Canson PaperShow Kit review: Canson PaperShow Kit

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.4
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The PaperShow kit is a convenient and fun tool to do live presentations or group brainstorming with.

The Bad Depending on your system, you might run into hiccups setting the kit up; the computer's other Bluetooth adapters have to be turned off for it to work; the kit's pen drains battery too quickly; expensive for what you're getting.

The Bottom Line The PaperShow kit merges paper scribbling and digital presentation and makes exchanging ideas fun. It would be an excellent tool if it was easier to install and the pen had a longer battery life.

Don't Miss

When it comes to the traditional computer interface, so far nothing has been able to replace the keyboard and mouse. Once in a while, however, an alternative interface device comes along that makes specific tasks much easier. Canson's $199 PaperShow kit is one such device. Nonetheless, make sure you are comfortable with setting up Bluetooth devices and are aware of the ongoing costs for special paper before purchasing.

The kit includes a battery-operated Bluetooth pen, a USB Bluetooth key, and special PaperShow papers. The pen and the paper themselves work just like any normal pen and paper, however, once the pen is connected to the USB Bluetooth key, everything you write on the paper will also appear as a digital version on the computer screen.

You can also erase what you just wrote--as you would using drawing tool software like Paint--or save the digital version as a PowerPoint file. Additionally, you can open an existing PowerPoint presentation and use the pen and paper to edit it.

The process of setting up the device was simple. Just plug the USB Bluetooth key into the computer's USB port and its self-contained software should automatically launch to set up both software and drivers. The key then looks for the Bluetooth pen, and the two will pair themselves together.

Unfortunately, we did run into a few hiccups during this setup process on our Windows XP SP3-based testbed. The key and the pen didn't pair successfully at first. As it turned out, we needed to disable any existing Bluetooth adapter connected to the computer and make sure that the Bluetooth service is run by the local Windows account. The folks at Canson, however, told us that only computers with certain specifications would run into this problem. Nonetheless, we wish the setup had gone smoother. Once we got through the hiccups and set up the device, the kit worked as expected.

Don't Miss

 

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Where to Buy

Canson PaperShow Kit

Part Number: 010001 Released: Jan. 26, 2009

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan. 26, 2009
  • Compatibility PC
  • Type interactive paper
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.