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The ReMarkable E Ink Tablet (gizmodo.com)
522 points by curtis 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 255 comments



Some cool facts about the device from a hacker point of view:

- Main developer/CTO is a KDE dev and very open source-friendly.

- You get root access to the device out of the box.

- The device is running a mainline kernel with minimal patches, which have a good chance at being upstreamed[1].

- The toolchain is open[2]. They use vanilla QT/QML and people have already built simple example apps.

- There's an unofficial Linux client which works just fine.

- Desktop client and device run the same code, so you can just sync the files locally without connecting the device to the internet. Works both ways (it's the setup I use).

[1]: https://github.com/reMarkable/linux [2]: https://remarkable.engineering

Community:

https://reddit.com/r/remarkabletablet

https://discordapp.com/channels/385916768696139794/385921743...

https://github.com/reHackable


IMHO, these are important features. It seems it does not have Bluetooth (for a keyboard and/or headset to listen to mp3 while reading) and the battery can not be easily replaced.


Because its meant as an pen and paper replacement. Nothing more, nothing less.

Besides why would you want to listen to MP3s on such a device? Your smartphone with bluetooth and microphone jack is way better equiped for such a thing.


I miss the hell out of the Asus Eee Note. Black and white screen with a Wacom digitizer built in. Did basically nothing but allow you to read ebooks and write notes.

I used mine for years after having it shipped from China (the only place I found to buy one, which meant I had to learn enough Chinese to order and to navigate the menus to change the language) until the cloud sync shut down and I couldn't be bothered to sync it manually with very outdated sync software.

There's a market for a B+W ereader with a pen. Not a big market, but there is.

-edit: however, that price puts me out of the market for this... the Eee Note cost me $200 which was perfect. $600 puts it just out of iPad Pro territory, which is where I'd personally go for that money. Shame. Hopefully it sells well enough that they can recoup development costs and bring the price down for later adopters.


I feel like if that was the case, it wouldn't cost $600.


you are totally right.


I still wish it was slightly more than that. If I could read my emails on that thing instead of my violet screen, I'd consider it for work.


No.

I own one. I've had mine since last November. I love it. I love it in large part because when I'm working on it, I -can't- read email, browse HN, read blogs, check on a server. The only thing I can do is put thoughts to words and diagrams.

What you want is a tablet, maybe something from Amazon. The ReMarkable is intended for a different audience, people who remember what it's like to be undistracted and want that again.


For $600 it better do more than that. If I wanted something to write on that does nothing else I'd just use a pad of actual paper. And that's the real competition for a device like this -- paper.

I think it would need to come down in price significantly for it to be just what you want it to be.


I have put a few hundred pages of notes through this thing since I've had it. That's a lot of paper I don't really want to carry around. I have old notebooks, binders, loose-leaf collections of everything from letters to myriad projects to random musings.

My notes on this are organized into folders. When I'm at a SAR meeting, I tap "SAR", and there's everything from the last meeting and training notes and anything else I might want to reference.

When I'm at work, I tap "[Job]", and there's the graphs, notes, and complex as hell SQL and database layouts and everything else I've been working on lately.

I don't have to scribble out sentences from pen and paper, instead I can neatly erase them from the screen and rewrite them. It has become my tool of choice for first draft, second draft, third draft, and final draft writing to people I care to write to.

When I'm working out a flow chart or application logic or something else that I'm struggling to get my head around and ordinarily would run to paper for, I use this instead, because when I need to reorganize different bits I can just draw a circle around them and drag them elsewhere on the screen.

And, after doing all of this, I can back all of that up to my laptop.

Go ahead and do that with your pad of actual paper, I'll wait while you find a scanner and fight to get the stupid paper feeder to work.

If the thought of being unplugged and focused on a single thing doesn't exhilarate you, if it terrifies you, that's fine, this isn't the device to you. I'm not going to cheer it on to those folks; frankly, at this point, I hope ReMarkable is able to avoid that audience, because they're going to ask for all the wrong things.

But I don't spend a lot of money and when I first saw this thing I immediately wanted it because it's exactly what I've been wishing for, for a long time now. Ever since the Newton, at least. It's valuable at that price to me and to a lot of other people.


I can do all of that on an iPad pro... and a lot more. If I don't want to check my email, I don't.

So GP was right, this is competing with iPad Pro's and actual paper.


Type what you can, draw diagrams on white boards or paper and take pictures of what you can't. Very simple and cheap workflow.


Help me out here: what's a polite way to ask you why you think I'm such an idiot that that never occurred to me?


$600 ain't so bad to avoid the hassles of paper. It's basically the cost of an iPad Pro, and I don't use the fancy features of the iPad at work, anyway. An iPad Pro is a nice note-taking machine -- I have one, and use one -- but I'm thinking about getting one of these and relegating the iPad to Lightroom and media/browsing usage at home. The bit where the battery lasts for days is nice, too. And I don't have to plug the stylus into the tablet like the fucking "Pencil" - that alone is worth a few hundred compared to the iPad Pro. That's a ridiculous bit of UX for a note-taking device.

It's an extension of the same thing that defines the iPad Pro line vs the Surface line: the Surface line is a full-on general-purpose PC capable of running a lot of stuff the iPad simply doesn't do, but I'd rather take notes on the iPad. (My iPad replaced my Surface Pro.)

Specialized tools appeal to me. Cost doesn't really matter that much for professional tools - I've burned through a lot of laptops, monitors, keyboards, and smart devices over the years - though I'd like to see one in person or wait for a v2.

> For me it’s because the reMarkable tablet’s writing surface is a night and day experience to writing on the smooth glass of an iPad.

This, from the review, is the entire appeal. Writing on an iPad is odd and awkward still. The less friction (heh) in the process, the more I'll actually take good notes. Sure, it would be better if I was so perfectly disciplined I could just use a convertible laptop for everything, and size/weight/aesthetic/experience factors were irrelevant, but... I'm not.


> Writing on an iPad is odd and awkward still.

I hear that a lot of iPad artists put a non-glass screen protector on the iPad (I forget the material, just the standard plastic-y material) and it adds enough friction to the Apple Pencil that it’s a bit more comfortable writing. Have you tried adding a non-glass screen protector and seeing if it makes a difference in the experience?


No, its enough if it just does that, but does it perfectly. Pen and paper are still superior when you are trying to think. If it can just archive/OCR your notes, maybe prettify your diagrams, I for one would pay $600 in an instant.


No, most people are not like you. Saying "impossible to do other things" is a main feature is just nonsense.



Your comment is not stated as an opinion though.

"The ReMarkable is intended for a different audience, people who remember what it's like to be undistracted and want that again."


Again, I feel that, if that's all it does, it should not cost $600. And should not have the input lag demonstrated in the review.


> I still wish it was slightly more than that.

You are describing a combination of 'perfect is the enemy of good' and feature creep.

Assess the qualities of the product as shipped, assume good faith on behalf of the people doing the build & ship, and determine if the price & features are appropriate for you.


Also you can make an email app with the Qt toolkit they released! It doesn't require super fast refreshes like the drawing app, so you should be able to make it work.

Email can be distracting from studying a document though.


We already have a phone with a decent email app. If "pages" and pdf files can easily be exchanged or synchronized with your phone, you do not need email app.


There is a large ereader by onyx that you can use as an external screen:

https://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/onyx-boox-ma...

Otherwise, most other ereaders also have webbrowsers, but you would want to get the ReMarkable for the pen experience (the large one linked above also has a wacom pen, but more latency)


I have one. You kind of could, you can import PDFs to it. I've considered setting up some kind of automated flow to do that mainly for emails that turn in to larger projects or meetings for easy note-taking.

That said, the only real feature I wish that the device had is a backlight. Other than that it's pretty perfect as it is - just a notebook replacement, nothing more or less.


