so the harder you press on the stylus, the wider and darker the drawn line will appear. The surface is a pleasure to write on, lightly textured so its smooth but not slick, and the electromagnetic stylus is as comfortable as a regular pen. The handy stylus holder at the top of the device is a simple, yet much needed addition from the original, which lacked one. The stylus slips easily in and out of its designated space. The battery is a rechargeable, Polymer Lithium Ion, with a typical charge lasting 1 week, depending on how many times you save and erase. The indicator light in the front of the Rip lets you know if the tablet is in sleep mode, awake, or currently saving a file. It will automatically go into sleep mode after 60 minutes of inactivity. Saving an image is very easy. Once you are finished writing or drawing, simply press the Save button. It will turn green to let you know the image is saving, and voila, you’re good to go and erase. The Ripcan store up to 200 files, which are kept in Vector PDF format. You can edit these files using software such as Adobe Illustrator. Nervous about stepping away from your Rip only to come back and find someone has erased your reminder that it’s your wife’s birthday? Just flip the Erase Lock switch and the Rip will neither save or erase what is on the screen until you flip it back off again.
When you want to view your images again, you’ll need to transfer them to your computer. This couldn’t be easier. No need for a software installation, just hook the Rip up to your computer using the provided micro USB cable, and move your files to your hard drive. It acts just like an external drive, and you can drag and drop your files to your computer like you would from a thumb drive or your camera. You can put files back onto your Rip for transport to another computer, but you cannot view them directly on the tablet. Want still more fun? Download the free Virtual Desktop Companion tool from the Improv Electronics website and view your drawing in real time on your monitor while you are drawing it on your Rip. You can then save directly to your hard drive, or even email your image to a friend.
The Boogie Board Rip has so many uses, you’ll want to take it everywhere you would normally use a paper notepad. Copy down homework assignments in class, take notes at a work meeting, or make out your grocery list. Jot down an impromptu poem, go to the park and sketch the scenery, or take a break from work to doodle a caricature of your boss…out of his line of sight preferably. The large buttons make this tablet easy to use, and the Erase Lock switch eliminates any worries of accidental erasures. The Rip only comes in one color for now, but it is a rather nice charcoal gray, and very attractive. You can find this awesome little product at your local Brookstone store, or you can order it directly from Improv Electronics at http://www.improvelectronics.com/us/en/.