You don’t need a touchscreen device in order to be able to make handwritten notes that are automatically stored on your laptop or tablet. The ImprovElectronics Boogie Board lets you use a standard pencil, your fingers or a dedicated digital pen, depending oin your preference and what you'd like to draw. The USB-connected blackboard slate then saves whatever you’ve scrawled as an image file that can later be called up on your device.

No text-recognition software is involved; instead your written notes remain as a static image file and are dependent on you having jotted down something that is intelligibile to read.  The Boogie Board is thus intended as a simple aid memoire. Items you save become editiable vector images that can be imported and manipulated in Adobe Illustrator, for example. The device is pressure-sensitive, making it suitable for illustration work.The latest model in the Boogie-Board range of digital slates, the 325g Boogie Board Rip, has a 9.6in writable area and can save and store files of up to 8MB each. To save a file, you simply click on the green Save button above the writing area. Up to 200 images can be saved. There's also an instant erase feature. 

Since it doesn't attempt to recognise what you've written, there's no need for an easily lost digital pen. Instead, any drawing implement you have to hand can be used. 

Prices start at £35 for an 8.5in Boogie Board, while the 10.5in model costs £49 and the latest Boogie Board Rip costs £99. They can be bought direct from maker