Computer styluses are certainly handy, but it can be kind of tricky when you're writing or drawing on a stylus pad, yet you can only see what you're doing up on the screen. The resulting scrawls often have ... shall we say, a child-like appeal. Writing on paper with ink is definitely easier, but how do you get what you've done into a computer? Scan it, page by page? Well, yes you could, but now - in the spirit of Livescribe's Pulse smartpen - you could also use E FUN's APEN A3.

Users place the APEN's receiver at the top of a sheet of paper, then proceed to write or draw in ink on that same sheet, with the pen itself. The receiver keeps track of the pen's position, and that information is translated into a digital image of what's on the page. Data is either transmitted live by Bluetooth to a Blackberry or Android smartphone (or iPhone or iPad, with the A4) or transferred later to a computer, via a USB cable - up to 100 pages can be stored by the receiver. This means that the system could be used somewhere such as a classroom, with no computer or smartphone present.

The pen can also be hard-wired to a computer and used as a mouse, with clicking accomplished through a button on the side.

E FUN's suggested retail price for the APEN A3 is US$129.99.