There was the same comment when the Kobo came out (no audio) and that always struck me as odd as well. Why can't you use your phone or radio or whatever you normally use for your music instead?

I certainly don't expect my books to play music (except those silly little kids book, and those drive me nuts anyways).


I think there's several angles on this:

a) the Kindle has/had audio support b) you might have audio books and want to use the same device to read them as written books c) text to speech d) many people read and listen to music at the same time, it might be nice to do that with a single device, especially if you want to sit and relax outdoors with the reader and not have your phone on you


Because it also means there's no text to speech capability.



Should be easy to get that running on the Remarkable...


Thanks for the links! What do you use it for; to write or to draw?


Lots of writing and some drawing. Writing is excellent, drawing works ok but it needs a few more brushes.

For drawing, see: https://blog.remarkable.com/status-update-from-the-remarkabl...


I have this device, and for hackers, this review misses some stuff:

* the company behind it is based in norway, so you can be pretty sure the techies got treated well

* they abide by the GPL very well

* by connecting via USB and flicking a switch in the options menu, you get SSH access, as well as a REST endpoint where you can upload your files via curl. So if you don't like their cloud offering, you can turn of wifi and be sure your data is local

* I really hope they start a good opensource community program. There are already efforts underway for hacking on this, and in theory making custom applications for this could be very fun

* last I saw, some of the developers are active on reddit and HN, so I hope they comment on the last point


by connecting via USB and flicking a switch in the options menu, you get SSH access, as well as a REST endpoint where you can upload your files via curl. So if you don't like their cloud offering, you can turn of wifi and be sure your data is local

Maybe it's just me, but why do the defaults for devices like this seem to now always require either a special app or reach out into the Internet? Whatever happened to simple USB mass storage where you can just plug it in and copy files back and forth? The hardware is certainly capable of it.

That said, I don't mind the presence of WiFi, but the default behaviour of requiring one to send files from a computer out far away to some server on the Internet, and then back to the tablet sitting only a few metres away seems rather silly and wasteful.


They tried, but exposing a "simple USB mass storage" isn't easy at all from a running operating system. USB mass storage requires exposing a block device with a filesystem, which is error-prone and complex. This is why file-based protocols like MTP exist.

But, since you can SSH into the device, rsync works just fine on the Remarkable. :)


So because it's not easy, it shouldn't be done?

Personally I would be ok with my device disabling it's UI while it emulated a mass storage device when plugged into a host.


They had a variety of pretty big engineering challenges to solve: getting the form factor right, making sure your hand didn't interfere with the screen while using it, getting the pen-and-paper feel right, and getting the e-ink refresh rate down to where you could draw and write on it and have it feel natural.

I'm fine with them choosing to solve those challenges instead of supporting USB mass storage.


...and designing, developing, and supporting your own custom application and its associated protocol isn't an "engineering challenge"?

USB mass storage requires exposing a block device with a filesystem, which is error-prone and complex.

The point is, USBMS is a solved problem. My MP3/MP4 players, my Android phone, my satnav, even my soldering iron[1] can do it. The Linux kernel, which reMarkable uses, already includes support for this[2]. It's conceptually very simple --- in its most basic form, if the device detects that it's plugged in, it unmounts its internal block device and lets the host control it, and vice-versa. More advanced functionality, such as found on Android and many MP3/MP4s, lets you choose whether the device or the host controls its storage, via a very obvious interface on the device itself (one position is "charge only", the other is "transfer files".)

[1]https://hackaday.com/2017/07/24/review-ts100-soldering-iron/

[2]https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/usb/mass-storage.tx...


Yes, exposing a block device over USBMS is a solved problem.

Exposing files from a device's internal storage (which is ext4 in this case) over USBMS is very much not a solved issue. You'd have to copy the files back and forth or write a driver which emulates a FAT filesystem.

The alternative would be to use FAT internally and expose that block device, risking corruption (you have no control over what is done to your poor filesystem).

None of my Android phones can do that. In fact, Android used to expose the raw device in earlier releases and stopped doing it because it was too unreliable and the UX was bad since the filesystem had to be unmounted.


It's not only difficult, it's an inferior solution compared to a file-based protocol, so I'm glad they didn't go that route.

However, here's what Martin (the CTO) has been playing with:

https://github.com/reMarkable/vfatbuse


It might be inferior technically but from a user experience perspective it's superior on most every platform.


> Whatever happened to simple USB mass storage where you can just plug it in and copy files back and forth?

I agree that it should definitely be an option because there are plenty of situations when using this device where you might not even have connectivity.

> the default behaviour of requiring one to send files from a computer out far away to some server on the Internet, and then back to the tablet sitting only a few metres away seems rather silly and wasteful.

It is definitely silly and wasteful but it's oh so simple when it works correctly. Instead of dealing with SMB shares, email, FTP, rsync, cables, mass storage devices, properly ejecting things, or any other technology; you instead just put a file in a designated folder and it's available on all of your devices in a matter of moments.


rsync is much easier than creating an account and gives me more control.

It was one of the first things I thought of, "I hope I can run rsync on this thing to sync notes".


I guess if this device is targeted only at power users then rsync support is great. If they're hoping to make this a mass market device then they probably need something more user friendly.


Of course, but they are not mutually exclusive, you can offer both.


They do


To make it more likely you'll stay within their ecosystem and buy more from their app/book/etc. store, is always my first assumption.


They can always steal from Amazon's playbook and randomly delete sideloaded files.


Most customers are ignorant of security issues and the privacy regulations are too weak. This has resulted on one hand in only noticing the conveniences of cloud sync on the customer side and an information greediness on the side of the companies.

My enthusiasm for this device instantly evaporated when I found out about the mandatory cloud integration. I already know from a customer support situation that Amazon has remote access to kindles, they can tell you what files you have on device, etc.

It's depressingly bad...

Bonus: this reMarkable website does not work without third party JS. It's completely blank. One of the 3rd parties is hotjar, which does all sorts of shady analytics like clickstream and keylogging.


> My enthusiasm for this device instantly evaporated when I found out about the mandatory cloud integration.

From GP: "So if you don't like their cloud offering, you can turn of wifi and be sure your data is local"


The GP and lima have both claimed that one can transfer files without the cloud, but this is not mentioned in their FAQ (https://support.remarkable.com/hc/en-us). This is a direct quote: "Use the reMarkable desktop app or the reMarkable mobile app to transfer documents and ebooks onto your device. Once imported, your files will be synced across your connected devices. reMarkable works best with our custom built apps for iPhone, Android, PC and Mac."

By using a search engine on their web-site(!) one can find details about USB support: "NB: This functionality is currently experimental, as we haven't fully implemented it yet. We will work to improve how this works and looks in future software updates."

Maybe this is a great device which allows open access, but it's very difficult to figure this out from their website.


> Maybe this is a great device which allows open access, but it's very difficult to figure this out from their website.

Isn't that par for the course for esoteric information only useful to highly advanced users in the consumer electronics[1] space? I'm yet to see an Android device that touts unlockable bootloaders on their websites.

1. Being "open" isn't the ReMarkable's tablet schtick/selling point. It's a consumer product that happens to be open. The minority users who want to take advantage of that know where to look/can find that out on HN.


I'm talking about being able to transfer your files between two devices sitting 10cm apart, without using someone elses servers.

This is a very basic feature, supported by everything except those spyware products which are selling customer information or those that reserve the right to do it in the future.

If reMarkable is not one of those, they should make it clear in their marketing.


It's because Microsoft exerts it's patents on FAT32.


Lock in. Without it you won't get investor money.


That gives me a lot of hope. At some pint the article mentions a "proprietary cloud service" which immediately made me worry that this would be a locked-up device.

If the underlying software is open source, that would also suggest that it if there is a large enough community, it will keep working for much longer than the company supports it. And it gives hope for better software fixes. For example, the writing-lag mentioned sounds like it should be solvable with better data structures under the hood.


