* The writing experience is top notch. It feels like pen and paper. I recently had the chance to try Onyx Boox Max 2 (very briefly), and it's nowhere close to the RM as far as the tactile feeling goes. This is the main selling point of the RM, and it's very good.
* It's an open-source Linux-based device but not entirely. The actual UI application isn't open source. But as others have said here, it has pretty good hacking potential, and it's definitely more open than most commercial devices. The company's support of open-source was another reason for me to buy it.
* The on-tablet software started out really bad but has improved. The first version had a bug that dramatically reduced battery life. It took a few more updates to get essential features like inserting a blank page in the middle of a notebook.
* The off-tablet software is bad. There's a file manager webapp with remarkably poor UX, the cloud sync API isn't particularly convenient for automation, and so on.
* As a reader, it's mediocre at best. PDFs formatted for large screens look good, but rendering is slow, navigation is poor, etc. I would absolutely not replace my Kindle with the RM.
To summarize, I think the RM is a very good device if you treat it as a digital paper replacement. That's what it is for me, and I'm happy. But if you want a good e-book reader, or any advanced software at all, this isn't the right device.
Can you tell us a bit more about this? Took a look at their website and searched around a bit, but don't find anything about it. What makes ReMarkable more open than most other commercial devices? Seems any device running Android and alike would be more open to hacking.
Also can't find anything about the company's support of open source.
Their CTO, Martin Sandsmark, is a long-time KDE developer.
Unfortunately, xochitl (the device's main UI) isn't open. It's a major miss in their open approach, and frankly I don't get why they would keep it closed - the RM's competitive advantage is in the hardware design, the xochitl software is merely okay and could only benefit from user patches.
The name "Xóchitl" is pronounced with the "x" sounding like "s" and the "t" silent by Spanish-speaking Mexicans. I'm pretty sure that's not how it is pronounced in Náhuatl; there I think the "x" sounds more like English's "sh", and the "t" is not silent.
Is the password different for every device? Is the ssh daemon updated regularly? Seems like a massive security vulnerability otherwise.
The SSH daemon is Dropbear, and it doesn't seem to be updated though:
> reMarkable: ~/ dropbear -V
> Dropbear v2016.72
We shipped the first software with an old dropbear, though it had backported patches for the known CVEs: http://cgit.openembedded.org/openembedded-core/tree/meta/rec...
> It's sunday, we'll try to get it up during next week.
> In the meantime a normal cross-compiling ARM toolchain should work (e. g. the one packaged in Ubuntu).
Edit: now a added "Sorry, forgot to update this..." so seems someone updated the link right now
It is incredibly easy to come up with must-have and would-be-nice features for this device. The hardware is a dream and there is clearly a huge potential. I saw they are hiring software developers, hopefully that will speed up development.
I would say it's very far from polished, but it's finally okay now. It took a long time to get there though. I don't even want any particular features for the device, it should be just like a paper notebook, with minimalistic software. It was only in this spring's update, a few months ago, that they finally shipped features to manage notebook pages, such as moving a page or inserting a blank page. It's one of the very basic features the device should have, but I had owned the RM for over a year before finally getting that.
I understand they're a small company with a small software team, but I think it's still important to point out the software weaknesses while saying that the hardware is indeed amazing.
I remember reading that remarkable spent quite a bit of work on getting the latency of the pen input very low (which I guess is important for the feel).
However, for the tactile feel I would guess that the screen coating and the pen nib material are even more important (e.g. felt nibs or matte screen protectors)?
Since it seems like their proprietary software stack is crap, but the hardware is good, then getting decent software on it may be the better route. :)
It's too expensive to use as just a notepad, but it's not good enough to use for anything else.
Additionally: the writing experience on the ipad pro is at least as good, and with just a bit less lag.
It's essentially an electronic notebook with zero distractions, which IMO is the whole point. The iPad pro has a browser, Facebook, Twitter, email, messenger, hacker news, Instagram, and a million other ways to get distracted. Even if I don't use them, you still get the temptation to use those, and it's pretty distracting.
When I take the reMarkable to write on it, my brain seems to switch gears to thinking mode. It's similar to the way that having a home office puts you in working mode when you enter it, even though you could technically work from the couch with your laptop.
The software could definitely be improved, especially the cloud stuff (can't even revoke anything connected to the rM cloud from the web UI), but as a thinking device it works great for me.
