Tech vendors seem to be giving fresh impetus to handwriting input and onscreen writing/drawing solutions, perhaps inspired by the success of the Samsung Galaxy Note series with its S-pen. For one thing, there’s Toshiba’s new series of Encore 2 Write Windows 8.1 tablets, debuted at CES 2015 in both 8″and 10″ formats, with Wacom stylus technology implemented via the bundled accessory dubbed the TruPen. This platform builds on Toshiba’s previous forays into the pen-enabled tablet space, such as the Android-packing Excite Write tablet, and reportedly comes with complementary apps called TruNote and TruCapture to support the hardware. Prices are reportedly $349.99 and $399.99 respectively for the two different sizes.

Then there’s Lenovo’s new 8″ Yoga Tablet 2 8 Windows 8.1 tablet, which reportedly will debut with a previously unannounced feature called AnyPen, which appears to be essentially an enhanced passive digitizer feature allowing extra accurate tracking of screen input enhanced for styluses and other pointing tools to pick up handwriting input.

“With Lenovo AnyPen Technology, any pen or pencil becomes a handwriting tool – no stylus needed,” states the Lenovo official announcement. “Consumers can pick their preferred tool and use it directly on the tablet’s touch screen for easy navigation instead of relying on their finger.” I’m puzzled as to how novel and valuable this actually is, since I’ve been using styluses myself for handwriting on Android tablets for years, but perhaps it is newer to the Windows tablet space, and anything that enhances stylus handwriting input is a boon, in my opinion, and at least shows that manufacturers are taking this seriously.

According to Lenovo, “The 8-in YOGA Tablet 2 with Windows, featuring Lenovo AnyPen Technology will be available beginning in January with models starting at $299.” So there’s another potential item for your new year shopping list.


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