There are a lot of tablets on display at CES this year, but the Boogie Board Rip is something different. It’s a tablet designed for writing and not much else.
Improv Electronics, the company behind the Rip has been offering a simpler device called a Boogie Board for a while. It’s basically a simple LCD attached to a thin and light (but sturdy) piece of plastic. You can write or draw on the screen and use the original Boogie Board to leave notes for your housemates, write grocery lists, or make other messages. Then you can erase the screen with the click of a single button. It’s sort of like a 21st century Etch-A-Sketch.
What the original Boogie Board couldn’t do was save your notes. That’s where the Boogie Board Rip comes in. It features a larger display and a save button. The device will convert your notes to PDF files and it can store about 200 screens. You can then transfer them to a PC by connecting a USB cable.
When connected to a PC you can also use a Windows app that lets you draw on the Board and see what you’re writing on the screen. You can then save items directly to your PC or send them as email messages.
This isn’t a high-end graphics slate and it’s not going to replace a Cintiq anytime soon. But it’s an interesting example of a simple piece of electronics aimed at a specific use case. Many of today’s tablets are multi-purpose devices, but the continuing success of eReaders with E Ink displays shows that people are still willing to spend money on a device that does one thing and does it well.
That said, at $129.99, the Boogie Board Rip is a kind of pricey alternative to pen and paper. I suppose it’s a bargain if it also replaces a scanner.
The original Boogie Board sells for as little as $40.