Do you know the challenge of needing to get some work done on the go and you can’t manage to keep your device charged up long enough to finish everything? I have that problem sometimes and this is why I like e-ink devices with a ridiculously long battery capacity. We had the pleasure to review the reMarkable 2 paper tablet before and were excited to try out their latest addition to their portfolio.
The Type Folio is not a new version of the reMarkable tablet that you need to re-invest in. Instead, it’s a new kind of “cover” for the reMarkable 2 that comes with a super-thin hardware keyboard. Along with a series of major software improvements that they put in free of charge, you can now change the view mode of the device to a landscape mode and type away your copy as if you’re on a regular keyboard, using a stationary PC or laptop.
A remarkable redemption
My original review of the reMarkable 2 was only partially positive. Why was that? It was a bit subjective and as the article stated at the time, did not concern all of the users, but I felt like the solution was not 100% there yet. You could certainly use the pen with the reMarkable 2 and replace any paper notebook with ease, but being a writer, I was really missing a hardware keyboard and I think it’s now safe to say that the Typo Folio was the last piece of the puzzle here and I am really glad they came up with this accessory because it turns the reMarkable device into a proper productivity solution not only for people to scribble notes down or make sketches, but to all the people out there who need to write proper copy on a device that can sync with apps and clouds, for a really streamlined production process. Believe it or not but I am typing this article down entirely on the Type Folio keyboard on the reMarkable tablet. I’m at home on the couch and have it set up in my lap and my output speed is just great.
It’s true that on the reMarkable 2 tablet, you got no browser and no social media, do this reduces the options to do research or do other Internet-based activities but I know there are also heaps of people who love this distraction-free style of work. Im writing articles for TechAcute only but I think beyond that, even book authors and writers of other media would potentially benefit from this kind of solution. They can do not only the structure and the notes for a book structure, but they can write whole parts of their work down without getting side-tracked and get less risk for procrastination. During my whole testing and while writing this, the battery usage was next to nothing, so you don’t need to stress too much to find a wall socket to get charged up all the time. So that as well is some peace of mind that keeps you focused.
So far an unmatched experience
What I also noticed during writing this down is that in the hours of late afternoon and into the evening working on a paper tablet is much easier on your eyes and causes less strain as there is no kind of lighting that would irritate you as you stare into a regular display for hours and hours. So in case you feel a lot of eye strain when writing on electronic devices, this might also be a nice device to try to simply feel better and for less impact on your health perhaps. The negative aspect of this is that you will always need some sort of external light source in order to work with the reMarkable 2, but this would also be the case for writing things down in a paper notebook.
How about haptics? The people who love writing and typing oftentimes love their clickety-clack of mechanical keyboards and that I can understand as well. The Type Folio has no clickity sounds to it as you type away, but the haptics of pressing the keys and writing quickly is also satisfying in a way. It doesn’t feel cheap or like some sort of flat surface. I think that was one of the major challenges to overcome during the product design and early manufacturing phase – to create a super thin and lightweight keyboard cover combo that still feels good to use not only for writing three sentences in a mail but to hammer away for hours and hours.
Does it work well together with the pen and the other modes? To be honest, it works better than I expected. You can structure your text into headers, subheaders, regular paragraphs, bullets, and whatnot. Once you’re done writing all the copy down with the Type Folio keyboard, you can simply move the reMarkable 2 sideways again into its original portrait mode and you can use the pen to highlight parts of the text, or make other scribbles next to the text or over the text. There is no limitation to that in their latest software version. You can think of the text in a document as one object and you can manage other objects in layers nearby or on top of the text. You could still do everything you could do before only with the tablet and the pen.
The Type Folio is precisely what reMarkable needed
So are there any shortcomings or downsides to using the Type Folio? I would say that the downsides are minimal and acceptable in exchange for what you gain in productivity. For instance, the Type Folio is very slim, but possibly a little bigger than the cover without a keyboard. The same goes for the weight – if you use the Type Folio instead of no cover or a regular leather cover without the keyboard, naturally the tablet would weigh less like that. However, I would say the added weight and size are truly acceptable. You can still use any bag, backpack, or carry it just in your hands to bring your reMarkable 2 with the Type Folio attached.
We are only talking about a few grams and millimeters in difference here. I’m brave enough to make a bold claim here and will just say that I don’t think that the changes in size and weight would be a dealbreaker for anyone who is looking to get a keyboard-based portable writing solution with an e-ink display. Another thing to briefly mention is that if you’re a fast writer, and watch the screen as you write, you might get irritated at first as the display is likely slower to add the characters than the speed of your typing. However, this is only a visual thing to get used to and naturally, the RAM is sufficient to capture all of your input without losing any characters during fast writing.
Amazon Scribe vs. reMarkable 2 with Type Folio
And what about the dreaded comparison between the Amazon Scribe and the reMarkable 2? In our last review, this battle was still undecided, but as the Amazon Scribe has no physical keyboard and no support for external Bluetooth keyboards (even though they support Bluetooth audio), I would currently say that reMarkable has the advantage here and is the winner of the productivity e-ink tablets for now with the introduction of the Type Folio. In that sense, it’s a win.
If you already have a reMarkable 2 and ended up not using it because it didn’t support your workflow you might want to revisit the solution and what the Type Folio brings adds. To me, it was a game-changer, and I’m sure that some would agree with that as well. The reMarkable 2 paper tablet is currently sold for 279 USD and the Type Folio keyboard cover costs another 199 USD on the reMarkable website. I understand that it’s quite an investment for an accessory, but to me, it was the missing piece of a puzzle that turned the gadget into a proper tool that I can use in my daily work, so it could be well worth that.
YouTube: Introducing Type Folio — a keyboard for focused typing on reMarkable 2
Photo credit: All photos shown were taken by Christopher Isak for TechAcute.
Editorial notice: We received a sample unit of the Typo Folio keyboard but received no money from reMarkable to facilitate the review.