Sarah Lane gives her thoughts about the Remarkable 2, an e-ink tablet for writing and reading.
Starring Sarah Lane and Jenn Cutter.
$299 (was $399 at time of purchase)
Marker Plus (pencil) – $129
*If you buy with Connect, you get a $150 discount on the hardware and 2 months free service, worth checking out.
Several subscription options:
No subscription plan will sync between Remarkable and docs on computer. The Remarkable 2 has 8 gb internal storage which might be enough for some folks.
Connect Lite – adds unlimited Cloud storage for $5/month
Connect – $8/month for cloud storage + Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive integration, Handwriting conversion, and Screen Share.
* I have been grandfathered into Connect for free as an early adopter because of when DTNS bought the unit last year. That’s an expense I’d be reluctant to pay otherwise. But it’s pretty great if you use any/all of these services regularly and want to read or annotate them on the Remarkable 2.
Remarkable calls itself the only tablet that feels like paper, I think that’s accurate. The Marker Plus, which is what I have, is as close of a feeling to writing on paper I’ve ever experienced. The regular Marker ($49) doesn’t include the pencil-like erase function which wouldn’t be a deal breaker but it sure is nice to have. However, there is undo and erase functionality on the tablet already, so the Marker Plus does feel like a splurge.
Marker Plus highlights:
An actual highlighter pen option!
Several different types of pens: ballpoint, calligraphy, pencil, mechanical pencil… all have slightly different feels on the tablet.
Easy tap to navigate – you can use a finger tablet-style, but the Marker feels more efficient.
Erase tool is just cool. The Remarkable is smart enough to know when you haven’t totally erased something and will clean up the rest.
Protective Cover aka Folio:
I have the Book Folio in polymer weave for $119. There are two pricier leather options for $169. There’s a sleeve polymer weave option for $69, and there’s a huge after market for Remarkable 2 covers if you want to save money and/or want something Remarkable isn’t providing (Etsy, etc).
I don’t use a physical pen anymore, in fact I always struggle to find a pen in my house on the rare occasion I need one. But physically writing things down has always helped my memory retention, and the Remarkable 2 taps into that as an extremely polished writing tablet.
I’m not much of a drawer/doodler/etc. There are plenty of really good use cases for Remarkable 2 that I won’t take advantage of.
Holy crap, signing documents is so easy!
The amount of document templates is impressive, I don’t know how you’d ever need something not in this library.
Navigation takes a little getting used to, but it’s simple once you know what your options are.
Syncing with my Google Drive is a game changer. I have so many docs I either need to read and/or sign, the integration works great (on supported files, of course).
At first glance the Remarkable 2 isn’t a great e-reader. Despite the nice book size, it doesn’t have any sort of backlight… you really do have to be under a lamp as if it were an actual book. You’re not going to take this tablet camping.
It also doesn’t support DRM-ePUB. You can find non-DRM ebooks online, but not a Kindle type library.
You can use Calibre (free ebook organizer software) + a plugin to strip DRM from an ePUB book, then it shows up on the Remarkable 2 just fine. I tried this with a couple library e-books. This process is not very intuitive, but it’s possible. However, it’s also illegal, so there’s that.
Last year I was gifted a Kindle Oasis, which has an adjustable backlit screen. It makes the Remarkable 2’s screen seem pretty dim. I wish there were a way to punch up brightness a bit.
The pencil does snap onto the magnetized sides of the Remarkable 2 but not always in the place I think it should be. For such a pricey add-on, I’m always worried it’ll go missing.
There are times I wish I had better internet integration. You can print anything online to PDF and sync from there, but that takes a few steps. I tried to use the Remarkable 2 for DTNS prep and it just didn’t make any sense.
The Remarkable 2 is powerhouse for anyone annotating documents, sketching, freeform stuff. Although you can sync over WIFI and email documents easily from the tablet, it’s not really “online”.
Love the form factor, I don’t think it would work at a smaller size.
If you reach for your notepad regularly, you will love this tablet.
Pricing feels high, especially for the subscription options.
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