You could get quite a few notebooks and pens for the price of the device, but they don't have an undo button. Whether you prefer the finality of ink on paper (with colors!) or the ability to erase and redo strokes is up to you. I carry both in my bag, ymmv.
I’d really really like a means to maintain a direct-sync-only folder, or some sort of robust encryption story, but to date, the team has said that corporate compliance use cases aren’t a priority for them. I see that some of the team is participating here; perhaps we can all convince them to prioritize some sort of solution?
Their FAQ also mentions that you can use the device without their cloud service . I believe the handwriting recognition (which isn't really that useful IMO) requires to be online.
It might also be possible to copy files with scp/ssh.
That would be really awesome. The development team is pretty small, and I'm pretty sure it's low on their list of priorities, but if they had encryption at rest and LDAP/Okta authentication, I'd definitely get another one for work.
Overwritten with random data and unlinked, or just unlinked? I would assume the latter...?
Also, why do you have to "turn the screen off" when I'm not using it. Just let the current note be displayed.
Have you seen Bubblin (https://bubblin.io) on the iPad? (Disc. I am one of the developers behind it.)
Sadly, books are already DRM'ed either by being on dead-tree or by being behind proprietary tech like that of Kindle.
Both are bad for books. Web is a ray of hope, IMO.
And no, not all outlets are DRM'ed. I'll say it again: how you're doing books brings no advantages and, some additional disadvantages. No thanks.
You mean like video cassettes? No. That's not how web works—and there's no need for longform to hang-on to workflows of the past.
I cannot believe that you just defended Sony as someone for 'not building a walled garden' in your response above. Their eReader died for exactly for same reasons you're using against the web. Either you have no idea about what you're talking here or don't understand how web works generally.
No, I didn't say anything about video cassettes. You did. Video cassettes died because of technology improvements. Last I checked the traditional paperback still exists and sells well.
I did defend Sony. For building a product that I still use and can load up with books and PDFs from today. You should also be aware Sony still sells the same line they did when they started in the space. Their readers are designed for a slightly different market now, but they still sell - and at a premium. Being someone in the "disrupt the ebook market" I would have thought you'd be in the know for your competition.
Regardless I know what I want. And that's part of your problem in your response:
> Either you have no idea about what you're talking here or don't understand how web works generally.
With that brazen arrogance your company will likely struggle. I've been in the technology industry for over 20 years and have seen plenty of your types come and go. Best of luck!
As to my project, it’s built on 100% democratic open source tech. Pretty lame that I have to tell you this despite having linked to the website earlier.
Good luck to you too, adios!
What does that even mean - "100% democratic open source tech"? Does that mean you built your business on other people and organization's contributions to OSS and that's somehow democratic? Because the open source bits you have out there (Bookiza) seem to be generally geared towards tooling for your for-profit publishing company (Bubblin). To me it seems kind of like what Sony does, for lack of a better analogy.
1. Which open source project do you think isn’t geared (willingly or unwillingly) towards the benefit of a for-profit company?
2. Do you think being registered as a non-profit makes an entity benign?
These questions are (have been) to me as much as they are to you—and it’s also time to sleep. GN.
But you've already paid for it? It's more expensive as a dust holder, right? So why not use it as a notepad?
* Here is a [previous occurrence on HN](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16321531).
* Here is a ["curated list of (code) projects related to the reMarkable tablet"](https://github.com/reHackable/awesome-reMarkable).
* Here is a [framework](https://github.com/canselcik/libremarkable) for "developing applications with native refresh support for Remarkable Tablet " (with a growing Rust APi if you fancy that).
Some notes :
* As you will see by exploring some the links, the tablet is Linux-based so it is definitely possible to piggy-back on some API (see https://github.com/reHackable/awesome-reMarkable#apis for examples)
* A bunch of alternative synchronization tools have already been implemented (see https://github.com/reHackable/awesome-reMarkable#cloud-tools)
* The company seems really attached to software updates to improve the device (see https://blog.remarkable.com/).
* From all above, I think that the device could reach a critical mass of adoption and blossom in uses and third-party development but only if enough people engage with the device. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Main community resources are on Reddit and Discord:
You can use the tablet without the proprietary cloud platform by using the built-in web interface to transfer data.
It's indispensable for me because it can carry so much of my written life around in one little package. In one day, I might have a couple of work meetings (free-form scrawl a few notes, maybe diagram something), try to work out some coding problem, then go to a SAR training in the evening and as long as I've got the tablet with me I've also got all my notes and procedures for that too.
