After an hour or two of simply finding random items to scan, I finally decided to see how well accurate the pen is. While it will certainly yield better results with continued use, the passage below shows it's not perfect. I tried scanning a favorite passage of mine from A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin (page 459 for those with the hardback).
He surprised them with how long he kept going, and they had to step back because the blood flew in distorted parabolas that made thickening lines upon the rock Roor. At times it ap-geared to be raining in a dense windblown cloud whose under-side had turned red as it passed over a raging Ere. The sergeants ward as he could, for he had come to believe that he was holding a piece of the sun in his hands, and that he would use it to cleave the rock as Guariglia had severed his own leg. His muscles tight-ened and then relaxers Cis arms dew out before him as flexibly as elastic bands, and the head of the hammer struck the top of [the] stake with costly precision. The stake was dnven down unto it disappeared flush into the floor.
The mistakes aren't too bad. The bolded words are the ones that are screwed up. The two on the left hand side, and the third one with brackets, are my mistake. You're supposed to give it about a centimeter of space on the side, and I didn't quite give it enough. I won't count those against the pen, as that's just something that will get better with use. The other mistakes could be attributed to a shaky hand, but I tried to keep it as straight as I could.
So, ignoring my mistakes, there are 724 characters in that passage (including spaces). It added an aggregate of 1 extra letter in there, so the number should really be out of 723. It screwed up (discounting my own mistakes) six letters. Some simple math, (6/723) * 100 = 8.3% (rounded). This is ignoring my mistakes, which can still happen even after a great deal of use (I still do it, but not three times in a paragraph).
This was in a hardback, in what appears to be 10 point, unknown font. That's fairly indicative of the textbooks I have too. So, in a nice book, with crisp text, the pen achieved 91.3% accuracy
Many weblinks that are printed out from either online resources, or from anything in a MS Word document, URLs are usually printed blue, with underlined text. However, in these situations, even with a size 14 font (this is standard, at least, at my University it is), blue and underlined URLs were terrible. It was a little better when I printed out the URL again, this time without the traditional blue text, and underlining. Let me give you the best URL I managed to get it to scan (forgive the shameless plug to our own site), which was achieved with black text, and not underlined:
http: //www.Systemlogic. Net/reviews/hardw~ e/processordinteUp417~01
Here's what it's supposed to be:
Lets work through the math again...The real URL has 68 characters, which the pen got as well. However, the pen screwed up with the characters 11 times. (11/68) * 100 = 16.17%. So the pen was only 83.87% accurate. There's quite a discrepancy! Now, let's put it through the ringer. Has anyone seen pages cached by Google? If someone printed out a page from a cached URL, it gets drastically longer, and many more varying characters are used. The frustration in typing it out perfectly, in great part due to the extra characters, would be a prime reason why one would want to scan it in the first place. However, I found that it was much easier to simply type it in myself, despite how frustrating that is. Below is how I ended up with a scan from a cached Google page:
Here's what the real URL is.
There are supposed to be 141 characters there! Yet the pen, for whatever reason, never managed to pick up all of them. The above only got 100 characters, so it is simply way, way off. I'm not even going to bother calculating the accuracy, as it is far, far off.
To be fair, the text is small, at only a 12 point, certainly not the easiest to scan (generally, the larger the font, the easier it became). However, this is not at all unrealistic! Whenever I've printed documents off of the web, the URL is in the corner, and isn't in a large font. Nor would I want it to be. I want the URL known, but I don't want it to be the biggest part of the document. I admit that my printer is nowhere near high-end, but it is quite common to have such a printer. So, in this one area, the QuickLink pen takes a nose-dive in terms of functionality. Just like the PC and the paperless office - in theory, it's great. Practice is another story….
That 97% figure just went out the window. 97% simply doesn't cut it with URLs, which can be more difficult to correct. Most text is easy to see exactly what the error is, but with Google caches, and other such long, convoluted URLs, the pen suffers terribly.
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