The reMarkable Tablet after three weeks of use
Disclaimer, this is going to be a pretty stellar review. If you are looking for reasons not to spend the €629 on a very specific piece of tinker toy, then you are reading the wrong article.
I caught myself doing something very peculiar on the first night of receiving my reMarkable tablet. It lost connection mid-stroke, leaving my last letter hanging in the air. I somehow thought that rotating the touch-pen would drip ink to the tip, so I did, and picked up where I scratched the paper. Three seconds later it set in, there is no ink, this is a touch-pen, and I’ve just been duped.
When I first unboxed it, it oozed simplistic quality feel. Being part of the first orders also meant I got a high quality, very Scandinavian cover made of leather and wool. I’ve heard stories about them charging a grievous amount of extra money on the pen, but frankly I didn’t care because of the before-mentioned luxuries. I also got enough felt tips to last me for an estimated 3 years.
At this point you might say that I have a serious case of buyer’s remorse and that I would say anything to justify buying this piece of equipment. And you would be right. I cannot defend the price of this piece of equipment in any other way than saying that if you can afford it, and if you are a paper-person, there is no better way to indulge yourself.
But you are probably not here for what you’ve already read, you probably want to know how it works in practice.
Everything about the quality of the making of this product is excellent. You are not receiving some knock-off. It feels like quality, and in my three weeks of dropping it on tables and generally handling it like a notebook (albeit in cover while in laptop bag), it has not once showed a sign of weakness.
The latency is barely noticeable, but still real in some cases. Then again, you would have to be a curmudgeon to notice it. I’ve been writing on it all day for three weeks, and I’ve never even once felt hindered by it. If you are looking for it, yeah. In daily use, not a chance. (unless you are working some heavier brushes, like the highlighter)
Being able to reposition sketches is sci-fi
We have UHD tablets on our coffee tables, but nothing comes close to this re-imagining of paper. It feels like magic, being able to adjust and rotate that schematic to fit with the rest of your maniacal notes. Working with a pen, it feels like waving a magic wand with Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V over your notebook. Still missing that Ctrl+X between notebooks though.
It just feels just so damn good
After your first 5 minutes, you’ll be writing like a pro. You’ll even start looking away, scribbling while you chat, and you’ll know exactly where you are on the page because you get the tactile feedback.
The not so good
It is of course, a weapon for the early adopters. It mostly does things right, and it made it very apparent to me early on that it has a lot of potential. But, in no particular order, here are the ugly bumps.
Took me a little while to realise this device needs a nightly recharge. It will outlast you for a day, but not two.
That eReader demands more work
I also bought this to be able to read books. Especially on a luscious 10.3" screen. However, the eReader does not keep track of my last position in books, nor does it allow for very fast navigation, unless you know within 10 pages of where you were last. This was the part that let me down the most.
Don’t bother me with landscape templates in portrait mode
Tempted to claim that every woman, man, and child need one of these. It is what tablet computers were meant to be all along. And it does it so, so well. Do you need one of these? Probably not, but it’s like a microwave oven, once you’ve had one, you can’t go back. Myself, I’m not looking back, I’ve discovered something just as precious as the first touch-phones.
Edit(s): Removed complaints that have gone away with the current release, so it’s now even better!