IRISPen executive review

A portable electronic highlighter that talks back

It might take some time to master but the IRISPen will prove a timesaver in the long run

TechRadar Verdict

Overall, a portable, fast and useful application for anyone with small to medium scanning needs


  • +

    Excellent text-to-speech function

    Extremely portable


    Quick set-up


  • -

    Needs practice


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The IRISPen Executive is the latest product from optical character recognition (OCR) specialist company IRIS. It's a small, portable scanning device, and printed information is converted into electronic type by sliding the pen line-by-line over the required text or figures.

It took us a few attempts to get the hang of it, but once we got the hang of things the IRISPen was able to transform tedious manual retyping tasks into fast and accurate scanning experiences.

Admittedly, electronic highlighters and OCR technology have been around for ages, but this latest version of the IRISPen does everything it says on the box - and it even talks. At the press of a button a vocal synthesis reads back the scanned text so you don't even have to look up at the screen for mistakes.

USB powered and connected, the Executive pen is relatively quick and straightforward to set up. A tad more detail in the Quick Start guide wouldn't go amiss, but a quick consultation of the User Guide gave us all the information we needed.

Priced from £110 upwards, the IRISPen executive doesn't come cheap. And it certainly won't be for everyone - don't expect prefect results the first few times you use it. However, for those with small to medium scanning needs, a little patience will be rewarded.

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.