As you may imagine, I write a lot. I do quite a bit of typing here at AndroidGuys, but I also do a lot of physical writing.
Between my day job and taking notes for review products, I constantly have a pen in my hand. To that end, I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years looking for the perfect companion and I’ve yet to come up with anything I really loved.
Then, I laid my eyes on the reMarkable 2 and I knew I had to try it out. For the uninitiated, the reMarkable 2 is an e-ink writing tablet. No, it’s not like an iPad and stylus; it’s designed from the ground up to be a writing tablet. And it shows.
About the reMarkable 2
Before we get into the experience of writing on the tablet, let’s go over a few of the basics. The reMarkable 2 is the world’s thinnest tablet, according to the company.
It comes in at just .19-inches (4.7 millimeters) thick and weighs in at less than one pound (.89 pounds, 403.5 grams). Eight gigabytes of storage and one gigabyte of LDDDR3 RAM pair with a 1.2 gigahertz dual-core processor.
In the world of flagship phones, this sounds like something from 2015 or so, but there’s more than enough horsepower here to drive the 10.3-inch, 1872 x 1404 e-ink display, and custom Linux software.
When using the reMarkable 2, it feels impossibly thin. It’s actually only about 0.06-inches thinner than an iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) but that small bit of thickness makes a huge difference. It doesn’t feel cheap by any means, but it does take some getting used to. Pair it with a folio case and you’ve got an excellent little device you can carry around from meeting to meeting without feeling encumbered.
Writing on the reMarkable 2 is nothing short of fantastic. There’s almost zero lag (21 milliseconds) between the stylus hitting the screen and seeing the ink displayed there. That’s one of the biggest advantages the tablet has over its competitors and after experiencing this kind of latency, I could never go back to something else.
reMarkable 2 Features
- Display: 10.3-inch, 1872 x 1404 (e-ink), no backlight
- RAM: 1 Gigabyte LPDDR3
- Storage: 8 Gigabytes, non-expandable
- Processor: 1.2 Gigahertz ARM dual-core
- Battery: 3,000 Milliamp hours, rated for two weeks of use
- Connectivity: USB C port, WiFi
Accuracy is also quite good and I’ve never found myself missing any pen strokes. Button pushes, on the other hand, are pretty bad. Using the stylus to tap type or click buttons on the screen seems to only have about a 50 percent hit rate. This is easily the most frustrating part of my experience with the reMarkable 2 and I’m hoping that this can be corrected through software updates.
Speaking of software updates, that’s another win for this tablet. In the three weeks I’ve had the device, I’ve already had two software updates; one for stability and bug fixes and another that brought new features and a few layout changes. Long may this continue.
reMarkable still has a ways to go into making the software experience what it should be. They’re at a very good starting point but it does feel a bit like early iOS. Functional, sometimes frustrating, and with a ton of potential.
Unlike Apple, however, reMarkable isn’t allowing third-party apps on its platform at this time. I hope that changes because you could do so much more on this tablet than you’re capable of right now. Yes, you can load some books and use it as an e-reader, but how great would it be if you could install Libby?
You can convert all your notes to text and send them off in an email, but wouldn’t it be great to respond to all your work emails in your chicken scratch and have it sent off in perfectly legible text?
Despite the deficiencies, I really have enjoyed my time with the reMarkable 2. You have to make some adjustments to get it into your workflow but once you do, it’s really fantastic.
For example, the lack of a backlight in the display sounds like a killer, but even with dark mode on, I can write perfectly fine with just the light of a computer monitor in an otherwise dark room. There’s also no fingerprint scanner, but there is a passcode option for those 2015 vibes (again).
- Codex, custom Linux build operating system
- Supports PDF and ePub, no third-party apps
- 43 default page templates
- Eight brush styles from Mechanical Pencil to Highlighter
- Supports cut, copy, paste, and convert to text
All those compromises allow reMarkable to be impossibly thin. And I cannot overstate how fantastic the tablet feels in the hand, in a folio case, and being written on. It’s the feel of this thing that really sells you, unfortunately, that’s pretty hard to express on a spec sheet.
What I can say, however, is that the experience is so good that I actively find myself making excuses to write something down, take some notes, or doodle even though I am quite possibly the worst artist in the northern hemisphere.
The reMarkable 2 is on sale for $400 right now and the company sells a variety of first-party accessories as well. For most people, the price is going to be a hard pass. You can get a full-fledged iPad and Apple Pencil for essentially the same price. But, if you need a dedicated writing tablet, I think this makes a lot more sense.
On the other hand, the first-party cases are very overpriced. I would suggest going with the Marker Plus for $99 instead of the Marker for $49. The eraser on the Marker Plus is absolutely worth it in my opinion.
You can grab the reMarkable 2 from reMarkable’s website.