To replace the ReMarkable with good old paper, I'd have to put another hundred-plus books back on my shelf, carry another half-dozen or so textbooks in my car, and at least three thick binders and assorted other notepads and nonsense.
I recently went to Glacier National Park for a few days, and before leaving I compiled a bunch of possible destinations, visitor info, maps and so on into a PDF and loaded that into my ReMarkable. Instant customized visitor guide.
I also created a [Go app](https://github.com/juruen/rmapi) to interact with the cloud API.
I mainly use the tablet as a "virtual printer". Using the app I just mentioned above, I print directly to the device from my Mac. Yeah, this just saves me a couple of clicks and one drag and drop :)
Here's a [tutorial](https://github.com/juruen/rmapi/blob/master/docs/tutorial-pr...) on how to set it up and an actual [demo](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOGTYI15VxY&feature=youtu.be).
When I was studying, it was also great to use it to solve math problems on it when I was traveling without having to carry too much paper with me.
[ed: I suppose there's a case to be made for "cloud" Printing too, though]
The writing experience of the DPT-RP1 is not great, but I have been using it for almost a year now and would never go back. The amount of paper that I have laying around at work now is minimal. I have created a virtual printer to just sent whatever file I am reading to the DPT-RP1.
Although there is no official support for Linux there is a very good python API developed by some guy, which works perfectly. Color e-ink would be nice to have for the next version, but I'm ok if only the stylus gets an upgrade.
My favorite e-ink e-reader(I own several from 5inches to 13inches) by far is the original Sony DPT-S1.
It is so light for 13 inches (about 350g) and the software experience for PDFs is fantastic.
Sure it would rock to have ePub support, but Calibre can take care of that.
Sony made some questionable design choices with DPT-RP1 foregoing regular USB tethering for one and disabling of the anemic web browser which was no big loss but still was an option for emergencies.
- I write research papers. I suffer from writer's block when using a computer for a prolonged period of time. I thought that writing by hand would be different enough so that when I get a block on the computer, I could write by hand. This was true. And with the OCR engine built-in, I can easily convert my notes to a format ready to be pasted to Overleaf.
- SVG support lets me draw illustrations for my academic papers. This turned out not to work as well as I imagined, but still good enough to get the point across and recreate the SVGs by hand on a separate software.
I still read books on a Kindle, and I still read papers on the computer. This has more to do with how much easier it is to take and export notes on the devices.
The reMarkable is expensive, but if your job is writing or illustrating, I think it makes sense to invest in your capability to do it more.
I bought one for my girlfriend and she's super happy with it, but having a mosh console on there would allow her to ditch her macbook.
Being able to code on it would also cause me to get one and ditch my iPad Pro.
Not officially supported or endorsed in any way, shape or form, and I don't even know if it even still builds, but I did a quick proof of concept porting fingerterm; https://iskrembilen.com/fingerterm+vim.jpg
I don't think it's very usable in practice, though, but it was cool for about five minutes to muck about in a terminal emulator on an e ink display.
And you guys are based in Norway too!
A few questions if you don’t mind.
How many people are in your company?
What are the current and future plans of the company in terms of product? Keep improving the software for the current hardware? Make new models with different hardware?
Where in Norway are you located?
Are you looking to increase the number of people working in your company? Planning to hire more software developers?
And in terms of the open source parts of it, I don’t have this product, nor have I really heard about it before, so I haven’t had a chance to try it but, is everything that the community would need available in order to create a fully open source alternative “firmware” (or really, a “distro” might be a better name for it since it’s running a Linux kernel and all) that can run on your hardware?
> How many people are in your company?
> Where in Norway are you located?
Oslo¹ (or you can search for reMarkable on google maps).
> Are you looking to increase the number of people working in your company? Planning to hire more software developers?
Yes, yes and yes. :-)
> [...] is everything that the community would need available in order to create a fully open source alternative “firmware” (or really, a “distro” might be a better name for it since it’s running a Linux kernel and all) that can run on your hardware?
It's just a completely standard Linux system, and as required we publish the source code for u-boot and Linux and whatnot, so yes.
I originally wanted to just run plain Debian on it (or ALARM), but it was easier to just start with a minimal system and put on as little as possible, especially when you're a single person trying to keep track of everything.
Now we've expanded the team a bit, and ideally we could upstream at least the kernel patches so we don't have to forward-port everything ourselves, but it's not a high priority unfortunately.