The API used for the cloud service is quite simple. There are already two projects on github implementing it (one by me) - search for remarkable-tablet to find them.

The tablet also works fine without using the cloud service, it has a built-in webserver to upload documents to it that you can just access via WiFi or USB-LAN.

Really this device is a hacker's dream in terms of openness. The only last thing I'd wish for was open sourcing the main software application running on it.


is there any way to tell it to use your cloud service instead of theirs ?

In other words, what good is a custom reimplementation of it if you can't make it point at them without dns hacking?


Yes, you can SSH into the device and change a config file. This is a hacker's dream indeed.


How fast is the data transfer?

Do you think one could hack it into a "screen" by streaming a black-and-white image data from a computer to it?

So the connected computer would do all the heavy lifting related to rendering, compress the result to something that is really easy to decompress, send it over, and tablet would just decompress a bitmap and blit it to the screen?


Haven't tried, but you're either limited by USB2.0 or the wifi chip.

Given the low refresh rate of the panel, something like that should work just fine. Pretty sure I saw a YouTube video by someone who hacked it together using periodic screenshots.


Is the response time really that fast? On my e-reader, it takes solid 1 second in the best case (and sometimes more than 3s worst) to switch a page. This device looks really fast. But maybe it's just updating small region and that's why it's so fast?


A lot of responses are commenting about writing being fast. AFAIK, the slow part of eink displays was always effectively clearing them. Drawing is fast, and drawing without needing to clear anything, such as during writing, should be expected to be responsive. Many new systems don't do a full clear for every update, but that introduces more artifacts each time until a slow full clear is done. But the better displays now can get away with it without being distracting.


Page switching can take a bit,depending on how much there is to render. When I read papers, it never takes more than half a second or so, at most. Drawing also doesn't have any painful latency (I say painful because it IS barely noticable, but it doesn't take away the feeling of drawing/writing and instant feedback)


The response time is optimized for writing, not reading. This device is better treated as a whiteboard than an ebook.

Switching pages can still take a few seconds (the display is lightning fast, but the processor for generating the page is not).


>>Switching pages can still take a few seconds (the display is lightning fast, but the processor for generating the page is not).*

Can take up to a few seconds, but really depends on what the device is rendering. For most arXiv papers and light graphics (e.g. clean charts) the page turns have been very tolerable.


>But maybe it's just updating small region and that's why it's so fast?

Exactly. I have one and I think writing has really short latency. My friend says it's slightly slower than an iPad but I haven't tried that so I don't know, in any case it's still very good.

The only really bad thing about the reMarkable is that the software still sometimes crashes, leaving you for ~20 seconds with a notebook that you can't write on.


>The only really bad thing about the reMarkable is that the software still sometimes crashes, leaving you for ~20 seconds with a notebook that you can't write on.

Interesting, in 3 months I haven't had a single crash


Then I envy you. Mine crashes about once a week, always when taking notes.


Echoing other responses here: writing on it is practically lag-free (there's a tiny amount of lag, but I don't even notice it anymore); using the eraser tool to erase sections takes a little more lag, using the move tool to move sections around lags a bit more, and a full page refresh can take a couple of seconds.

In practice, it's been perfectly usable (for me). The only nit I've found responsiveness-wise so far is the startup time. It's not convenient when I suddenly remember something and want to write it down and have to hold down the power button for three seconds and then wait another five or more for it to get to the main screen and then wait another two or so to get to my scratch pad.


Just curious but which ereader do you have? The current higher-end Kindles (I have an Oasis and a Voyage) turn pages so fast as to be unnoticeable with a noticeable full screen flash every 10 or so pages.


It's Nook, but I don't remember the exact model. Maybe Glowlight.

Maybe it's just time for me to update? I bought this in 2014.


I've seen the Sony offering of this, and it's incredibly fast. But also super expensive


What is the relevance of the “techies got treated well”?


Techies get treated well probably equals higher employee retention, again leading to higher institutional memory, meaning bugs have a chance of actually getting fixed. More happiness probably also correlates with more creativity, meaning that there is also a chance of getting more features with updates.


Some people like to reward ethical companies. Most hackers I know are among them


I interpreted it as equivalent to “Fair Trade” or “Free Range” labels you sometimes see on groceries.


People may prefer to buy it, for that reason.


That statement also struck me -- it's not like "techies" are normally treated unfavorably?


"Normally" would be overstating the problem I think, but it's not as though toxic work environments where people are expected to work unsustainably long hours are exactly uncommon in the tech sector.


Parent asked about relevance. It's relevant if some people have worries about treatment of techies. Should people have these concerns? Dunno, but probably off-topic for this post :)



> by connecting via USB and flicking a switch in the options menu, you get SSH access, as well as a REST endpoint where you can upload your files via curl

Could you explain how this works? I assumed that's what the HTTP interface setting was, but I couldn't see this documented anywhere. I really don't like the Windows and Android app so this would be a nice alternative.


The SSH access is actually not hidden behind a switch.

When you connect a reMarkable into your computer it identifies as an ethernet adapter and assigns you an IP over DHCP, you can then access SSH on the device via that IP.

This is what the device shows you for gaining access (don't worry, that's not actually my password anymore and I've put SSH keys on it anyways): https://i.imgur.com/zbJUBOe.jpg

This screen is in Settings -> About, right below the GPL information.

Edit: If you were asking about the HTTP interface, that becomes available at the same IP but it is hidden behind a switch (Settings -> Storage -> Enable USB web interface)


The main developer is also the CTO of the company (and happens to be a KDE developer!)


Nice. I'd like to see e-ink continue to develop.

What I want is an e-ink laptop with simple but good word processing, coding, text-mostly browsing, emails and such.

I like my reader. It doesn't feel like "device" and I'm much more relaxed using it. Im on my third one and all three were on airplane mode since the day I bought them. Reading on tablet/phone triggers my hyperactive "device mode". Checking emails, hn, tinder, contol-tab, notifications, Twitter, youtube... Not good before bed. e-ink just lends to relaxed focus, for me. The battery life also helps me forget it's a device.

An e-ink laptop built for working on stuff with fewer distractions, 20+ hrs battery life, decent text editing and word processing, emails... I want.


I've actually been working on something of this sort with a battery-powered Raspberry PI running Debian and a Pervasive 7-inch e-Paper display. I whipped up a pretty decent prototype that had a terminal (so, Emacs, w3m, newsbeuter, etc.), PDF reader, and rough support for keyboard-driven X apps, but then my little girl got to the wiring with scissors, and my momentum died. (It also had a small character LED display to show rapid feedback while typing.)

The last few days I've been working on a new version of the software, and I think I'll wire it back up. If I get it clean enough for others to use, I'll write it up.


Looking forward to more information about this as well. I'm thinking about wiring up an e-Paper display to a Pi for some digital signage applications and curious how you got it all to work, and the prices for doing so!


I used a 7.4" display from Pervasive, about $50USD. It's a simple development board with an easy to drive controller. All the software was in Python, with a few performance-critical bits in Cython. I used wire wrapping to hook things up, and it was not difficulty, even though I'm a programmer with no previous hardware experience.


Ditto, very interested. You wouldn't happen to have any photos of the prototype, would you?


I have at least a photo of emacs running on a very early version, but it's not representative of what I eventually arrived at. I'll see if I can dig it up.


Would love to know more!


I'll submit a Show HN when I get to a point to do so.


This sounds really cool! Does this project have a name?


The Papertop. (It's a working title.)


Have you written any kind of blog or documentation about the build? I've been interested in a mini-laptop e-ink solution for a while. I think that most of the coding I do takes very little resources and is primarily just talking to the cloud or other servers. No reason to lug around a bunch of resources I don't need, right?


