Remarkable 2 Review: The Elegant Paper Tablet for Note-Taking


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Ready for our Remarkable 2 review? When it comes to Remarkable 2, also stylized as “reMarkable”, there are two things that come to mind: elegant and simplistic. The tablet claims to be the thinnest tablet in the world and was designed for those who want a simple way to take notes and drawings digitally, without all the bells and whistles of other options on the market. Our team tested Remarkable 2 with this specific use case in mind, and here is what we found. The Remarkable 2 is great, but not for everyone. In this Remarkable 2 review and test, we want to share our findings and thoughts with you, in case you are currently thinking about getting one.

Remarkable 2 test and review

We reported about the first Remarkable tablet and we wrote a news article when the Remarkable 2 came out, but now we got our hands on a unit that we could test out. At first glance, Remarkable 2 is sleek and beautifully designed. The tablet sports a large display that makes it easy to take notes, draw sketches, or read ebooks with ease. But what really sets Remarkable 2 apart from other tablets on the market is its simple interface and intuitive functionality. Whether you’re new to using tablets or you’re a seasoned pro, Remarkable 2 is easy to navigate and makes it simple to do the things you need to do with minimal effort.

Why is simple sometimes better?

I once overheard a person saying the Remarkable tablet is as if the iPad and the Kindle have a baby – but this would not be an entirely fitting explanation. There are a number of reasons why simple can be better, particularly when it comes to productivity and focus. For one, complex devices with numerous features and options often require too much time and effort to learn how to use them effectively. Additionally, they can be distracting with all the notifications and alerts constantly vying for your attention. And finally, many people find that simpler devices just work better for their needs – they’re less complicated and easier to use.

Remarkable 2 Review - Front View - Display
Image: Christopher Isak / TechAcute

One product that exemplifies these benefits is Remarkable 2, a tablet designed specifically for those who want to take their note-taking and reading digitally. This elegantly simple device offers just the essentials, without any of the bells and whistles typical of many other tablets on the market today. Whether you’re looking for an alternative to your current device or just want a streamlined, user-friendly option for taking notes and reading books, Remarkable 2 is an interesting choice.

The pros

Let’s first look at everything neat about the Remarkable 2. Perhaps some points are stronger for you than others, but because this is subjective, we still tried to include all of the points in our list.

  • A great writing experience
  • No smudging, even if your hand touches the surface
  • The design and the haptics of the product are great
  • A great tool in the software to select and move objects
  • Remarkable offers you very nice accessories like covers
  • Fantastic battery life and can be charged via USB-C
  • Using the cloud features, it’s an endless notebook
  • Also supports finger touch as input
  • You can use it in the sunlight without a problem
  • The E-reader function is not that comfortable
  • Very thin and light device
  • Can be locked with PIN
Remarkable 2 - Side View
Image: Christopher Isak / TechAcute

The cons

But to be fair, we also wanted to share some of our critical thoughts with you, so you can develop your own opinion.

  • There is some input delay, which steals a bit of the immersion
  • There is no backlight in the display, which makes it useless without an external light source
  • The display is not that precise for input
  • Despite the marketing message, it does not feel like using paper
  • No options for apps and no browser (by design)
  • Sometimes lines you write or draw appear pixelated
  • If you don’t speak English, there might not be a localized UI for you in your language
  • The display has bleeding effects (temporary burn-ins for some seconds)
  • Does not recognize text in languages other than English very well

What does that mean in a nutshell?

When making judging the Remarkable 2, there are some key aspects that should not be overlooked. One key aspect is the price and the other key aspect to me is the aggressive marketing messaging that the Remarkable tablet would feel like paper. The haptics of the product may justify a price of $349, but to me, it doesn’t feel like working with paper. This is my main critique, even though that might be subjective. The marketing promise therewith is simply not upheld. It does not feel like paper, it feels like an e-ink display, similar to how you might know it from Amazon’s Kindle device family.

But what to compare it with?

You can’t directly compare the Remarkable 2 with an iPad or another Android-based tablet, because they seek to address different problems. So until recently, Remarkable owned a very big market segment of solutions for people who want to turn their notebook into a digital device and leverage the power of the cloud to store and organize information. Of course, there was the Repaper tablet and the Onyx Boox, but those were maybe not as aggressively marketed as the Remarkable products. However, since Amazon has introduced the Kindle Scribe, the paper tablet market is likely to see more action soon. Introducing additional competitors is usually good for innovation and pricing, but we remain curious to see how the development of Remarkable goes on, with such a massive competitor claiming a stake in their segment.

Remarkable updates and news

What I like about Remarkable is that they don’t stand still either. They frequently update their software with new features and truly seek to establish a workflow to continuously improve their customer’s experience and productivity. They introduced updates like the continuous pages, the typed text feature, an integration to Google Drive and Dropbox, adding taxonomy with tags, and other useful functions that improve the overall workflow. While some might still be in the beta stage, it’s likely that they will get a stable release as soon as all bugs are fixed. Definitely also worth mentioning is that they reduced their cloud service, called Connect, by 60 %.

Who’s the Remarkable 2 for?

The Remarkable 2 is not there to read emails or browse social media. It’s there to be creative and think in a structured way. It helps you to capture your ideas. The Remarkable team tries out new features to provide the users with more options and when any of such experimental functions that are not the focus of the solution are not (yet) that well implemented, it should not become a point of critique.

Remarkable 2 Review - Angle View with Case
Image: Christopher Isak / TechAcute

For instance, you can share content from your computer to your Remarkable 2 paper tablet either from your browser or via PDF, but it might not feel as smooth to read full books on the Remarkable 2. But this is not the point of the solution. They only offered this sort of function on top of their core features, so it is acceptable if it’s not 100 % smooth.

Summary: Great for notes, but try it first

To me, experimental features are always a plus rather than something to criticize. It shows me that the company still cares and wants to improve the experience for its users, even after the product has been sold. That being said, Remarkable 2 does have some drawbacks that should be considered. Overall, though, Remarkable 2 is a great option for anyone looking for an easy way to take notes and drawings digitally, making it an ideal choice for students, writers, artists, people who attend a lot of meetings, or anyone else who needs to capture their thoughts quickly and conveniently.

Whether Remarkable 2 is the right product for you depends on your individual needs and usage habits, but we recommend giving it a try if it seems like a good fit for you. If you never used to write notes with pen and paper, you might not start a new habit just because you have a Remarkable tablet. Because writing, touching, reading, and related activities are highly subjective experiences, it would be best if you could try the product out before you decide to buy it. In my books, the Remarkable 2 is lovable by many, but maybe not by all.

Thanks for reading our Remarkable 2 review!

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Photo credit: The feature image was provided by Remarkable and is owned by them. The photos in the body of the article were taken by Christopher Isak for TechAcute.
Editorial notice: Remarkable was kind enough to provide us with a Remarkable 2 test unit and accessory so that we could work on this review. They have not paid us for writing this review.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isak
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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