Last week we got an unexpected nugget from London’s BETT show: a limited sighting of the first-ever Chrome OS tablet. The tweet has been pulled down since that time, but we have the photo and what little we know about the device in a post over here. One of the things we do know about this surprise device is the pen that was being demoed alongside it. That device? The Staedtler Noris digital pencil.
On the companies own website, they tout the fact that the Noris digital was on display at Google’s own booth at the show. And, in all reality, that is a pretty big deal. Sure, this isn’t an accessory you’ll likely find in the Google Store alongside other #madebyGoogle items anytime soon, but the fact that Google had it in their booth speaks volumes about the legitimacy of this little writing utensil.
So, what is it exactly?
Well, nothing terribly new, except in its construction. The pencil is a fairly standard EMR pen (like those seen in most newer Chromebooks, minus the Pixelbook) with a unique form factor. Namely, it looks like a good old #2 pencil. This alone will make the pencil much more comfortable and familiar to students right out of the gate. Other features, though pretty standard for EMR devices, include:
- Hexagonal shape
- Innovative WOPEX material, soft non-slip surface
- Wood content from PEFC-certified sustainably managed German forests
- Made in Germany
- No charging required
- Palm rejections
- 0.7 mm point
- Pressure sensitivity
- Tilt recognition
Staedtler also confirms the Noris digital pencil is compatible with the following Chromebooks:
- Chromebook Spin 11
- 11.6″ ASUS Chromebook Flip C213
- 11.6″ HP HP Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE
- 12.3″ Samsung Chromebook Plus
- 12.3″ Samsung Chromebook Pro
Though not officially stated, all the new education Chromebooks launched with pen support will also work just fine with the Norris digital. Devices from Acer, HP, Lenovo and Dell will all equip a similar EMR setup and be fully compatible with this nifty new stylus.
The company’s website shows the pen as a concept project, but you can purchase it right now on Amazon. It currently runs $49 and is being listed by Samsung. Ostensibly, Samsung is offering this as an add-on for devices like the Chromebook Plus to give consumers and students a better writing experience with their current Chromebook offerings.
We’ll reach out to Staedtler and see if we can procure a review device to see for ourselves if $49 is a good price to ask for a stylus. Hopefully for the sake of schools on a budget, when bought in bulk, these pencils are much more affordable than what we are seeing on Amazon currently. Don’t get me wrong, if this gives users who utilize the stylus regularly a great writing experience, I think $49 is a fair price. I just don’t think budget-conscious school systems are going to shell out $49 per student for that experience.