Kent-based Improv Electronics thinks of its latest Boogie Board liquid crystal display tablet as a replacement for a wirebound notebook, legal pad or sketch book.
The new Boogie Board Rip Writing Tablet just went on sale this week in the United States and Europe. Japan sales will start in a couple of weeks.
People use a pen-like stylus to write or draw on the Boogie Board screen. The devices do not use electricity to generate or retain what is written on the high resolution screens, making them highly power efficient.
Initial marketing of the Boogie Board Rip is aimed at schools and businesses, but the company said a wide variety of people will find it useful and replace paper clutter.
The difference between the Rip and the original Boogie Board introduced just last year is that the Rip allows people to save what they wrote on the tablet as a .pdf file and also upload the information to a computer. The original Boogie Board tablets can’t save what’s on the screen.
“It is the next step,” said spokesman Kevin Oswald. “This is an addition to the family.”
Oswald likened the original Boogie Board to a memo pad or sticky note for people to write reminders on and leave on a counter or in a car. The Rip model, first unveiled in September at an electronics show in Germany, is more of an electronic notebook and has a 9.5-inch screen, he said.
The Rip can hold as many as 200 “typical” images in its memory. It uses a micro USB port to transfer notes and images to a computer. The company said the internal rechargeable batteries last about one week before needing to be recharged.
Improv Electronics also uses the word “eWriter” to describe the Boogie Board technology.
The unique plastic LCD writing surface is made in Kent and then shipped to China for final assembly into the tablet.
Initial sales this week are meeting or exceeding expectations, Oswald said.
“We’re seeing strong demand here and in Europe,” Oswald said. “Most of what we are shipping this week are pre-orders.”
Improv Electronics and its corporate parent, Kent Displays, are private companies and do not release financial information such as sales. Improv Electronics is the consumer products subsidiary of Kent Displays.
Boogie Boards are sold through Improv Electronics’ website and retailers such as online giant Amazon. The suggested retail price for a Boogie Board Rip is $129.99.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or email@example.com