I haven't, and I'm disappointed to see that the display I used is now discontinued. That will push me to use a more effective one in the next iteration, which I'll write up.


PaperPi?


I desperately want a solution for working outside. E-ink would be absolutely awesome. Unfortunately I don't see anything on the horizon. Even the devices that will work as monitors described in the sibling posts would be problematic because they are simply too big. I need something I can put in my bag and go. I guess I'll have to wait until the rest of society catches up with my nomad-work existence :-)


Seconded. Runner up was the Pixel Qi style screen that was in the OLPC, but everything about that appears to be dead.

The OLPC’s screen was pretty cool in black and white and was quite usable in full sun. It also was fast in a way that epaper wasn't.

In color mode, it was pretty muted, and the resolution was... commensurate with those of the time period. But, I imagine that things would have eventually improved. Kind of a shame the whole thing seems to have dead-ended.


I had my hopes on mirasol[1] but they seem to have given up on the technology due to low yields.

Imagine a laptop with this technology.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1xEuR2mLh8


CLEARink looks pretty promising. Well see if that translates to actual devices using it or end up like Mirasol, Liquavista etc.


I would instantly buy a laptop like that. Heck, I'll even settle for a good tablet + keyboard combo at this point.


I dunno. This might make e-ink a viable LCD replacement eventually but for the device above, I'm ok with the current hardware. What I want is form factor (laptop) and appropriate OS/UI.


Absolutely. A tablet + e-ink laptop would be my ideal travel pair. Laptop for work or recreational writing, tablet (or phone) for entertainment. I prefer to keep those separate anyway.


Feels like Emacs would be perfect for e-ink since by default it doesn't really do any scrolling or "dynamic"/moving-across-screen stuff


Yup. A lot of old timey UIs could work well.



I would 100% buy this. I make lots of business trips that are 36 hours long. I have to take my laptop because some emails and documents just aren't conducive to handling on my phone. But a lightwieght and thin laptop style device with crazy good battery? And all it does is email, documents, and text browsing? Definitely would buy that and stuff it in my bag for these trips.


The old HP Omnibook was pretty close. Monochrome screen with an advertised 8 hours of battery life, solid state storage, at a time when conventional laptops struggled to get two hours.


I think a huge untapped market is digital signage. For anyone who needs to display a load of text and have it be perfectly legible in bright light, giant e-ink screens would be perfect. Large-scale LEDs that look good in bright lights cost a fortune and use a ton of power.


I also prefer an e-ink reader for reading. Still using the same Kindle Touch that I bought used probably 5 years ago. Probably charge it once a month, and don't have to worry about blue light before bed.


Out of curiosity, what brand of reader do you use?


Atm, a Kindle paperwhite. I also had two Kobos previously. Honestly, any small ereader is as good as the next one, for me. All I need it to do is turn pages. A backlight is sometimes nice, but not essential.


One with the same screen as the Pebble watches, but bigger, would be nice. Coding without color wouldn't be fun.


So there are some positive and negative comments here, I'd like to throw in my opinion as someone who backed it and currently owns one.

- Hardware is ok. Not super comfortable to hold.

- Pen works alright, however my goal was to use it to annotate PDFs and software issues got in the way.

- Software is absolutely awful. It's unstable, slow, and updates are slow to come.

- Crashes regularly when reading and annotating PDFs.

- Loading epubs is hit-and-miss. I have some that work alright, some that fail to load entirely. Changing pages is slow.

- Frequently fails to save your place in a document when it goes to sleep. If you're able to get it working for a few hours reading session, you might come back later to find that your progress is gone. Getting back to where you were is painfully slow.

- Support is not good. I submitted a ticket with my concerns in October, got response in January. Return period expired while I was waiting for a response.

- Battery life is merely passable.

edit: To conclude, I think that if I were to do this again I would either get an iPad or a Kindle Oasis (would have to try both to determine just how important e-ink is compared to a high dpi LCD). Either would be cheaper than the Remarkable, and you can buy a pretty sweet pen and a lifetime supply of paper with the remaining money. The iPad would probably be better for large-format PDFs, but since a lot of those have some pretty hefty margins I could probably preprocess PDFs with a script to trim them for better viewing on a Kindle.


I have been using it since November (second preorder wave).

Pros: The e-ink display is great, large enough to show one page of any pdf. The device is light. Taking notes feels good. Battery life is great for reading books, good for taking notes.

Cons: Price. In-house cloud storage that you must use (there is a beta setting enabling some weird tunnel over usb, have not tried it yet ...). Apps you must use in order to transfer document onto device (Windows, iOS, Android only). All your documents are automatically backed up and synced once you are on a wi-fi, whether you like it or not. No apps ... there is not even a web browser and there is no way of installing anything. Because the controls are on the bottom, the reading experience is not as good as with Kindle. Round pencil tends to roll around.

Many of the cons are software related and could be fixed. But there is no way of telling, whether they will be fixed.

At the end of the day, I do not regret getting it.


Same group as you. I primarily use it for reading.

Just want to group together a few response to you and others about my experience:

-battery life has been fine, especially when used mostly as a reader.

-no web browser/apps is actually a plus to many who are focused on reading or creative things as they are a distraction. LCD tablets fulfill that need fine.

-no swiping on docs is ok by me - less marks from dirty paws

-refresh rates in my use are not 'one or two seconds.' I think people tend to exaggerate wait times in general. A page flip is probably about half a second when reading Reviews of Modern Physics

-I've only had one crash/reboot.

-The latest software seems a bit snappier and has some improvements when it comes to pen use settings

-No issues while annotating pdfs

-its a little bit slow refreshing the document lists/library but we are talking a second, maybe second and half worst case

-I understand why they are using cloud, though its not really important to me (syncing docs across multiple devices). Likewise, nothing I have is super confidential so that again is not (yet) a big concern to me

-the zoom feature is a little bit clunky and can be improved

-I would like a future iteration to include a backlight

-Any future version should also be slightly larger, perhaps 1x1.5. This would likely enable viewing of letter size docs without the need to crop the margins. That said, its only a minor inconvenience to crop things like journals so they are viewable without the need to zoom

-Some ask for handwriting recognition though I think first (and easier) would be some type of option to do version control on modified documents.

-A fair price is probably closer to $450 but have to remember this is hardware version 1

All in all, I am pretty happy with the device and hope they continue to improve the software. Were a second generation to be released, I would consider upgrading if it had a backlight and faster cpu/memory combo.

[edit for clarity]


There is a linux app, but the link was taken away from https://remarkable.engineering/ . You can download it from https://remarkable.engineering/remarkable-linux-client-0.0.5...


This client only works with some version of Debian. I am using flatpak https://flathub.org/apps/

and it works (flatpak run com.remarkable.reMarkable )

It takes about 400Mb since it downloads many libraries.


My friend has one and I got to try it a couple weeks ago. The writing experience is as fantastic as the article describes. But, the rendering of screens is slow and you have to look at bizarro artifacts for a second or two before a new screen is shown. This is... not great. But, I am guessing this can be improved on in future versions. I am waiting for a better/cheaper model to come out, but fully intend to get one when it does.

edit: clarity


I can see that disappearing quickly as it did between 1st and 2nd gen kindle. On my paperwhite it's now completely un-noticeable most of the time, there's only a few operations that have some lag.

I'm tempted to buy one, but know how frustrated I get with bad UIs, so might hold off until the next gen.


FWIW I'm a fellow UI-grouch, but haven't hated anything about it enough to outweigh everything else I love about it. The funky screen redraw is just a brief thing and doesn't really get in my way.

The only UI thing that makes me scowl so far is that sometimes my pen settings inexplicably get reset.


I am very tempted then, presently I have 5 different notebooks for different things and doing a couple of courses which I've started to study like I did at university and take written notes instead of just passively consuming.

The general consensus is that you learn better if you write but it's frustrating to not have the notes digitized and backed up.

