Blackbook Pro

Sponsored App Review: BlackBook Pro Lite

April 2, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Since the arrival of the Galaxy Note line, we’ve been able to input handwriting into digital devices like never before. These digital notebooks however, are a little limited in their approach and often target more casual users. BlackBook Pro however, aims to appeal to all users whether they be casual or professional. It’s designed to work best with the S-Pen on the Galaxy Note devices, but will work perfectly without an active stylus and these days, capacitive styli (which work with pretty much anything) aren’t too bad and should give you decent experience. BlackBook Pro features a number of different colored pens and sizes, as well as the ability to move whole paragraphs, share pages however you like and export whole notebooks as PDFs. You can read more about BlackBook Pro from their website, as well as get some recommendations on which styli to use.

How it Works: Before you can start taking down the minutes at your next meeting you’ll need to download the app from the Play Store. There are two versions available, a free Lite version and a paid version. The paid version will allow you to use more than one notebook, whereas the free version only gives you one notebook to work with. Galaxy Note users can download the app from the Samsung Store, too. To get started, you’ll need to create a notebook to keep all your writing in, which you can do by simply hitting the plus button down below.

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As you start writing with BlackBook Pro, you’ll see that there’s a bevy of different pen colors and even highlighting options available.

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BlackBook Pro can be used for whatever you like, be it inserting images into a notebook as below.

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Or sketching something for an upcoming meeting.

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Getting your content out of BlackBook Pro is nice and easy, and you can share it to pretty much anything, but the most useful feature here would be the ability to export your notebooks as a PDF.

Opinion: As something of a traditional guy, I prefer writing notes down, I’ve tried things like Evernote and Keep in the past, but the notes just end up staying there, I remember nothing. That’s because for me, the physical act of writing something down sends what I need to know to my brain and I go from there. BlackBook Pro allows me to write down my quick to-do lists, notes when watching a live stream and more. Being able to manage more than one notebook with the paid version is a real boon as well, because I don’t like to have my to-dos in with my meeting notes, and so on.It’s apps like these that make me think I could replace my notebook with my tablet.  To really take advantage of BlackBook Pro I’d have to go out and pick up a Galaxy Note tablet with an S-pen stylus given that using a regular stylus with this app isn’t all that accurate or enjoyable..

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – With decent performance, BlackBook handles a lot of input onscreen and it’s a speedy little app.
  • Features (5/5) – BlackBook Pro has a more professional feel to it, and can do pretty much anything you want a notebook app to do and being able to export as a PDF is a really useful touch,
  • Theme (4/5) – There’s definitely a more professional look here, and the interface is straightforward and easy to use. Some might find it a little bland, but frankly we’re glad BlackBook stayed away from the faux leather.
  • Overall (4/5) – A great alternative to Samsung’s own apps on the Galaxy Note line, as well as a great value application to devices without styli capability.

Pros

  • Lots of different pen options on offer, including highlighting.
  • You can insert pictures into notes, making a versatile notebook easy to keep on top of.
  • Works great with active Styli like Samsung’s S-Pen.
  • Provides a more traditional UI layout with a more professional look and feel

Cons

  • Does feel a little “rigid” and “proper” in places.
  • Might not be of much use to those without a Galaxy Note device.

Conclusion: BlackBook Pro is a great note-taking application for Android that allows you to manage more than one notebook (if you purchase the full version) and is better suited for professionals than other apps. By taking advantage of the excellent S-Pen functionality on Galaxy Note devices, it becomes exceptionally accurate and there’s no shortage of functionality regardless of which stylus you’re using. For those looking for something a little more traditional, with all the features you want in an easy to use, yet powerful package, BlackBook Pro is a decent option.

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