Computers may be where the office grunt work gets done, but deep-thought work and conceptualization can still benefit from a bit of scribbling on paper, if for no other reason than avoiding the distractions of notifications, sidebars, open apps and a multitude of open browser tabs. The newly-announced reMarkable "paper tablet" is designed to replace your ancillary papers – notes, sketches and documents included – with one device that offers a convincing real-paper look and feel.
As a digital device, reMarkable has a few advantages over paper: It reduces waste and clutter, syncs with all your devices via the cloud, and documents can easily be re-organized and shared.
Of course, there are plenty of other devices already on the market being touted for their note-taking abilities, but reMarkable stands apart because it is intended to be both an e-reader and an e-writer. Most devices are largely one or the other, or something entirely different.
However, there are a few options that occupy the space for which reMarkable is striving. For example, Noteslate has similar devices available for pre-order, and Sony's Digital Paper (which is at least twice the price) is already on the market. Still, reMarkable is poised to have a few advantages over these direct competitors.
For one, its 10.3-in "Canvas" digital paper display is without glass parts. That should mitigate the two largest challenges that tablets face when trying to duplicate the tactility of pen and paper: display glare/brightness, and an overly slippery feel. reMarkable's capacitive touch display also has an industry-low 55 ms latency. According to the manufacturer, this means it populates the e-ink onscreen at a rate that matches the natural speed of writing with a pen better than competing devices in this category.
Combined with a battery-free stylus rocking 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity with a high-friction nib, the reMarkable tablet stands to be a better-developed and more realistic replacement for yellow pads, sketchbooks and portfolios. Since it supports PDF and EPUB formats (and more to be announced), it could even be an ideal study tool as well – read the material, and highlight/annotate it onscreen as you go.
reMarkable goes up for preorder today for the current discounted price of US$379 (it will later ring up for a hefty $716) and includes tablet, stylus, case and shipping. The devices start shipping mid 2017. You can see it in action in the promo video below.