reMarkable 2 Review: A True Paper Tablet Experience
Those of you that know me know that I have an affinity for note-taking. And not typing notes...actually hand-writing my notes in Moleskine notebooks.
I've always preferred to take hand-written notes. I'm not sure why - I just find it easier to grab a pen and paper and jot down my thoughts, whether it be about a new idea for PhotographyTalk, notes I take during a call with a client, or to keep my thoughts organized regarding what I want to say in my YouTube videos.
But I have to admit that having dozens of notebooks lying around my office is not exactly organized. It's not a clutter-free work environment, either.
Over the years, I've tried all kinds of "digital writing" solutions. In fact, it's been a solid decade of swinging and missing with various technologies that simply didn't give me the feeling of writing with a real pen and paper.
I tried the Apple Pencil with my iPad, but only used it twice because it just didn't feel right. The same goes with my Microsoft Surface from a couple of years back. Both just felt like a novelty to me rather than a legitimate writing experience.
And then came along the reMarkable 2...
I'll let the cat out of the bag right off the bat - I've finally found a tablet that gives me a true writing experience.
Let's get into the details of the review so I can expound on my experiences with the reMarkable 2.
reMarkable 2 Review: Basic Specs
The reMarkable 2 is incredibly thin, lightweight (the world's thinnest, in fact), and feels great in your hands (as does the marker). It tips the scales at around 14 ounces and is 7.36 x 9.69 x 0.185 inches in size while the marker offers tilt detection, 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and a special high-friction tip. The marker also requires no charging, setup, or pairing.
The tablet comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM processor, 1 GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM, and 8 GB of internal storage that's good for saving about 100,000 pages of notes.
The operating system is a Linux-based Codex that's optimized for low-latency e-paper applications. The tablet offers 2.4GHz and 5GHz wi-fi, USB-C connectivity, and an accessory port. The 3000mAH battery is rechargeable via USB-C and will last up to two weeks between charges.
The display is a second-generation CANVAS display that measures 10.3-inches diagonally. The monochrome display offers 1872 x 1404 resolution at 226 DPI and comes with multi-point capacitive touch. The writing latency is just 21 ms, which is a big reason why it mimics writing on actual paper so well. For comparison, the reMarkable 2's writing latency is twice as fast as the reMarkable 1.
The design is great as well. The anodized aluminum shell gives the tablet a premium feel without adding undue weight.
You can also add a variety of accessories to expand the reMarkable 2's functionality. This includes the Marker Plus, which has a built-in eraser, and folios, both of which snap magnetically to the device.
The device also comes loaded with all sorts of templates to help you organize your thoughts. You can even adjust the thickness of the lines on screen to adapt it to your particular writing style. The notes you take can be easily organized into a system of folders, that way your notes are easy to find (certainly much easier than scouring through dozens of notebooks).
In fact, I have a folder for my PhotographyTalk notes, for 4WDTalk (my other company), and I even have a folder of math problems that my son works on each morning. reMarkable 2 is great for this application because I can write out the problems, he can show his work, and if he makes a mistake, he can easily erase it and try again - and all those math problems are in a folder for future reference.
Remarkable 2 Review: The Writing Experience
As I noted earlier, I was on a decade-long quest to find a tablet that offered a writing experience like writing on actual paper, and I just couldn't seem to find the right solution.
I think I spent $100 on the Apple Pencil, which now sits in the back of a desk drawer in my office. I tried another stylus years ago - which I've now forgotten the name of it - but it didn't provide the natural writing feel I wanted either.
Because of these fails, I admit I didn't have the highest expectations when I picked up the reMarkable 2. But, as the old adage goes, "try, try, try again," so I did, and boy am I glad I gave it another go!
I can't stress to you enough how writing on the reMarkable 2 is so much like writing on paper.
That improved writing latency I mentioned earlier makes all the difference in the world - there's no lag time, so you aren't waiting around for the tablet to compute what you've written. Instead, you can stream-of-consciousness your notes without losing your thoughts while waiting for your handwriting to show up on screen.
When I first fired up the reMarkable 2 and began writing on it, it took just a minute or two for me to realize that this bad boy was a game-changer. Finally, I'd found a digital writing experience that was like writing with a real pen and paper. The reMarkable 2 is simply miles ahead of any other device that I've tried to date.
It's just a cleaner, more organized way to take notes. No more moleskin notebooks for me! This is the last notebook or journal I'll ever need to buy, and my guess is that it would provide the same kind of functionality and long-term benefits for you as well.
reMarkable 2 Review: Is It Worth the Price?
At $399, reMarkable 2 isn't exactly cheap, but based on my experience, it would be money well spent on your part.
The natural feel of the writing experience makes this a great device, but when you add in the organizational features, the array of optional accessories, and its small, lightweight design, it becomes an even more functional tool for your business or personal needs.
What I've found is that the more natural something feels, the more likely you are to use it. That's why I've used reMarkable 2 every single day since I got it and why the Apple Pencil is buried in my desk drawer.
If you're looking for a real writing experience on a digital tablet, if you need something that will be an ideal organization and planning tool, look no further than reMarkable 2!