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The DUO adds pen input to any PC



3-18-09-hanwha-duo-pen.jpgIf you can’t wait for non-convertible touchscreen laptops to hit the mass market, there’s good news: The DUO is available to easily add pen input to any PC screen up to 17″. Truc reported on this product back in March, and it’s now available for purchase from KCI Communications for $119.95 with free shipping in the Continental U.S. Nice price for a plug and play solution, but does it work?

I don’t know firsthand, but from the instructional video on their site, which shows off the tablet functionality in Windows Vista, I’d say it looks like a winner. It even has pressure sensitivity, one of my critical must-haves. Worth hitting the site to take a look (and so is the promo video, as long as you don’t take it too seriously; it’s slightly frenetic). Feature list after the jump.

  • Type, write or draw directly on documents or your desktop
  • Highlight key information using a variety of lines, shapes and colors
  • Draw or write with varied line texture and brush strokes using the pressure sensitive tip
  • Capture personal hand writing or automatically convert it to ASCII characters for clear, easy reading
  • Write on the screen and witness the advanced word recognition capabilities and smoothness of the pen
  • Use the virtual keyboard for easy touch screen typing
  • Capture and save all or part of your notes, markings and pictures in a .jpeg file leaving the original document unmarked
  • Use the ballpoint pen tip to write directly on paper and have the image appear on DUO’s NoteTaker software
  • Email meeting or lecture notes to customers, students and co-workers
  • Use on most monitors, laptops 17” and smaller*
  • USB plug ‘n play for easy set up
  • Ink annotation compatibility in Microsoft Office ® programs
  • Automatically synchronizes with Windows Vista ® and Windows 7 ® tablet software, which allows for handwritten character recognition, pen flicks, snipping tool, sticky notes, and more!
  • Supports multiple languages: Korean, Chinese, Japanese, English, French, German, Italy, Spanish

Via Crave by way of Engadget



  1. SAM

    08/25/2009 at 3:27 pm

    I want to try one.

    Is the company legit to order from?

  2. Sumocat

    08/25/2009 at 3:32 pm

    I’ve not done business with them, but KCI appears quite legitimate. If you click through to the company, you’ll find a video testimonial from a police chief. If it’s a scam, it’s extremely elaborate.

  3. Eve

    08/25/2009 at 4:57 pm

    Looks like an interesting solution. As an artist the main problem I see with using a pen on a non-convertible notebook is that it’s not going to be very comfortable to write on a screen that’s not in slate mode. Your hand is really going to cramp up doing that for any amount of time. A workaround is I guess you could push the screen all the way back so it lies flat, but that still is going to be less than ideal, you’re going to have a bad viewing angle combined with the distance of the keyboard separating you from the screen.

    I’m really interested in the feature that captures images you draw on paper – that would be a real draw for an artist (pun intended) because although I love drawing on my Tablet PC I still do my preliminary sketches on paper and have to scan them in b/c there’s just no substitute for the way paper feels under your pencil or pen.

  4. RJ

    08/25/2009 at 10:02 pm

    Actually, depending on the flexibility of the hinge, drawing on a traditional laptop screen shouldn’t be too hard.

    I attend life drawing classes and I’m normally the only one doing art on a tablet PC (lenovo x-61. But one night, a guy came in with a Gateway C-140 Tablet PC. Only he didn’t use it in Tablet mode, he worked in notebook mode. Doing so allowed him quick access to keyboard shortcuts. There was a lot of wobble with his hinge (that poor poor hinge) but when you consider most art tables, and even the Cintiqs are normally shown at that regular angle, technically it shouldn’t be that bad.

    I have a Eee PC 1000HD that was a very secure hinge and the screen reclines very flat. Drawing on that screen would be perfect.

    I have to admit I am a bit skeptical of this device. The included Pen does require a battery to operate, which should explain the pressure sensitivity. Although I would be quite surprised if its nearly as accurate as a traditional wacom penabled Tablet PC.

    There’s also one huge problem I see with using this. Tablet/Touch screens have extra layers in the screen to protect it from pen input. Unless the included battery operated pen has a super soft tip, this would scratch the hell out most laptop screens. A screen cover would be almost a required purchase.

  5. Lukasz

    08/26/2009 at 5:00 am

    Sumocat, you should also look at the Hantech Siso Tablo. Similar device, but the device seem a little more slick.

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