The Moleskine Pen and the Neo Smartpen are excellent smart pens. They have a sleek design which makes them eye candy, they are able to create a digital version of your notes as you write and they both come with mobile applications that make syncing your digital notes a breeze. The Moleskine Pen comes with the latest Bluetooth technology, enough space to store 1000 pages and a minimalistic dot-LED full color indicator while the Neo Smartpen boasts a better battery, audio recording capabilities and wider paper notebook compatibility.

But which one is better? Go through this buying guide and select which pen best suits your unique needs. Alternatively, just skip to either the Moleskine Pen or the Neo Smartpen on Amazon.

Table of Contents

Quick Comparison Table Moleskine Pen vs Neo Smartpen

Neo Smartpen N2Moleskine Pen + Ellipse
ImageMoleskine Pen vs Neo SmartpenMoleskine Pen vs Neo Smartpen
Bluetooth4.04.2 L.E.
DisplayDot-LED Indicator (Full color)Dot-LED Indicator (Full color)
Storage space90 MB100 MB
BatteryRechargeable Lithium Polymer 3.7VRechargeable Lithium Polymer 3.7V
Usage time6 hours usage time3 hours usage time
SizeL 156mm / W 11.5 ~ 11.8L 155mm (without pen cap) / W 9.6 ~ 12mm
Weight22g (without pen cap)19.85g (without pen cap)
Paper requirementsAny paper will doOnly compatible with Moleskin smart notebooks
Audio recordingYesNo
Mobile applicationYesYes
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price


Key Similarities between the Moleskin Pen and the Neo Smartpen:

  • Typical use
  • Replaceable ink cartridge
  • Mobile application
  • Battery
  • Display

Key Differences between the Moleskin Pen and the Neo Smartpen:

  • Storage space
  • Usage time
  • Weight
  • Audio recording
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Paper requirements

A Comprehensive Comparison between the Moleskin Pen and the Neo Smartpen

1                    Typical Use

The Moleskin Pen + Eclipse and the Neo Smartpen N2 are used in similar scenarios. Both of them are used for writing down notes and other material. As you probably know, humans have been writing for a very long period of time. The earliest methods of writing that are somewhat similar to the writing techniques we currently use can be traced back to Egypt. They used papyrus reeds, crushed them to get pulp and converted this to paper. Through the use of quills and ink, the early Egyptians were able to write things down. The Moleskin Pen + Eclipse and the Neo Smartpen N2 use roughtly the same technology but the main difference is that unlike earlier writing systems, these pens allow for you to create a digital copy of your notes as you write.

2                    Replaceable Ink Cartridge

Modern pens are equipped with refills. The ordinary pens that we use for note taking usually allow for us to take the refills present out and insert new ones. This allows for you to use one pen for many semesters. The replaceable ink cartridges are not limited to ordinary pens only. Both the Moleskin Pen + Eclipse and the Neo Smartpen N2 come with replaceable ink cartridges. These allow you to use the pens for as long as possible. As long as you take good care of the pens, you are guaranteed to use them for years on end.

3                    Mobile Application

Nowadays manufacturers make sure that they ship their devices with mobile applications. This is something that started when mobile devices started to gain popularity. This resulted in manufacturers rushing to make mobile applications that help the user to install and setup the device that he or she would have purchased with great ease. This trend was quite popular among manufacturers of electrical and electronic devices. It is now spreading out to other industries such as the stationary industry. The Moleskin Pen + Eclipse and the Neo Smartpen N2 come with mobile applications that allow for you to link the pens with the mobile application and get a digital copy of your notes as you write.

4                    Battery

Both the Moleskin Pen + Eclipse and the Neo Smartpen N2 come with Li-ion Batteries. These batteries are quite popular due to their high reliability, their longevity as well as the energy density of the batteries. They are able to store a reasonable amount of energy in a very small size. This is an important feature as manufacturers of mobile devices try to keep their devices as light as possible. Since these pens use these batteries, they are able to be lightweight and have the sufficient amount of energy needed for the pens to work properly.

5                    Display

Both the Moleskin Pen + Eclipse and the Neo Smartpen N2 come with a similar display. They both come with a dot LED indicator. This dot LED indicator is stylish enough to make the devices look modern yet minimalistic enough to keep the products from becoming a distraction. They all have a full color dot LED display that changes according to various parameters e.g. when the device is undergoing a firmware update or when it is in use.

6                    Storage Space

The Moleskine Pen is equipped with more storage space than the Neo Smartpen. It is able to store up to 100MB of material. Nowadays we are used to using devices which have many gigabytes, and sometimes a few terabytes of storage. This makes us think that the lower storage space devices are inferior. That is not the case in this instance. That 100MB is able to store up to 1000 pages. You will need to write a great deal of notes to get to that number. The Neo Smartpen only has 90 MB.

7                    Bluetooth

The Moleskine Pen is more advanced than the Neo Smartpen when it comes to the Bluetooth technology present. It comes with Bluetooth 4.2 LE. This is one of the most popular Bluetooth standards on the market today and it comes with features such as increased speed, better performance than earlier generations as well as the Low Energy protocol (LE) which means that it uses far much less energy than its counterparts from earlier generations.

