When I decided I wanted to be a writer I – of course – looked for gadgets for writers. What I stumbled upon was really interesting – an electronic device to replace simple pen and paper. The ReMarkable was unlike anything I had ever seen, and I was beyond excited to try it out. Here is my Remarkable Tablet Review – “The Paper Tablet for Paper People”
What is the ReMarkable tablet?
The ReMarkable is a small, digital-ink tablet. The screen very closely resembles the look & feel of actual paper. The experience is designed to mimic that of writing by hand, all the way down to the sound the marker makes on the screen closely resembling that of a pencil tip on paper.
The device is about as thick as a small stack of paper and weighs next to nothing. The idea, is to provide consumers with an all-in-one solution to replace all of their papers, folders, binders, & notebooks. Personally, I’ve never been someone who liked to keep notes in my smartphone, so staying close to the experience of hand-written notes was really appealing to me.
What can the ReMarkable do?
The ReMarkable has a surprising list of features for such a simple device. First, the home screen is organized by 5 different tabs: my files, notebooks, documents, e-books, & bookmarks. Within these tabs, files are organized as either folders or notebooks within those folders. The My Files tab also has a quick sheets section, which is a great way to get to writing quickly. You can of course move any of these quick sheet pages to the appropriate notebook or folder afterwards.
The ReMarkable also features an incredibly handy “template” feature, which allows you to select the layout you would like for the page. While I pretty much always use the College-Ruled template, the tablet also has templates for music, art, storyboards, legal, and even a variety of planners (monthly, weekly, daily) & checklists.
For when you’re actually writing, the ReMarkable provides you with two on-screen tool bars that can be quickly hidden. These are how you change settings such as pen size, pen type, undo & redo, select & move, etc. They did a really good job with the options available here: from pencil, to pen, to highlighter, or even a brush, the toolbars even allow you to select different nib sizes for the “digital response” of your Marker – the name given to the ReMarkable’s pen.
A great feature of the ReMarkable that’s really come in handy for me is the ability to email different pages. Specifically, I’ve been able to write my grocery list down, and send it to my email as a .png file – this way I can just get the list on my smartphone and not have to carry the tablet around in the grocery store.
For Ebook readers, the ReMarkable has the capability of storing quite a few e-books & textbooks as PDFs with 8 GB of internal storage. This tablet also has the capability to write on, highlight, and copy & paste right from those e-books.
The ReMarkable paper tablet has something for everyone with templates for music, art, storyboards, legal, and even a variety of planners (monthly, weekly, daily) & checklists. Click To Tweet
How much does the ReMarkable cost?
The ReMarkable retails for an insanely high $600. For that price you’ll receive some durable packaging (which I used as the case for about 6 months), the tablet, a charging cord (no wall charger, seriously?), the Marker, and replacement nibs.
After about 6 months, I caved and finally bought the accompanying “Folio” – a thin, wool-felt sleeve that was designed to house not just the ReMarkable, but also the Marker. The Folio retails for $79, and the company charges an additional $15 just for shipping. Sure, I could have used any old tablet sleeve, but I’m stubborn and really wanted the one made by the company that was specifically designed to for the Marker as well.
What do you use the ReMarkable for, Jon?
I use my ReMarkable to write music, poetry, blog posts, complete school assignments, and I’ll even use it to write to-do and grocery lists.
What are your thoughts on the Remarkable tablet, Jon?
My ReMarkable holds a very important place in my writing process – particularly in drafting, I like that I always have a page ready on the desk and adding another page to that is always just as simple as pressing the button on the bottom right of the device. Now, digital ink isn’t cheap, and the reality is that if you’re in the market for a paper tablet, you’re going to spend anywhere from $500 – $750. There are of course a ton of cheaper options to digital paper – such as e-notebooks.
What really caught my eye about the ReMarkable, however, was the response time – many digital paper devices have a “delay” where the device has to catch up and essentially “print” what was just written on the screen. This isn’t an issue with the ReMarkable, as the delay is so many milliseconds short, that it’s almost as instant as writing with a pen or pencil.
The first gripe I need to mention in my ReMarkable Tablet Review is with the sluggish user experience. Digital ink is notoriously slow, and while I expected there to be some lagging and delays, the overall experience can sometimes get to the point of frustrating. For $600, people are immediately using an iPad as a point of reference to review the ReMarkable tablet, and the fact of the matter is that you just can’t do that. This is a niche product, sure, but at that hefty price tag one expects the experience to be pleasant every time. Writing on the device is fine, but it’s at crucial points like start up, log in, opening a notebook, or even switching to a different notebook where the device starts to hang. Overtime, these nuisances really started to steer me away from the device, until I eventually purchased a designated pocket notepad that I keep with me at all times.
The biggest issue, however, is the battery life. To the company’s credit, they’ve been working on firmware updates since the device was released and battery life has gotten better and better – as they’ve made it clear this is a priority for them. However, my thing is, shouldn’t that all be figured out before you charge people $600 for a device? I’m lucky to get a full day of use out of the tablet, which is really disappointing for me. Even if I’m careful to put the ReMarkable in sleep mode and shut it off when I won’t be using it for prolonged periods of time, I’ll get about 3 days at most.
What is the verdict of your ReMarkable Tablet Review?
The ReMarkable is a truly unique experience that can be a valuable tool in the writing process. Personally, I’m incredibly connected to the experience of sitting down and hand-writing, but for people who are just looking for an interesting piece of tech this probably isn’t for them. The ReMarkable is a great buy if you enjoy writing, digital art, or the organization that technology can provide you. However, with its sluggish experience, mediocre battery life, and hefty price tag, it’s definitely not for everyone.