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New Boogie Boards FirstLook

Last  September we did a write-up on Improv Electronics’ Boogie Board. The item was a huge hit last Holiday season. The original Boogie Board was 8.5″ and was perfect for the fridge, dorm doors, and just about anywhere someone would want to leave a note. It came in any color you wanted as long as it was black. This year there are more modelsnew accessories, and a rainbow of colors to choose from. The new models are based on the same Reflex LCD technology. We think they will be as popular, if not more so, this season.

Version 1.0 of the Boogie Board is thin and very portable, but iMPROV Electronics has made it better for students by making it “binder-friendly.” They have also listened to customers who wanted a larger drawing surface by making a 10.5″ unit (almost 50% bigger in area). The Message Center is a new accessory for the 8.5″ tablet. It is a holder for the tablet and the pen. It even has a cork board for pinning those pesky analog notes. The odd additions to the line is the Skin Flik. It is an iPod Touch case with the Reflex LCD technology integrated purely for cosmetic reasons.

Both the 10″ and binder tablets now have pen holders integrated into their frames. It is a nice functional addition, as where to put the pen was an issue with the first Boogie Board unless you also sprang for the pouch or the clip. Another much-requested addition to the 10″ tablet was the user-replaceable battery. While the Boogie Board is a low-power device and the sealed battery in the 8″ unit would likely outlast the tablet, most users would rather have the option of replacing the battery rather than having to toss the unit into a landfill when the juice has gone.

The original Boogie Board is great for leaving notes and messages for house mates and coworkers. However, if you want to mount the tablet, finding a convenient surface is not always easy. Magnetic pads to the the back of the tablet will hold it up to the fridge, but what about cubicle wall and dorm room doors? The Message Center is an accessory that will make it possible to put the Boogie Board up at just about anywhere.

We will use these new Boogie Boards for a while and let you know how we like the new sizes and form factors. Look for the FirstUse write-up at the end of Fall…just in time for the Holidays. Hint, hint.

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