Smart Pen vs. Stylus vs. Digital Pen: Any Differences?

If you’ve been wondering about what separates smart pens, styluses, and digitals pens from one another, then you’re at the right place! By reading this buying guide, you are going to learn what separates each type of pen from one another, and which one is right for you!

Smart Pen vs. Stylus vs. Digital Pen: Any Differences?

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What Is A Smart Pen?

A smart pen is, essentially, a pen that contains a camera, an audio recorder, as well as a computer. By having these devices, all contained within the small frame of the pen, the pen is able to record what you have written, as well as the sounds that were taking place as you were writing.

Every smart pen contains a camera that is located within the very tip of the pen. By having this camera, the smart pen is able to record everything that you’re writing. Right after you’re finished writing, you can take the smart pen to your computer and transfer what you’ve written onto that computer. That way, you can have easy access to a digital file of whatever it is that you’ve written.

Within every smart pen, there is an audio recorder. As you are writing, you can turn on this audio recorder. Every bit of sound that takes place, as you are writing, will be recorded. Then, you can play back the sound using either the smart pen or your computer.

For you to use a smart pen, you will need to purchase special paper. On this special paper, there are thousands of micro-dots, and the camera within the smart pen can read these micro-dots. By being able to read these micro-dots, a smart pen is not only able to record what you’ve written, but to synchronize specific pieces of audio with the exact stroke of your pen.

What Is A Stylus?

A stylus is a very small – and, usually, rather short – pen that is designed to interact with digital devices. There are two kinds of styluses that can be commonly found, and they both have their own uses.

Many digital devices come with a type of stylus that’s known as a “passive stylus”. A passive stylus is, essentially, a type of stylus that has no internal components. Passive styluses don’t directly interface with a digital device in any special manner. Instead, they simply conduct the electrical charge coming from your fingers to the screen of the digital device. They offer nothing distinct from that of using your finger on a touchscreen device.

Active styluses are very different from passive styluses. Within an active stylus, there are various electrical components. Each one of these electrical components is designed to directly interface with the digital device that you are using. By having these electrical components, an artist can apply greater pressure to the screen of the device that they are using, and this will increase the size of the lines that they are drawing. That’s just one example of the capabilities that active styluses offer.

What Is A Digital Pen?

Many people consider digital pens and active styluses to be one-in-the-same. That’s because, when you get down to it, there really aren’t that many differences between the two. They both, generally speaking, use the same basic hardware and offer the same functionality. But, in comparison to a passive stylus, digital pens are far more advanced and offer quite a bit more in the way of functionality.

More often than not, the people who use digital pens require precise tools for engaging in computer-aided design tasks. Architects and engineers, for example, use digital pens. The reason why digital pens are used for those tasks is because they allow for precise movements and a direct interface with the computer software that’s being used.

To give you an example of this, while an artist is drawing a landscape with their digital pen, they can press the digital pen on their display harder, allowing for thicker lines to be created. To go along with that, they can tilt a digital pen, and it will produce the same shaded strokes that take place when you tilt a regular pen or pencil.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Purchase?

In the end, all three of these pens are excellent, but they’re designed to fulfill different needs. If you take a lot of notes and need to record audio, a smart pen is a great choice. If you need a simple device that you can use for your touchscreen device, then a passive stylus is perfect. If you are going to be doing some intensive design work, then an active stylus or digital pen is the right choice!

1 thought on “Smart Pen vs. Stylus vs. Digital Pen: Any Differences?”

  1. This informative article helped me a lot. My new HP chromebook has a touch screen which responds to a finger tip so I now know that I only need a passive stylus. But it was fun to learn about the more hi-tech options as well.


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