Developer: Beijing Xuning Technology Limited
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Pento is an electronic notebook designed for the iPad. It lets users log their thoughts and memories by allowing them to input videos, pictures, artwork, writing and reading materials onto notebook pages. While it seems similar in style to Evernote, Pento separates itself by encouraging users to experience their artistic side through rich media.

When Pento is first launched, users can immediately create a new notebook with a customized title or they can browse through the tutorial to get a feel for the app. An easy-to-use orange navigation bar is located at the top of the screen to make it convenient for users to personable their notebooks.

With this toolbar it’s possible to share the Pento notebook, view the page list, switch to grab mode and switch to edit mode. Once edit mode is selected, users can add text and customize their pages with a wide variety of notebook management tools.

The feature that stands out the most is the grabber tool. This allows users to browse webpages directly within the app by typing them in the address bar or by exploring the categorized sites on Pento’s bookmarks page. When a webpage is open, users can grab the video, text or pictures with just a tap on the screen. The rich media can then be rotated, resized and placed on the page. It’s even possible to grab favorite tweets easily and paste them directly into a notebook.

Along with grabbing media, users can also use what’s available on their iPad such as pictures, music and video as well as record audio and video and place it directly on a page. Don’t worry about making a mistake because it’s easy to undo and redo editing by holding two fingers on the screen.

Completed pages can be shared with friends via Facebook, Email or Twitter. Users may go back and edit or rearrange notebooks at any time if they desire.

Pento comes with a lot of ways to customize notebooks, but there are a few features that could improve its functionality such as a landscape orientation, the ability to import Drop Box media, an option to export a Pento notebook to view offline, a search feature and a pin to lock notebooks from prying eyes. Adding any or all of these would help cater to the needs of many users.

Aside from a few missing features, Pento is a great alternative to the traditional paper journal or scrapbook. It’s easy to create awesomely designed pages with the customization tools and the grab media option is definitely an ingenious feature. Whether users want to create a recipe book, log their thoughts or create a scrapbook, Pento is well-worth exploring for those who need a notebook app. Since it is relatively new, let’s hope that more features are added to justify its three dollar price tag and to satisfy users’ needs.

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