When I was a kid, we entertained ourselves with those waxy board things with plastic pull-up covers. When my kids were little, it was the Magnadoodle. Now, there is the Boogie Board Jot 8.5 eWriter.
The Boogie Board Jot 8.5 eWriter is an LCD screen that you can write on with the included stylus, or with a similar implement. The dark screen shows your stylus strokes as a much lighter color (brighter than the previous model). Write all you like. When you’re done, press the reset button and the screen erases. Voila. Pretty cool, I think.
I learned about these Boogie Board LCD writing screens last summer when visiting GeekDad Jonathan for Bristol-Liu Con. I was drooling over them then. But this newer model is brighter, has magnets on the back, and has a replaceable battery. It comes in black, blue, and pink.
Though a bit lo-fi for today’s always-connected generation, you don’t need a multi-hundred dollar device when a very simple, $22 one will do. Write, draw, calculate, use it for anything you like. If I’d had one of these instead of a portable Magnadoodle when my kids were little, oh, the fun we would have had. The Boogie Board screen has a much higher resolution than anything you can draw on a Magnadoodle. There would have been a lot less random guessing about what was drawn.
My only complaint about this product is in regard to the stylus. It’s hard to get out of its holding spot, especially if it is stuck on the fridge, filing cabinet, locker, or what have you. There is a handy hole in the end of the stylus to attach a string or cord, though, so we can attach it to the board itself and then it’s only a minor complaint. The stylus also doubles as a stand. The magnets on the back of the screen aren’t very strong, but they are perfectly suited to keeping it in place on our fridge.
Though the board can be used for anything you want to write, once you hit that reset button, the whole screen is gone. There is no eraser to selectively erase. It’s an all or nothing kind of thing. You write, and then pressing the button erases the entire thing. So crossing things out will have to do until you’re ready to do without all of what’s on the screen.
Because it’s so easy to accidentally erase the screen, you’ll want to be careful about what you use the screen for if you have little ones around who might press the button just for fun. But if it’s all older people, or you use it in an out of the way place, it would be a great place to keep a grocery list.
Though the device itself can’t save images, they’ve also made an app that you can use to photograph your Boogie Board content and save it that way. The app converts the image to a white background with black markings. Handy for said grocery list, or to save anything important that gets drawn.
The Boogie Board Jot and stylus give a really smooth writing experience. The screen also looks quite nice. It runs on a 3V battery, which you can replace. This is a huge improvement over previous models whose batteries were not replaceable. The battery should last a really long time, though, since the only power it uses is when you press the button to erase the screen.
You can use things other than the stylus for writing as well, but be sure to only use things that are soft enough to not scratch the screen. The back of your fingernail or a knuckle work, and you can experiment with other items.
There are countless uses for the Boogie Board Jot, but here are a few:
- Car games like Tic-Tac-Toe
- Grocery list
- Scratch paper for math homework
- Inside lockers
- On the fridge for family notes
- Leaving messages for others
- Leave reminders for yourself
- Entertaining your children when you’re out and about
- Giving to a child who is too young to safely handle a tablet or phone
The Boogie Board Jot 8.5 eWriter is a great gift for yourself, or for just about anyone you know. And at about $22, the price is right. Take good care of it, and it will last you for many years.
Note: I received a sample for review purposes.