Old School Meets New Tech with Quartet Kapture

In this day and age of digital note taking, where MacBook Airs, iPads and other small devices are most popular, I never would have thought that I would want to go back to the basics and start writing things down on a white board for everyone to see. The fact of the matter is, the easiest way to explain yourself at times is to show people in pictures, diagrams and charts, right there in front of them.

Tradition meets technology with the Quartet Kapture. What was this giant box that arrived at my doorstep? I opened it up and saw what looked like a traditional giant pad of paper and an easel, perfect for jotting things down in my next meeting. But it was more than that–there was a unique pen with marker attachments, plus a curious USB receiver that really caught my attention- and for good reason.

Quartet Kapture combines the day-to-day usability of a giant whiteboard, with the technology of capturing what you write electronically, so that you don’t have to transcribe later. Actually, it lets you not only transcribe, but reinvent what you thought of the first time. The kit we received was the Quartet Kapture Starter kit. It includes the Kapture pen, carrying case, and a 30-page self-adhesive flipchart pad (yes, you can peel pages off and stick them to walls like giant post-its). We also got to play with various color ink cartridges; but really, you can electronically change the colors of what you capture after you’re done–which makes changing colors a nice option on paper (literally), but less useful digitally.

Whether on Mac or PC, the software included on the USB receiver installed in an instant. We had some trouble getting things connected, but then reverted to the actual user’s manual (on the USB key as well); and when we did what we were supposed to do, it was a matter of seconds before we took pages upon pages of notes.

Of course, after the fact, you can print your notes, save them, export them, or add to them later since the Kapture pad always remembers what page you’re on. Want to add something to a previous page? No problem–flip the page back and continue writing. It really is that easy.

We tried everything we could to get the Kapture to not do as advertised and have yet to get it to fail. Whether across the room, or right there in front of the page – what we wrote on the pad is what appeared on the screen. The great part is that you can get creative and start ripping pages–stick them on the wall, and get even more whitespace to draw, plan, imagine, or do anything else you’d like.

For the frequent jotter and planner, the Kapture is a truly great tool. The $399.95 price tag is great for the starter kit, and if you want to really pimp out your office, you can get up to 3 pens, plus more accessories and features when you opt for the $899.95 Premium Kit. Of course, you can also save a few bucks and add-on as you go along; so if you’re not into spending all that money right at the get go, there’s no issue. Though simple in concept, the fact that the Quartet Kapture was so easy to use and worked so brilliantly makes it an excellent addition to any creative environment–and a great example of how to give an age-old concept a high-tech makeover.

The Kapture and all of its supplies are available through most major online retailers, including OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples.

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