Seiko's SmartPad a bit short on smarts

No doubt, using the Graffiti handwriting program on a Palm can be a drag; even after you master it, you can't enter text as quickly as most people write with pen and paper. Graffiti doesn't accept doodles or drawings; the SmartPad can. Allowing users to beam pen and paper jottings to the Palm in real time seems like a natural step. For those who need a drawing capability, the SmartPad could be useful, and it's the first device to help move graphics or handwritten notes from the Palm into your PC. Alas, well-intended as it is, the SmartPad is saddled with too many conceptual and practical problems.

Its 1.5-inch-thick, 7.25-by-10.5-inch portfolio defeats the Palm's purpose, forcing you to carry a large case, not just a shirt-pocket-size device. You can use any 5-by-8-inch paper pad, but you must place it on the embedded SmartPad sensor in the portfolio for information to transfer-and for me, this was uncomfortable.

You have to zoom up to 4X to read your handwriting on the Palm with any clarity. That level of magnification forces you to continually scroll back and forth and up and down.

The only way to e-mail files directly from your Palm or PC SmartPad is by using Microsoft Outlook. Otherwise you must transfer the file as a GIF to your PC and then add it as an attachment.

The SmartPad costs $599.50. Come on, guys, you can buy a Palm for less than that.


PRO: Transfers handwritten notes in real time to a Palm.

CON: Just about everything else.

VALUE: A well-intentioned product that ultimately misses the point of pocket organisers.

List price: $599.50

Seiko Instruments USA

Available in Australia from the following sites:

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael S. Lasky

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?