Exploring the features of the reMarkable 2: A comprehensive user experience

Your ultimate companion for note-taking and document management

reMarkable 2

Norwegian tech brand reMarkable recently entered India with its reMarkable 2 paper tablet. The tablet was globally launched quite a while back but the company says it got a stronger response from potential buyers in India compared to what they had previously anticipated, took them a while but it’s now here. Available for Rs. Rs. 43,999 for the base model, this tablet is not meant to be the one-stop machine for all your needs. It is meant to do very few tasks on it, help you disconnect from always-on digital life while also doing your work on it – whatever few things it does.

The reMarkable 2 tablet is very much minimalistic in looks and feel just like its whole purpose seems to be. This paper tablet is thin (measuring 4.7mm) and does not feel too heavy (slightly under 405 grams) when holding with one hand while sitting. It carries an aluminium frame and does feel well crafted and something somewhat premium to handle. The top left corner locates the Power/lock key; while the bottom houses the USB type C port in the middle. The left side has pogo pins where you attach the Marker Plus pen and also folio case, in case you plan to buy these. For the folio plus the tablet (and the pen), you would have to shell out Rs. 53,999.

The 10.3-inch e-ink (1872x1404 resolution) display does its job – it’s easier on the eye to read long documents on, has decent refresh rates for an e-ink display and doesn’t struggle with text-based documents in any way. In order to go to the next page, you simply swipe right from extreme left, and do totally opposite to go to the previous page. To come out of your currently opened document, you can either swipe down from the top or press the x button on top right. You can press the Power key once to turn the display off or long-press it to switch the tablet off. While the display is turned off (sleep mode), the display reads ‘’reMarkable is sleeping’’, and ‘’reMarkable is powered off’ when it’s switched off.’ The tablet takes about 15 seconds to turn back on completely.

With a 1.2Ghz dual core ARM processor and running on a custom Linux-based operating system called Codex (currently on version, unsurprisingly, it’s far from a feature rich and densely connected OS. For starters, you can make notes on the tablet, read PDFs, share notes from the tablet directly over Email and also edit PDFs. The reMarkable website allows you to upload and sync documents from other devices to the reMarkable 2 and it works pretty smoothly. Though only file type PDF, PNG, JPG and EPUB are supported here.

There are no menus, no app drawers and no app icons here – you’re presented with a nice slate where you can choose to add a notebook, make a new folder or make a quick sheet from a set of templates. At all times on the screen, you’re also shown the WiFi icon and battery status at the bottom, and search icon at the top right.

Out of the box, the tablet had a little over 6GB of available internal storage. Users are given a year's worth of Connect subscription. What Connect gives you is unlimited document syncing, without it, you can sync documents where it's kept for as long as 50 days before getting removed from your synced data. There’s an app available for Android, iOS, plus you can simply login via a Web browser and import your files. There is also a Chrome browser extension available with which you can save an opened web page into a PDF or EPUB format and then have it synced to your reMarkable 2 - neat little feature. You can also, if required, send your Word and PowerPoint files as PDFs to the tablet using its Office add-on called Read on reMarkable. The subscription here of Rs. 299 per month does seem a little steep considering you can only sync those four file formats. The company’s website also has something called Room to Think, which basically gives you music tracks that can play in the background (on another device) while you’re writing or jotting down or just thinking aloud for some task.

The Marker Plus has an eraser at the top and is quite smooth to write with. I could write with it on the tablet without getting much used to, though in order to convert your written text to a regular document, where the tablet converts your writing to text, requires pretty good legible handwriting for it to do it in a usable form. The display detects your palm, so it doesn’t cause any issues when you’re writing down on it using the Marker Plus. There’s ample broders around the display (especially at the bottom) to hold it with your fingers. You can set whether you’re left handed or right during the initial setup or from Settings at any time.

This e-ink tablet does what few thing it’s meant to do and does it really well – not once did it struggle with any typing using the keyboard, rendering black and white PDFs (though it can take a little to show coloured pages in EPUB format), writing with the Parker Plus or journaling as your daily habit. You can also lock your documents down though this is only behind a four-digit code and not six or more nor include letters. The OS is just about smooth in transitions and isn’t quick or snappy by any means and while using the keyboard there is a noticeable latency, but it is not exactly required to handle anything heavy. The display can fail to register your finger taps every once in a while, but it didn’t feel like a deal breaker.

Powered by a 3,000mAh battery unit, the battery life on this device seems good so far; I saw it go to 60% from full when using it with always-on WiFi for about 2-3 hours a day. Of course this battery life would be longer with the airplane mode on. You can give your documents tags and then search and filter them accordingly. But I couldn’t find any way to copy-paste folders, nor was there a way to change the screen brightness, which I didn’t need to do very frequently, but having it for reading under different lighting conditions once in a while would have been nice.

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