No matter how useful a tablet can be, for many, nothing can beat the versatility of paper. Well, paper-loving reader, it might be time to re-think those analog allegiances as reMarkable has just unveiled an impressive new e-paper tablet.
Simply called "reMarkable," the device aims to combine the flexibility of a paper notepad with the electronic convenience of a tablet. While companies like Sony have attempted to create similar pieces of tech, the slow refresh rates of e-paper displays has rendered them frustrating at best. This is a problem reMarkable claims to remedy thanks to what it calls a "Canvas" display. This 10.3-inch Kindle-esque screen not only looks like paper, but also delivers a very low latency of 55ms, meaning that you can write or draw on it with the included pen without noticeable delay.
Spec-wise, the reMarkable features 8GB of onboard storage, is powered by a 1GHz ARM A9 CPU and runs Codex -- a custom Linux OS optimized for e-paper. Weighing in at 350 grams, it's considerably heavier than your traditional paper notepad, but not much more than an iPad mini. Featuring no glass parts and battery life of around a couple of days, reMarkable seems to have struck a decent balance between portability and endurance.
Still, it's fair to say that this paper-tablet does considerably more than your traditional pad and pen. In addition to providing a realistic pen-on-paper response, the reMarkable will also instantly sync your notes or doodles to the company's cloud service, making them easy to share across all your devices.
As well as sharing created files, you'll also be able to import documents, textbooks and the like onto the tablet, allowing you to add notes or sketches painlessly to existing files. While only PDF and ePub files are currently supported, reMarkable states that more compatible formats will be announced at a later date. The final big feature is one reMarkable hopes will make the tablet an indispensable school or office tool. It allows users to take notes on one device while they appear in real time on a second device.
The reMarkable certainly sounds good on paper... or should we say tablet? Yet this technology comes at a cost, with pre-orders starting now at a discounted price of $379. Purchasing now guarantees buyers the limited first edition, which includes the pen, the folio case and, shipping. The regular cost after pre-order is almost doubled: $529 for reMarkable, $79 for the pen and $79 for the folio case.
While an impressive piece of tech, the hefty price tag may prove too steep an entry-point for what is essentially a single-use device. We'll find out whether the market agrees when the reMarkable ships in summer 2017.