It sounds like it might be good.


I purchased the remarkable and was really disappointed. I ended up returning it. Ultimately, if i'm spending $700 for a writing tablet (after accessories), it has to work as described. Some of the deal breaking issues:

- Battery lasts for hours, not days. - Mobile apps are buggy, viewing notes caused them to crash - Randomly stops responding to pen - Randomly freezes up - Customer support takes weeks to respond - Ereader experience is horrible (no bookmarks, table of contents, etc) - UI really needs improvements (pen style settings aren't retained)


The only one of those I could corroborate is the pen style settings issue, which occasionally irritates me too.

Price: I won't argue it's expensive and if it isn't scratching an itch you've had for a long time then it might not be worth it. Mine has provided that much value to me since I bought it, and I figure I'm paying a little extra for early access anyway (and hopefully supporting a technology that will stick around for a while).

Battery: I can see it lasting for only hours under heavy, constant use, but I've found that I only need to charge mine about once a week and I use it daily. I'm just not drawing or doodling on it constantly, so mostly it sits idle next to me and is interrupted every once in a while for a quick note.

Apps: I haven't used any of the mobile apps for it because that defeats its purpose (for me).

Pen response: has been perfect for me so far. This makes me wonder if you had a glitchy or buggy device.

Freezing up: I've seen this happen twice, I think, since November, and in my case the device locked up for several seconds and then rebooted itself, which I thought was pretty cool (a hell of a lot better job than KDE on Debian 9). I didn't lose any work, even though both times I was using it when it happened.

Customer support: haven't had to deal with them, but I'm not surprised at the lack of response. That seems to be a trend over the last several years. Nobody does customer support anymore.

Ereader: Ashamed to admit I haven't tried using this feature on it yet, just haven't got around to it.


Interesting. I owned an onyx boox (android eink tablet) and the battery life goes down when trying to do hacks to increase response time (a2 refresh mode).

This is probably the main reason more companies haven’t bothered with making a eink tablet focused on wiring or more animated interactions so far. I’m waiting for products based on different display tech to eventually arrive, there was a new startup presenting at SID last year ( http://www.clearinkdisplays.com )


I have one, and my biggest issue with the UI was the pen settings not being retained, but they did fix that in the latest update. Apparently they made some changes to improve battery life as well.


Back when the first Kindle came out I felt like this would be the future. I bought an iRex Illiad 2[1], it had really everything you wanted, open source, wacom stylus, and reasonable PPI (180). But it was expensive and it couldn't compete without decent software and its screen was pretty delicate (a lot of busted ones out there). I had hoped that the folks at Plastic Logic would fix that with their QUE Reader[2]but sadly it failed to materialize.

Today I find the drawing experience on the Surface Pro 4 to be the best I've been able to find, rather than make the glass the answer they made the tip the answer (for writing/drawing feel). I rank the iPad Pro (current edition) second, and I'm not sure if I'm able to get past the frustration of the great platform/no software hump that I had on the Illiad to try the reMarkable tablet. About once every 3 months I look at it :-).

What all of this has done for me is give me a tremendous amount of respect for the problem of simulating drawing. Even with a special ASIC in the SP4 it's not quite lag free.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILiad

[2] http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/plastic-logic.html


I also use a surface pro for note taking. The glass isnt the best writing surface, but it’s fine. What really sets it apart for me is the handwriting recognition. My handwriting is not super neat but the Microsft recognition software makes very few mistakes converting it to text. Being able to take notes with a stylus during a meeting and then converting to a searchable text is the beat of both worlds


I used to have Kindle DX, but today there is no bigger sized Kindle. I wonder why. Feels like regression to me.

Remarkable got huge potential, but needs better integration with ebook stores (e.g. Amazon), OCR and Apps. Price is excusable for 1st gen, but probably too high for mass market.


I got the Kobo Aura One which is 7.8 inch. Kobo has nice integration with the Pocket bookmarking app. Does anyone else have the Kobo Aura One and have opinions on it? I'm happy enough with it so far but not sure if it was quite value for money.


The Kobo Aura One is a bit on the expensive side, but the display is excellent (300dpi), so in the end I think it's worth it, especially if you also care about the waterproofing. I also happen to like the "natural light" very much, as I'm often reading in the dark, although it's a bit uneven at the edges. I'm not very happy with the default software ("Nickel"), but fortunately the device is very hack-friendly (no jailbreaking needed), so you can easily install Dropbear (=ssh server) and KoReader, which IMHO is the real killer app for any E-Reader. I would never buy any e-ink device which does not run KoReader.


It looks promising, I hope it will be the begin of a new era of gadgets with less cognitive load...

Does anyone know whether the software is user friendly? E.g. cloud integration, doesn't require to install shitty software, can email documents, etc...

Is it hacker friendly? And perhaps write a small app for it (terminal viewer).

I wish I could try it in Europe (Germany, Spain or France...)


I want the opposite. No cloud dependencies.

Always-connected is a plague on modern computing that has ruined the experience for anyone with slow computers and/or unreliable networks. If you proposed a 3MB web page with 300ms API calls for every action and called that a replacement for an app for anyone with an unreliable/heavily metered connection you would be laughed out of the room. Yet that's the status quo of 'modern stacks'.

It's eye-opening how useless a $1000 smartphone is in the middle of the outback, in the Yukon, etc. We've regressed to dumb terminals with the cost of decentralized computers.


The Sony DPT-RP1 is a large e-ink reading device that works offline, but it's not available in Europe, just Japan and US.

And of course they're getting some poor reviews for not having some bullshit cloud sync.

Edit: I've heard Sony takes some privacy liberties with their EULA, so check that and maybe block their desktop app from connecting to the internet.


As of a few years ago the DPT-RP1 isn't even available in the US anymore, only Japan.


Always-connected is a plague on modern computing that has ruined the experience for anyone with slow computers and/or unreliable networks .. ...and people with tendency to distraction, procrastination or addiction-ish habits.


There a difference though, shinny Web UIs instead of green phosphor character based terminals. :)


> Does anyone know whether the software is user friendly? E.g. cloud integration, doesn't require to install shitty software, can email documents, etc...

You need to install a Qt desktop app for the cloud integration or its equivalent mobile version.

There are however some projects out there already that are working on alternatives for the cloud integration such as this one [0].

[0] https://github.com/juruen/rmapi


I've got one too. I take most of my notes in notebooks but would end up with loads of notes that I would never refer to again and I couldn't be bothered uploading to Evernote.

I got this 100% in the assumption that hand-writing recognition will come eventually. Or maybe some kind of link to Evernote so they can do that bit.

Funny the review mentions the battery life being good - it's really not as good as was expected, and is probably the #1 complaint on social media (man, I feel sorry for their social media team).

Also the slow startup time is a bit irritating.


A good Evernote app would persuade me to buy this device. Otherwise I'd be more inclined to get a cheap Kindle and only use it as an e-reader.


Really glad to see ReMarkable getting some love. E-ink is such a promising technology. I pre-ordered this and overall have been thrilled with it. I've loved my Kindle for years but had always wanted a device big enough to read full-size Magazines, textbooks, and letter-sized PDFs. This device allows me to do that. The hardware is fantastic, most of my complaints are on the software side of things. With how open-source friendly the company is I have confidence the software quirks will be fixed (either officially or unofficially). I didn't originally think I would write on it that much - but the writing experience is fantastic...far better than what you get on a glass screen (iPad, surface pro, etc).

I hope this device continues to remind people that E-ink has a future. If the technology can continue to advance - I think someday we could have e-ink displays to use for software development/writing...which would be an absolute dream.


