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Last week, we shared the $379 reMarkable Tablet. Truly remarkable, but some still like the feel of pen and pencil on paper. Enter La Slate.

ISKN’s Slate is an ingenious digital sketching tool with sensors that track and digitize sketches made with your own drawing instrument. It weighs a mere 14 ounces, features a wee 4MB of internal storage and allows an additional 32GB with a micro SD card slot.

Not long ago, you would have to digitize your hand-drawn sketches with a scanner, a desktop scanner, a hand-held, or one built into a printer. You get portability or high resolution, but rarely both.

Those issues all ended a few years ago when a pair of French interface specialists, Timothee Jobert and Jean-Luc Vallejo of ISKN decided to design a device that would let you sketch on paper using any implement they wanted, with the sketches digitized in real-time. Thus was born the Slate, which met successful funding on Kickstarter and has since seen two version. The Slate 2 is has a new calibration system, higher precision and is capable of being used as a graphic tablet with a wider variety of graphics software across Windows, Mac and iOS.

The Slate itself is essentially a magnetic tablet of sorts that is able to track the movement of a magnetic ring on your drawing implement (pencil, pen, marker, etc.) using a series of magnometer sensors (32 in all) housed beneath the tablet face.

ISKN’s Slate features 32 magnometers that track a magnetic ring outfitted on a writing utensil, which digitizes a sketch in real time.
ISKN’s Slate features 32 magnometers that track a magnetic ring outfitted on a writing utensil, which digitizes a sketch in real time.

The sketch is digitally rendered in real-time while drawing on a notebook-sized piece of paper placed on top of the Slate, which connects via Bluetooth to an iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC (Android coming soon). The company’s Imagink app lets you access additional tools that affect the digitized sketch (only)–such as different pens, art tools and pallets–to enhance the image and upload or share them with others on any number of community sites.

The Slate can also be used by itself, storing sketches internally and uploaded later when connected to your device of choice. It should be noted that, wouldn’t you know it, magnets love metal objects, so you may want to keep them at least 10-inches away from the Slate while sketching as they could/can affect the digitized rendering.

ISKN’s Slate is available now for $169 along with a host of accessories including Pens, extra magnetic rings, a protective sleeve and clips to hold paper in place. More information can be found on the ISKN website.

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The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team.