Papershow is a presentational tool with a difference - it comprises a big fat ball point pen that doubles as a Bluetooth pointer, a Bluetooth dongle/memory stick and a pad of gridded paper that allows you to motion track as you scrawl.
In principle, Papershow allows you to ditch the whiteboard or flip chart, and digitally save meeting, seminar or presentation notes. Papershow is relatively inexpensive by comparison to electronic smartboards, portable and simple to pick up and use.
Setup is a cinch - the Papershow software runs from the dongle, and in our tests the devices paired immediately. Select the size of paper (A4 or A3) and start to scrawl - your words and doodles appear on the screen in real time.
Import PowerPoint presentations and images, place them into your Papershow virtual whiteboard and they appear on the screen alongside your notes. And you can print out the images on provided gridded paper to act as a guide.
Impressive functionality, but what's Papershow like to use? Options and menu items are intuitive: you won't find yourself scratching around for a format change when presenting to a group. And as a southpaw, we were glad to see that the Papershow pen caters for lefties.
Our only real gripe is endemic with this kind of technology. No matter how hard you press, you can't always get pen strokes to appear in a single complete sweep. After a 20-minute session with Papershow we'd defaulted to going over pen strokes twice, and we had a cramping writing hand. Being able to see your work in ink is a boon, but when the stuff on screen differs from your pad, it's a negative.
Less important is the default writing colour: white. Unless you are of significantly bigger brain than us, you may waste a writing sheet scribbling around before you realise that white on white doesn't really work.
We really like Papershow - it's a neat solution to several presentational problems. And against all odds Papershow is fun to use. It's difficult to judge the value of such a niche product, but compare its £117 price tag to an electronic smartboard, for instance, and Papershow looks like an absolute bargain.