I hope this is good, or that they are working on making it better. I love e-ink, far prefer it to reading on my phone, but the last 2 devices I've had have had terrible software, eventually been discontinued, and in any case, the screens have broken. I get the impression e-ink is much more fragile than an LCD, but maybe it's just a question of the build. I've dropped my Huawei many times without breaking it, and although I've seen many iPhones with broken glass, the display and touch input generally remains usable.. on my e-ink devices, in one case a bit of water completely destroyed it, in the other case, I don't know what happened but I took it out of my backpack and it was busted, so it must have been a small shock, as I didn't drop the bag or anything. I'd buy another e-ink device in a heartbeat, but it had better be solid because they aren't cheap.


This looks good and feels like the larger screen e ink devices are getting better. Unfortunately I haven't found one which ticks the boxes I want (mostly to use for sheet music):

- Hands free page turning (a bluetooth foot pedal would be idea) - Large size (at least as large as a4 paper). - Split screen page turn (That is do a page turn in two steps: (1) show the top of the next screen and the bottom of the current (2) show all of the next page) - Cross platform file transfer (I use linux and mac and would like to be able to transfer files from both) - No cloud services for document storage (I want to keep everything locally)

This device is a bit smaller than I want. The Sony dpt-rp1 is close, but it doesn't support bluetooth foot pedals or cross platform file transfer (I'm not sure why they're crippling their devices).


Fellow musician here can confirm that two step page turns is very nice and easy to implement feature to have.

The device seems great for adding notes to sheet music.


Sometimes I wonder what happened to the display class which was built into the Notion Ink Adam: Some kind of an LCD, e-ink hybrid. When the backlight was enabled it had colors and when you disabled it, it became an e-ink display of some sort.

While the result was a display which neither had good colors nor a perfect e-ink experience, I found it had some practical advantages, as you never had problems using the display: In bright sun light you had the e-ink display and if you wanted to watch a movie in the dark you had the LCD.

Overall the displays quality was far away from what we have today, but the tablet was released in early 2011 so quite some time ago in terms of display technology. At the time it was trying to compete with the iPad, but had several problems in the process which resulted in many dissatisfied customers.


I've just tried to do some research on the Notion Ink Adam, and found this archived features page [1]. On this features page, it says that it has a trans-reflective display.

I have an Amazfit Pace [2] smartwatch that has a trans-reflective display so I know what these are like. They're actually LCD, but can stay on all of the time because they make use of the ambient light much like older LCDs did, more info here [3]. On my smartwatch, it is actually a colour display, but when it is powered down there are fewer colours and a lower resolution. From what I understand this is to save power in the GPU and enable a longer battery life.

1. https://web.archive.org/web/20130429100155/http://notionink....

2. https://us.amazfit.com/shop/pace?variant=25112

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transflective_liquid-crystal_d...


That display was originally created for the One Laptop Per Child project and then was sold commercially by a spin off company: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_Qi

It got designed into a couple of product, like the Norton Ink, and was also sold as a replacement screen for existing laptops (you might still be able to buy a kit). Sadly, it was not successful enough to continue.


Ah, so it can switch between transreflective and reflective. The Amazfit Pace (see my previous comment) is transreflective but it has a backlight which I guess might make it reflective.


That some people prefer an iPad to eink for reading absolutely blows my mind. I'm still annoyed that the iPad killed practically killed the eink market, such waste.

If this thing is half as good as I hope it is I'm going to buy it, despite the quite hefty price. I still can't come up with a use-case for a tablet but this I'd use constantly.


Is this currently my best option for reading black and white PDFs that are formatted for 8.5"x11" paper?


Probably... I picked up a 13" e-ink reader from the Good Ereader folks[1] a couple years back. I'm not sure they're available anymore, but I'm a huge fan of mine. The only downside is it's a little aggravating to find and sideload an old version of the Kindle app that works on it. But for PDFs, it's awesome, and the note-taking with the stylus is really smooth too.

[1] https://goodereader.com/blog/product/good-e-reader-13-3-e-re...


I'm wondering as well. How does Sony DPT-RP1 compare?


I would be all over a RP1 if I could get it to sync with a NAS over webDAV like its predecessor, but only the Japanese model has that feature.


Some friends have reverse engineered the file sync protocol and are writing a small Haskell lib to interact with the rp1 storage.


I would say iPad is still better, if you use it with a dedicated reader app that syncs with your preferred cloud service.


No Lcd is better than e-ink for reading.

And the iPad is a distraction device, one would need to disable everything in parental controls to get a comparable experience :)


Well it saves you from all the software issues described in the article as there is a mature and powerful ecosystem, so reading, annotating, sharing and syncing pdfs is not an issue.

I read a ton of pdfs on my iPad and am quite happy with the experience. Yes, epaper would be nice, but I don’t think there’s a good solution yet.

Distracted? Try the pomodoro technique.


Pomodoro technique is for time management, not managing all the distractions you likely have on your iPad. From notifications to being able to "alt-tab" into your vices like HN.


While I agree that an e-ink display is much easier on the eyes, you might be able to get a distraction free experience from an iPad by using the Do Not Disturb-Mode, though I'm not sure if that mode will hide notifications while the device is in use.


The disturbances come from all the apps unfortunately. Browser, games, movies, etc.


What do you think about the Sony DPT-RP1?


I have the DPT-RP1, and it's fantastic for reading things in A4 or letter format like articles and papers. The best things about it are the large size and the extremely light weight, which makes it both easy to read and hold.

Highlighting works great as it detects lines of text and can select even over multiple lines (the Remarkable doesn't do that). Writing quick annotations/notes with the pen works fine, but it's not pressure sensitive and the writing looks quite bad compared to real paper.

Long PDFs or books are hit and miss: There is no table of contents view and no support for anything besides PDFs. So you can't put e-books on it without converting to PDF first, and if you need to jump around in a (technical) book the lack of a table of contents or overview is very inconvenient. If you read through from A-Z then it's ok.

All in all it works great in replacing printer paper, but not so much in replacing your paper notepad.

There's no actual official announcement, but the lack of table of contents and a few small other things will probably be fixed by the upcoming firmware update, once it's actually released.

The DPT-RP1 really shines as a paper/article-reading and annotating device, but I wouldn't recommend it outside of that use case.


BOOX Max2? But it's $800.


Onyx sells preorders for a 10' equivalent to the Max 2, called Onyx Boox Note, with a price similar to the reMarkable.


10" - inches, right?


Right ^_^


I have a theory that media addictions happen in large part because screens are more shiny and colorful than reality. If that's true, e-ink only phones and laptops could be a big help against procrastination. (But also probably lead to fewer ad clicks, so beware of incentives for manufacturers!)


I am so happy I pre-ordered one of these. It is by far the best e-ink tablet I have used for handwriting, and it is light enough to take with me everywhere.


Paper is just one of those things where everyone thinks they know what they want to use instead, but who really knows! Maybe what we all want is smart glasses to record and transcribe everything we write onto physical paper / surfaces. I can also see the appeal of a device that facilitates both writing and reading, but the issue is that computers (desktops / laptops) are already so damn good at this.


We have almost reached pen and paper functionality and usability for a mere $600.


Call me when your pen and paper supports layers, copy/paste, drag & rotate and zooming.


Take a photo of it on the phone and it does those.


and how much is your phone worth ?


160 euros new. So maybe half of that after 6 months of use.


We are just a few hundred million from making it fold now!


sarcasm aside this is a good point. there are a handul of features this tablet has above and beyond, say, a cheap notebook and kindle.

it is a fair question to ask whom the difference in features (plus the extra hassle) is worth the difference in price


As a side-side note, and just for the record, in 1993 existed (I had one) the Compaq Concerto, using the Windows for Pen Computing (a spin-off of Windows 3.1):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_Concerto

My model was a 486Sx 33 Mhz with a whopping 8 MB Ram (default was 4 MB)

I could have written more or less the same review at the time, nice (doing what at the time was more like "magic" or "science fiction" than anything else) it would have needed a more powerful processor, need (better) character recognition, sold for a VERY steep price [1], etc.

