I'd begin with the lack of support from IRIS. NO US CONTACT INFO! And I've received no real replies from my technical questions to IRIS. My first unit failed out of the box. The second seems to be OK.
Technology 4 stars.
Pen refill sized for pen 2 stars.
Documentation 2 stars.
Carrying case 4 stars.
The pen seems to be exactly the technology that I've been looking for. However, its execution and documentation are lacking.
The pen refill sinks so far into the pen body that a) I need tweezers to remove it; the gripper on the pen cap designed to remove the refill won't work. b) I find it awkward to write well with the pen refill recessed so far into the pen body. I clipped off the end of a wood toothpick and inserted it into the end of the refill so that the pen tip now sticks out an extra 1/8" or so.
It does a pretty good job of converting my handwriting to text, though I have fairly neat writing. It did NOT capture superscripts and subscripts at all. I had edited a note and inserted actual text. The conversion missed it, so I guess that the conversion software doesn't know what to do with actual text!!
The documentation is fairly complete, but so poor that it is difficult to figure out how to use the desktop. I opened the Help document and paged through it while trying all sorts of options in the software to see how it all works. There are elements in the document that I have yet to find in the software.
I carry a USB portable hard drive around with all my files on it. BUT IRISnotes won't let me store my notes anywhere I like. So my only option seems to be to REMEMBER to BACKUP my notes from one computer to the HD, then REMEMBER to RESTORE them on the laptop BEFORE I begin using the Note Manager. I haven't tried this yet, but I doubt that the backup/restore program know how to merge files. In fact, it look as if the restore program doesn't actually RESTORE the original note database; it puts a copy of it in your notes directory. It's up to you to actually restore the files to their original location. It would be much nicer if the Note Manager let me store my notes where I want to. These days, a program that is so restrictive is like a slap in the face.
You are stuck with yellow background unless you edit each note and change the color and save it.
When the note prints, the date is printed out twice at the top of the page! Once is enough. Can't find a way to eliminate one of the dates.
The metal case is a nice touch, as is the padded interior. I carry mine about everywhere, so the case is a good thing. But the hole for the receiver unit is so snug that it is difficult to remove the receiver. I'll likely cut a notch somewhere in the foam to make it easier to remove.
It's not clear to me whether the MyScripts program is a trial program or not. In some places, it seems to indicate that it /is/ a trial, and at the end of the trial period you must either stop using it or upgrade. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to indicate that I have X days left to use it. I'll know in another week or so. And, yes, the current $50 USD upgrade price is too much, especially consider how limited the trial program is and how poorly it performs.
I use/have used other IRIS products for many years. That is why I chose to try this. It still may meet my needs, but it has a long way to go to be useful to anyone who doesn't enjoy technology tinkering as I do. For most of you, this is a "don't buy" for now.