And we're still a relatively small team, it's a bit hard to find a lot of good kernel developers who want to switch jobs in Norway.
* They run an ancient version of android (Android 6 or Android 5, I don't remember)
* This ancient version of android runs a kernel that is susceptible to multiple vulnerabilities (like DirtyCOW), and the developers have disabled selinux
* Kernel sources are not released, in violation of the GPL and the last time I checked, it seemed like there was evidence of ripped off applications/IP theft in bundled but hidden applications.
* The bootloader is locked
* Access to the wacom digitizer is only possible through a proprietary blob, which has to be incorporated into an application that wishes to use it. Therefore, the stylus support has a tremendous lag for any application that is not an onyx-made application.
* Handwriting recognition requires connection to their cloud services
Their forums are down right now, but people have been begging them to at least comply with the GPL and release kernel sources for years now [1,2]. The last time I checked, there were 3 separate threads about this on their front page.
It's a really tragic situation for such nice hardware. I can't think of any reasons why the company wouldn't want to open the source unless they were hiding something or were afraid of getting ripped off by other OEMs. The only thing that the onyx devices had over the ReMarkable is storage, but seeing as how the RM can be modded to accept an SD card and has first-class linux support, it's the better choice IMO.
I know that they actually submitted requests to incorporate changes into third party apps like evernote to support better rendering for their devices, which was denied. I think this is a limitation of android which they work around with their "SDK", but I could be wrong.
The GPL thing, judging from the forum discussion to me seems like whoever is responding is a middle man. And the Leadership quite literally doesn't understand it. IP theft doesn't really matter for China in the way it does for the US anyway. And it doesn't really matter for the kernel anyway. Actually it doesn't matter in most places unless you're big enough to have big license issues and even then even when strings match historically it was hard to make a case in court. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think they're hiding it because of IP theft but rather because they don't understand the GPL or the value of open source. The flip side is that you can easily root the device because of the exploits.
I've used the Max 2 both with termux and vim to ssh outdoor and as a monitor for a one mix 2s laptop I had at the time. 2GB Ram(the original max 2) wasn't really enough for my emacs setup so it would crash emacs when I was using org mode. I think the Max 3 is probably nice, but at the same time it's not really that big an upgrade that I would pay for it.
Don't know what the technical details are, but I have an Onyx device and this is not true. I use other apps with a stylus and there is no lag. If there is some technical lag, perceptually it is not there.
Regarding the old version of the kernel, I would obviously not use such a device as an internet-facing server, but for reading ebooks and sketching and syncing files? What attack surface are we afraid of here?
On the other hand reMarkable seems to have open boot/kernel - but proprietary gui. Maybe it's possible to port a android to it?
Really feels odd to invest in a computing device without a good developer experience - at least for the onyx i could just write an android app to scratch an itch.. :-/
Also it's a bit too heavy to hold one-handed while reading on a couch.
(Before someone does the inevitable HN calculation about why the materials used to make the Remarkable are far worse for the planet than all the trees killed to print grants - yes, you're probably right. YMMV.)
I had tried the various ipad and equivalents, and the RM's big advantage is that it feels like reading/writing on paper, mostly - something about the matte screen and stylus, though the stylus is sort of craptastic.
As others note, the software is clunky with annotations moving around on the page, and there's a bit of lag. But, I have yet to find anything better. I do wish there were an easy way to collect all the annotations in one place, but my handwriting as an MD is appallingly bad so that may be an impossible task.
I have a few artist friends who said the same thing about the iPad and Apple Pencil, but then they started buying paper-like non-glossy protective sheets and said it improved the experience immeasurably. I don't know how appropriate that would be for you, but they're apparently relatively cheap, so maybe you could give that a shot if you still have an iPad sitting around?
I found that the two use cases I wanted most...:
* quick note taking
* syncing and reading long books
didn't work out that well.
As the author says, APIs for syncing are no fun. I also found that the tablet didn't keep up with my writing quickly enough at all.
It also didn't really allow for "let me just jot this down and then check it out later on my PC". Like, all I wanted was a "notes-<timestamp>.png" automatically in a folder on my PC to look at later, and that seemed completely impossible.
Unfortunately, retailers in Switzerland don't stock it, otherwise I would like to check out the improvements to confirm that my experience was just blemished by being an early adopter.
Seems like a rather easy (I think) way of doing it.