At least it needed not a stupid proprietary cloud, it was compatible with most if not all existing software, doubled as a "normal" laptop.

[1] The cost was if I recall correctly around 4,000,000 Italian Lire, roughly 2,000 Euros which at the time was like 3 months salary of a worker.

EDIT: Clear slip of the fingers, it was 8 MB and 4 MB, I wrote GB originally


> At least it needed not a stupid proprietary cloud,

As has been pointed out many times here, this does not require a 'stupid proprietary cloud' either.


>As has been pointed out many times here, this does not require a 'stupid proprietary cloud' either.

Let me rephrase "needed not" with "came not with a default", and allow me to doubt that a "common user" (or if you prefer "non-hacker" will be able to change the settings/whatever that this (otherwise nice) E-Ink device ships with.


Of course you meant 8 MB of ram.


>Of course you meant 8 MB of ram.

Oops, yes, of course (corrected the post), thanks.


This sounds like the perfect GTD/TODO list device!

> but what isn’t great is annotating an epub file and then changing its display font or font size. The text will automatically adjust its flow and move around to fit the screen, but your annotations won’t, leaving them misplaced and out of context.

No way, that's such a big oversight.

That said, I'm totally buying one of these when they do the next major version bump and hopefully address the above issue and ideally double CPU speeds, as the lag mentioned when writing non-cursive is equally an unacceptable UX IMO.

I also absolutely love my Kindle's and have for years. I don't know how the author can have a preference for reading books on a bright iPad. It must not be something he does daily as I do.

The other great benefit of the reMarkable is the support for ePub documents. This is the biggest annoyance with using the Kindle, I've had to convert hundreds of ePub->Kindle using Calibre over the years.


I wish that people who reviewed devices with handwriting support would include some pictures showing math writing. Throw in an electronics schematic diagram or two, also.

I want to know how well the thing works as a STEM writing scratchpad. If it can handle math and electronics reasonably well, that should be sufficient for most STEM.


I own one. It's OK for handwriting but not perfect. Easy enough to draw and redraw schematic diagrams (and regular shaped objects) if you're not too worried about them being a bit fuzzy at the edges. Think it's better suited to doodling using the larger pencil setting though.


Same here. I asked about exactly that a few months ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15544996

Math writing needs a much higher resolution than ordinary text. For example if you are writing 2^2^2 the last 2 is really small. You also need a larger surface area so that you can draw diagrams and layout your calculations exactly as you want. I haven't tried ReMarkable myself, but from what I've heard, for math it is not quite there yet.


I've been reasonably happy with my Surface Pro 4 for math, using OneNote. I do occasionally zoom in when writing something with more than one level of superscript or subscript, but it is responsive enough that zooming in or out is not overly annoying.

I'd be happier with a lighter device, though.


I also own this (I got it in the second batch). So far I really like it. I use it to take notes in every meeting, I'm rsync-ing the device with my computer to keep backups.

For me it solved the big problem of: quickly take notes and be able to access them later. I used to keep random pieces of paper here and there and notebooks that I just kept loosing.

Using the laptop is a no-no for me in meetings (we're trying a no-devices in meetings) and this is basically just a notebook.

For taking dev notes, I keep using orgmode. But for meetings and day-to-day notes, the remarkable is by far my favorite gadget. I would only change a few minor glitches with the UI, but so far I'm pleased with it.


Been using mine since the first batch went out and it's a great replacement for paper, for notes.

The one thing that annoys me is the battery life (about 6 hours of more or less continuous use). So during a work day I end up having to keep it permanently connected while at my desk (easier than charging at odd times). I understand why it's not as energy cheap as just an e-ink reader, but what annoys me is that they obviously decided to sacrifice battery size to make it light. The result is that the device is almost _too_ light and thin.

I'd take twice the weight for more battery life.


I have one of these. The writing surface is much better than I expected. The battery life is surprisingly poor though - not as good as an iPad, say. The interface has a few rough edges - you are limited to the size the pages presented to you and cannot scroll down for more real estate.

On balance, I would say that I am broadly content with the device - I use it to replace the write-once notes, noodles and workings-out that I used to slay forests for. I did get it for the Kickstarter price, however. I would not pay a near iPad price for it.


Reading this got me somewhat hyped for the 2nd or maybe 3rd version...


I feel the same. Let someone else pay for the development of this technology and I'll use it once it's stable.


I'm looking towards the Sony DPT-RP1, but it's not cheap and PDF only, so I hesitate.


I own the earlier Sony DPT, and I love writing on it. The only problem with its e-ink display is the really slow page refresh rate.


This summer I'm planning to code outside. Is the 13' Dasung for $1400 really the best/biggest/'cheapest' the market can offer?? https://www.amazon.com/Dasung-Ink-Paperlike-13-3-Monitor/dp/...

@notemaker Boox Max2 Pro looks better, thanks. Pretty small display, but it's a start.


Bargain basement & barely usable: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=olpc


from my experience, "apple pencil" is a piece of crap (too slippary, too heavy, requires charging thru the ipad's port ...wtf?)

Surface Pro / Galaxy Notebooks(wacom-based) with "a layer of finely textured acrylic glass" will be a much better comparison.

> but it comes at the cost of not being able to flip through documents using finger swipes or taps

so no multi-finger zoom gestures


> requires charging thru the ipad's port ...wtf

It comes with an adapter so you can charge it with same Lightning charger you use to charge the iPad itself.

I almost accidentally threw it out with the packaging. They should have incorporated into the cap so you'd always have it with you.

Also it's kind of silly they didn't make that end (where an eraser usually is) function as an eraser.


Also it's kind of silly they didn't make that end (where an eraser usually is) function as an eraser.

That is the one thing that annoys the crap out of me, considering the stylus from my Toshiba Windows Tablet PC (what, thirteen/fourteen years ago?) had this functionality. I’ll ignore that I have to charge it all (Toshiba one didn’t) because of the tech differences, but I can’t grock a reason not to have an “eraser”.


but why not just put a female-end of lightning port? (not on top but somewhere near middle - I agree with your eraser function)

having a cap to protect its manliness is so... stupid


It’s nice being able to charge directly from the iPad in a pinch. Supposedly 15 seconds of charging gives you 30 minutes of use.

I’ve just been using the female-female adapter as a cap, but it doesn’t look as nice. It’s more oval than round and has the exposed port.

I’m kind of surprised no one has made a nicer female-female adapter with matching male cap.


> why not just put a female-end of lightning port

Because when I'm out and about, I don't want to stop somewhere to charge my pencil. This way, you plug it in to the iPad, and in less than a minute you can work with it for any hour or more - no need to hunt for a wall plug or bring along a cable.


> requires charging thru the ipad's port ...wtf?

i don't get the problem with that fact. At first i was also like "This looks stupid and somehow dangerous for the device/port, and why do i need this adapter??". But after using the Pencil i never even though about the port, or the adapter, or anything like that, since i can charge the pencil for like 60 seconds and directly with my ipad. Without searching my charger. And these 60 seconds will be enough for the day.

With these fast charging / long using times i really dont have a problem with this concept.


I own a reMarkable Tablet, unfortunately its software has many teething troubles. For instance, the regular* eraser doesn't erase everything. I.e. on the tablet, it appears as it erases everything, but as soon as you export the page some fragments reappear. Also the percentage battery indicator is unreliable. Or was, they simply removed the indicator in an update. Now, you only have a approximated indicator, which is annoying (I hope the origin of the problem is not hardware related).

If they keep on working on the software, it'll be an awesome device. I love that one has root access via SSH and the writing and reading experience is splendid. However, I have to add this is my first "e-reader", so for me missing features like a dictionary is no biggie. Someone who has owned a kindle might find the reading mode rather limited and thus unsatisfactory.