8                    Usage Time

The Neo Smartpen is able to be used for longer than the Moleskine Pen. This is because the battery comes with a higher capacity. It is equipped with a 300mAH battery, whereas the Moleskin Pen comes with a 280 mAH battery. This difference in the battery rating translates to different usage times. This allows for a person with a Neo Smartpen to write for up to 6 hours, whereas, a person with the Moleskin Pen will be able to write for only 3 hours.

9                    Weight

The Moleskin Pen is lighter than the Neo Smartpen. When writing, it is best to go with the lightest pen available. This will help to reduce the strain on your fingers. This is where the Moleskin shines. It comes at a weight of just 19.85g. This allows for you to write better than you would if you were using the heavier Neo Smartpen.

10                Paper Requirements

The Neo Smartpen is compatible with more types of paper than the Moleskine Pen. It can be used with smart paper that has micro dots, transparent film or even an LCD screen. In addition, you can print by laser printers that support postscript printing. The Moleskine Pen on the other hand is only compatible with Moleskine smart Notebooks that are sold separately.

11                Audio Recording

The Neo Smartpen is better than the Moleskin Pen in this regard. It allows for you to record notes of your professor dictating notes to you and giving explanations in between. This is very handy as you will be able to get more detail and remember those jokes that helped you understand the concept better. The Moleskin Pen does not allow for you to take audio recordings.

Our Pick

We fell in love with the Neo Smartpen. This is because it has more features than its counterpart. It comes with 6 hours of usage time. This is the most important factor we considered as a typical student spends up to 6 hours in lectures before having a long break – long enough to let you head to your dorm and charge your pen. It can be used with any type of paper which makes it suitable for virtually anyone to use it. It comes with audio recordings which help you get just a bit more detail and help the concepts you have learnt to solidify much quicker.

Why Do You Need a Smart Pen?

Audio Recording

Smart pens often allow for you to record your environment as you write. If you are a student, you probably know that the jokes and absurd examples given in lectures often help you understand concepts much quicker than the boring monotonic voice of the lecturer. Smart pens such as the Neo Smartpen have this advanced feature.

Mobile Application

The smart pens often come with mobile applications. These mobile applications allow for you to synchronize your notes with great ease. This allows you to get a digital copy of your notes. This makes backup quick and easy.


The smart pens available on the market usually look quite good. This makes them a very fashionable accessory – just like smart watches. If you are someone who is obsessed with the latest gadgets and gizmos, give smart pens a try.

Factors to Consider When Choosing between the Moleskine Pen and the Neo Smartpen

1                    Storage Space

The Moleskin Pen and the Neo Smartpen do not come with the same amount of storage space. The Moleskine Pen has 10MB more than the Neo Smartpen. This is a lot of storage space when you consider that the smart pens are mainly made to store text in a digital format. If you want the pen with the most amount of storage space, go for the Moleskin Pen

2                    Usage Time

The Neo Smartpen gives you more usage time than the Moleskin Pen. The Neo Smartpen is expected to give you about 6 hours of usage time. This is way more than the average time that a person spends writing in a day. The Moleskine can allow you to write for just 3 hours. If you are someone who spends the greater part of the day writing, go for the Moleskine.

3                    Paper Requirements

The Neo is able to be used with more types of writing material than the Moleskine. The Neo can be used on special paper, traditional paper, transparent film and even on LCD screens. This makes it a multipurpose device. The Moleskin Pen however allows you to use it with Moleskine smart notebooks only.

4                    Audio Recording

The Moleskine does not allow for you to record audio files. This is a feature that is present in the Neo Smartpen. It allows you to record as you write – a feature that is very handy, especially when you are a student and you want to listen to all of the examples given during the lecture. Even if you are not a student, this is a feature that you may find very handy. If you find this feature important then go for the Neo Smartpen.

5                    Design

The Moleskine and the Neo come in different designs. That is expected as they are manufactured by different companies. Different people have different tastes in style. We would encourage you to have a look at both the Moleskine and the Neo then choose which pen looks best to you.

Moleskine Pen vs Neo Smartpen FAQs

Are the Cartridges Refillable?

Yes they are. You can purchase new cartridges when your old ones run out. This will allow you to use these pens for as long as possible.

Do I Need to Charge the Pens?

Yes you do. A micro USB cable is included to help you charge your devices.

Do they Both Record Audio?

No they do not. Only the Neo Smartpen is able to record audio.

What I the Proper Way to Hold the Pens?

The camera side should be closest to the paper.

Do the Pens Work for Left Handed Users?

We expect that they will work just as well as any other writing device would.


In this article, we explored the differences and similarities that exist between the Moleskine Pen and the Neo Smartpen. We found the Neo Smartpen to be the winner. This is because of the host of features that it comes with. It allows for you to write for up to 6 hours. It can be used with any type of paper and can even write on transparent film and LCDs. It also comes with the provision for you to record audio files with it. We included a comprehensive list of features to consider when choosing between the two smartpens. This will help you to choose which smartpen will best suit your needs for your particular application.

Check out the best smartpen, the Neo Smartpen on Amazon.