I haven't found a good tablet analog for a sense of "place" within a document and fast indexing. With a book, I can flip through the pages by bending the pages and sliding my thumb over the edges (like a deck of cards). On a laptop, ctrl+F is approximately the same speed as thumbing through physical pages (sometimes better, sometimes worse, depending on how unique the search term is). My iPad is intentionally set up for handwriting,  but I still find searching through documents on a tablet pretty tedious.
Ok, but what about zooming and panning, or flipping pages?
It wrote well, but the software supporting it is terrible. The only way to get your scribbles off the thing is by having it do some attempt at OCR and then it EMAILS you the text.
I wrote a small script that downloads the articles from news websites and puts them on the device using 'wkhtmltopdf -a5' and it has become my morning newspaper.
The software isn't perfect but it works well enough (and getting better all the time) and the fact that you can write your own makes it perfect for me.
Is there shell access on the device? If so, what packages / distribution does it run / use?
I'm pretty sure it's a Yocto based Linux image based on the toolchain they distribute.
What's the WiFi transfer mechanism? Push or pull?
Tablets themselves are used a subset of population, compared to the phones. On top of that for people wanting to read ebooks only amazon already sells a reader for far less than this one. The iPad for example offers all these features on top of the 100s more. What is special about this and Where is the market for this?
There's a balance between general-purpose devices (Android, iPad), and something that's really geared at managing and creating content. Existing tablets and smartphones are still very much consumption devices, to an extent that's massively off-putting.
(I've used Android devices for a decade, have hated them the entire time, find Apple generally less appealing, though I'm somewhat tempted presently.)
A good, focus-preserving, e-ink, long-battery-life, capable, well-supported device might well find a niche.
TL;DR: Better size for reading paper-oriented PDFs than reMarkable. Nice hardware. PDF software works well. The app for getting PDFs onto the device and its telemetry terms are bad (or at least were when I bought the device). Does nothing other than PDFs. Annotations are saved in the PDF itsel and move with the PDF to a PC.
I have terrible legibility. Using mouse based draw apps feel so tedious for rough iterative sketches that it's hard to ever justify.
The app would ideally be like the Newton in the way it autocompletes the shapes. The tablet would likely be something like this one.
I have to switch from these kind of paper device as it is hard to manage info across them. Pad like devices are paper to me and kindle. It is more like in Star Trek you see captain use a few pad devices as if there were separate books/doc. It would be better if the two New iPad Air can manage the files in their app. As it can’t, I bought new old stock of macbook 12”. It is all portable and all work together.
as background I own kindle, boss the pad size and the huge one (max 2). Once the ipad has the paper like screen protector i did the switch. The newly bought 15” i9! Is not portable. Hence the macbook 12
* PDF reader
* epub reader
* well-maintained paged-media mode Web browser (well-maintained meaning timely security patches for the browser and the base system)
* no app, just standard MTP over USB and whatever the Bluetooth file transfer protocol is called
* reasonable privacy stance (not collecting what documents are read)
When looking for the above, which doesn't exist, I settled on Sony Digital Paper (DPT-RP1) instead of ReMarkable. (My recollection is that the Sony device had a larger display and didn't assume a cloud component, which could shut down.)
Sony has the hardware side solved albeit in U.S. Letter size instead of A4. However, of the other points, it only does PDF.
Sadly, despite being based on Android 5, which meant they could have gotten the standard file transfers for free, Sony disabled that stuff and forces the use of their Windows and Mac app to load the PDFs onto the device. At least back when I bought the device (which was before the GDPR came into effect), the terms of service for the app were unreasonable: The terms claimed the content of the PC running the app as fair game for telemetry. Nope, nope. I've never connected the device to the network and I run the app in a manner that blocks it from accessing the network. One shouldn't have to take steps like this. The app and the terms for the app make even less sense considering that the marketing target of the device is doctors and lawyers, who even in the U.S. have specific document confidentiality obligations.
Sadly, I have no idea what kind of business model would enable a well-maintained paged-media mode Web browser. Taking an existing Web engine and making its print-oriented paged-media capabilities work well in the interactive case would be a major project in itself. And top of that, actually keeping up with security patches would be hard work. (I have used a continuous-media Web browser on eInk, and it's not a good experience.)
Anyway, I wouldn't go back to not having a Digital Paper device, but I feel dirty about Sony having gotten my money despite me having to deal with their PC-side app and its terms.
The Web browser is a danger (distraction) but also useful utility.
Someone's web clippings / bookmarks / downloads manager (Pinboard, Pocket, etc.) or equivalent or export manager would be another hugely useful addition.