* The one that emulates a pencil eraser


If you need to digitize hand-written notes, check out the write-only(ish) Boogie Board Sync.

I haven't Bluetooth'd yet, but plug it in and copy from its drive of single-page PDFs (with InkML?).

https://amzn.com/B00E8CIGCA $99.47


I've tried the Boogie Board Sync in the past and it really is write-only. The price is nice and they're honest about its features. Still, I really missed not being able to page through earlier notes.

Also, the feel of writing on it is okay but not good or great.

Had it been able to show earlier notes I would have recommended it to everyone looking for a digital notebook.



My biggest pet peeve with the device is the software. What runs on the tablet is fine but the Android and Windows app have a pretty unattractive UI and there's a lot of things that are broken. I did some digging into the Android app and it looks like both that and the Windows app (and presumably Mac) are based on the same Qt interface.

I'm hoping they'll work on native apps at some point in the future. A web app would be particularly nice too. I wrote a very brief review myself a few months ago[0].

[0] https://michael.mior.ca/blog/remarkable-review/


If you're looking for a sub-$100 object with which to capture notes and pull them up later, might I suggest looking at the Boogie Board sync? It's not quite pencil-on-paper, but it's close enough that it doesn't bother me at all.

It can't pull up notes on itself. The resolution is not as fine as a iPencil or ReMarkable. It will only ever display what you've written yourself. The wireless sync only works with its own software (which is, yes, a wtf), so you have to connect with a wire to pull down the files you make.

But you can take notes and make drawings, save them, and download them as PDFs later.


I don't even want a stylus, I just want an A4 eink device that I can read A4 formatted PDFs on (papers / textbooks).

This is pretty much the only thing I actually use my iPad for right now.


This was the only reason I bought an Aura HD, turns out it was nowhere nearly high enough res. I see this has a much larger screen but a corresponding drop in DPI.

Anyone tried this with a typical 11pt font 2 column paper?


Most scientific research is still published as PDFs with small text at A4 size (approx 13inch diag). Anyone has experience reading such material on ReMarkable ~10inch screen?


If you crop the margins on US based journals, you can read a full page. The type is slightly smaller than what it would be if printed on paper, but is more than legible with good eyes or those who wear glasses (me). A4 is close to letter sized so results should be similar.

Note, you can find free software that will batch crop documents. Yes, its an inconvenience but a small one to no longer need to zoom/pan and/or use LCD based devices.


I have one and use it daily for notetaking at work, written > 200 pages with this kind of content:

> Feb 7: Sync meeting with Bob and Carol > > [ ] Give Bob access to repo

Yes software / power management issues, and yes slow update cycle.

But YES it's a > lightweight < paper replacement! and it syncs!

VERY useful for sketching out diagrams, and having other people sketch out their diagrams. Many people communicate better when they're writing. Whiteboards are not always available.


I would buy this immediately if the screen were bigger. At least legal sized. (Am a musician, and our normal paper sizes in Orchestra are 9x12 or 10x12 inches.)


I've been bothered by the piles of partition books stacked on top of my piano since I was a child.

Same as you, I would want a large e ink tablet. Doesn't have to be responsive, just has to read pdfs, US legal size or A4.


I agree that shrinking sheet music is a bit painful. But it does have in built page cropping, which I use a lot to fit A4 pages onto it.


Note that the stylus tips need to be replaced relatively frequently, but there are reports that less-paper-like tips from other manufacturers do work and last longer: http://remarkablewiki.com/index.php?title=List_of_compatible...


So I was pretty much set to buy one, thinking I'd replace my Kindle, too... I like the sound of it, but it sounds like they do not support the reading of any ePub documents with DRM, which means store purchases and library checkouts are out of the question.

I'm not a huge lover of DRM, but that's a bit dissapointing.


Hmm, I had been thinking about something very similar to this recently. I would love to have a e-ink replacement for those big desk calendars, where it's only purpose/function would be the calendar, note taking and reading documents and maybe email. This seems to be pretty close if not perfect for that.


I can literally see that stylus lag just by looking at the GIF published in the article. The claim "An E Ink tablet that's more fun to write on than paper." can't be true if you are an avid note-taker or are somewhat fond of calligraphy. And $600 price tag is steep.


What's the difference between this and boogie board? https://www.amazon.com/Boogie-Board-eWriter-Gray-J31020001/d...

$600 seems to much to me.


That's not an eInk display...so...it's not really the same product.


It has been discussed here previously. I'm waiting for a 2nd generation device with backlight.


I was considering this but opted for a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. The stylus is nice, and you can take quick notes directly on the lock screen. I'm writing this post with it and it's much nicer than a virtual keyboard.


Has anyone held it in their hands? How does the screen compare to a 300dpi pearl eink like aura one or Oasis? I love my Kobo aura one, but I think one of the reasons it is so great is the 300dpi screen.


I would love a large e-Ink screen that I can use with a raspberry to create a low power unobtrusive dashboard somewhere in my living room. But all I can find are < 5 inch screens.


> There’s no doubt a faster processor would vastly improve this tablet.

1 GHz is more than fast enough for a snappy bootup and responsive input. The devs just need to improve the firmware.


The #1 reason I dislike pen and paper is that it's impossible to grep. Does this device solve this problem? Or is it simply moving pen and paper into the digital age?


I had a CrossPad twenty years ago. And it feels like this device has improved extremely little from it. The CrossPad was recording what you wrote in a notepad placed on top of it, it had a little radio in the pen, and later you could download what you did, if I remember, in a vector format so it was better than a scanner. The ReMarkable on the other hand, records what you are writing on a screen and later you can download what you did because it seems the device is not capable of doing a thing with it.

In twenty years, we got... nowhere. Now you can wipe the writing surface with a button press instead of turning a page. Twenty. years.


I was hoping the ReMarkable would be cheaper than the CrossPad, but this (https://web.archive.org/web/19991201033034/http://cfonews.co...) indicates it was $399 at launch which equates to $572 in today's money (http://stats.areppim.com/calc/calc_usdlrxdeflator.php) which is still cheaper than the ReMarkable's $600 launch price.


Just a small note: that's the CrossPad XP but the original was also $399. https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/2731.wss


Well, at least its not recording your every stroke, to sell that as "mind-reading" info to advertisers.

How, should we call it when software regresses. Its not bloat- its worser.


Updegrade?


Will call it that from now on.. this is awesome


This is nice, but..the iPad Pro starts at $636, pencil is $99 extra, not much more than this $600 device.


This is a completely different type of device. Do you question people spending $20k on a car when they can buy a pickup truck for the same price?


e-ink is remarkably endurable. I've had my Sony PRS-505 nearly ten years and it's still great.


I've tried one and was quite impressed, even though it's not a tool that I personally need.


What author refers to as "stylus lag" is actually a limitation of the E-ink display.


No, there are clear differences in lag between the printing and doodling examples in the video - much more with printing than the big doodle/scribble below it.


Is there any hdmi e-ink screen? Preferably with the possibility to power from USB :)



thanks, looks good. But the price tag... hehe


Is there a timeline on how fast e-ink got since its inception?


The authors prior opinions about e-ink displays are trash.


Missed opportunity for Evernote!


> the reMarkable tablet definitely has the potential to make paper notebooks obsolete.

Nope. Maybe the later generations of the device and competitors entering the market forcing a lower price will, though. I’d pay 300 tops for it.


Perhaps that’s why the article used the word “potential”? As in: not now but maybe in the future... like, later generations perhaps?


No, the quote specifically says "the reMarkable tablet", meaning the one under review right now. jonnybgood notes that this particular version doesn't have the potential to replace paper because it is too expensive, and I happen to agree.


Or it can be a competitor that does it better. As it stands now I don’t see remarkable making notebooks obsolete. It’s a pretty bold statement.

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