Wow. This has got to be the most awesome device to hit the streets in recent years. (and no I have no financial interests in Livescribe)
In a nutshell the iPulse records audio while you are taking notes (more on this in a moment) and time sequences your notes and drawings to the audio. You can also just record the presentation, and later play it back and take notes. (The 4GB purports to be able to store upwards of 400 hours of audio and notes at low quality audio settings).
Notes are stored as a form of digital ink - want to know what was being said when you wrote "Read Emerson's Nature" or sketched a cell? Simply tap your note and the audio jumps to that portion of the recording. How sweet is that? You can even add more notes while re-listening to the audio!
I think this is significant edutech for many reasons. One outstanding reason is that you can record content and actually focus on what is being presented instead of trying to capture every single statement - you only need to write notes on your immediate thought process and later revisit (as many times as you want) to further elaborate on your notes. The notes and audio are savable as flash based content for visual review at your computer - though you can get quite a bit done not using your computer, just interacting with your notebook and the pen itself. Another reason is that you do not need to take your laptop to class to take notes - take your notebook and pen - that is it. If you want you can later convert the digital ink text to e-text via a third party application for use in your favorite text editor. (I have not yet tried to export sketches out as images yet.)
Livescribe even provides a software development kit for those of us who like to get down with writing code. The pen has a built in microphone, but also uses a special set of earbuds which contain microphones enabling the capture of audio in "3D".
So far I can identify only two downsides to this product - it requires a special paper to get the deed done and is bound to a single computer so you cannot use it (or at least this is not obvious) on say an office and home computer - it works a bit like the iPod in this regard.
While you can upload your flash notes to a private space on their server, convert pages of notes to PDF, and export audio to aac, mp4, or wav files for review on capable mobile devices. lt would be wicked swell if it supported syncing chunks of audio/notes to mobile devices such as android-based phones or the iPhone - eliminating the need for a laptop. This could mean all you would need for study would be your phone, iPulse notepad, and the iPulse. Archiving to your laptop when necessary.
It would also be swell if, while reviewing/working with notes on the Desktop if it could interact more with software on the computer - click a URL? Open a Browser. Click a formula? Open MatLab. etc. etc.
In the future we will travel light, miss nothing, get good work done well - nice.
Oh wait - the future is now.