The option to source content from third-party sites, including Gutenberg, Wikisource, Sci-Hub, and LibGen.
Adding email and messaging is another distraction risk, but with appropriate disturbance controls, possibly within spec.
And, because I find shells hugely useful, some sort of extensive Linux shell (like Termux for Android, or better). A minority want, but a powerful one.
Absolutely love the Pocket integration and KOReader, though. Also, the lights.
The Apple iPad Air runs $500, the base-model iPad is slightly less expensive (and a 10" screen). Larger-format Android devices tend to run around $400-$600.
Given my experience with Android and limitations of iPad options, I'd be willing to pay considerably more for a suitable device, though the ReMarkable may not yet be that.
I ended up selling the Remarkable since I stopped using it after University.
For most textbooks a 13 inch e-reader is much better.
I have no use for writing in a tablet. Can anyone recommend a big e-reader suitable for textbooks? I'd like a 13" Kindle or something...
I've been using a 9" Android tablet, which has a pretty good form factor, but is abysmal in virtually all other regards. Extensive notes:
Having an integrable folio-style keyboard is a hard requirement, and Apple seem to be filling this niche, though their manufacturer (Logitech) is the same company I've had an horrible experience with myself.
at 9", almost all PDF-format texts are readable, though good bookreading software is hard to come by. I've mostly settled on PocketBook, which is reasonably inobtrusive for reading, but which makes large-scale document management (10k+ items) impossible. The metadata fields, as an example, lack an author field, and updating content metadata is cumbersome to the point of being all but impossible.
I've been hunting for alternatives, but to date, no joy. Apple's devices look superior based on hardware, though I have concerns for the actual usage experience.
That is to say, you'll be happy if you don't pay any attention to the paper or writing implements you use normally. If you _do_ it's nowhere close but much better than writing / drawing on glass.
I've seen a few reviews actually refer to the screen as "e-ink"—but that must be a mistake, or the official website wouldn't use the more nebulous term "e-paper"... right? If it is e-ink, why is the refresh rate for drawing so good?
The refresh rate is good because they have come up with a clever method of only refreshing regions of the screen at once. Eg if you draw a line, it will only refresh the axis-aligned rectangle enclosing that line.
I didn't pull the trigger after the early adopter review having seen so many of these devices rushed to market with half-baked file i/o or UI issues with crippled hardware/software slowing that "pen/pencil and paper" experience down. This marketing desire generation is usually coupled with amazing incredible first impression reviews https://youtu.be/RGsWLeHZT8Y that only scratches the surface of total ownership experience.
So far the iPad with Pencil has come closest but who wants to lug that heavy thing around?! From my experience, customers really have to buy the company/platform not the device in hopes that they have staying power. Remember Livescribe? https://www.youtube.com/user/nevermissaword/featured Well they're baaack ... again.
I can only hope the best for ReMarkable and that they sustain the ecosystem to continue on with "your" notes. +1 for the open source we direly need it and that may be enough to support them and buy their 3rd gen model.
Currently I'm really enjoying analog fountain pens and paper, although more expensive! (14K nibs with custom grinds) they're pros on interface pleasure, offset power consumption, privacy and well ingrained UI. Search is waay slower but it helps brain power.
My later tech bet is on paper journal digitalization like Google Books with data capsules: https://wiki.htrc.illinois.edu/display/COM/HTRC+Data+Capsule
and doesn't everyone use MyScript API for handrec anyways? https://developer.myscript.com/ or more openly I'm hoping on improvements to the tessaract pipeline: https://github.com/tesseract-ocr/tesseract/wiki/ImproveQuali...
As for current digital solutions, sadly it's going to the big gorillas via market share like MS with Onenote, or Google with chromebook tablet https://chromeunboxed.com/chrome-os-78-tablet-mode-ui-overvi... (termux Evil Org-mode with your fav Android pdf reader for papers!?) and Apple iPad pencil. Does it have to be this way? It would be ReMarkable if they can pull this off!
Note that I'm not saying its better in general than an iPad Pro, because overall its not. The iPad does way more, but that's besides the point because this is a device with a very specific purpose.
The most obvious advantage is the paperlike screen that reduces eye strain. Not everyone wants an e-ink screen, but for those to whom it is important, the iPad's screen isn't an acceptable alternative.
The next advantage is battery life. It isn't as good as a kindle, but its better than an iPad Pro by a long shot.
The other advantage is weight.