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Review: reMarkable 2 Tablet Simplifies and Focuses Your Work Process

The makers of the reMarkable 2 tablet seem to have a strange, love/hate relationship with technology. On the one hand, they designed, engineered, built and sell an advanced productivity device capable of forging, saving and sending an endless variety of documents into an online environment. On the other hand, these same reMarkable 2 creators brought into the world a handheld tool that turns the user away from the endless stream of laptops, smartphones, tablets and all of the usual apps that come with them

The problem with our endless variety of smart devices is they offer a myriad of features that can also become distractions. While you have access to word processing software or photograph editing suites, you can also search the web, send messages to friends or play games.

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Countering that buffet of sensory input, the reMarkable 2 exists only to allow your focused attention to the work in hand. Thinner than a pencil and smaller than a piece of typing paper, the unassuming gray slab serves up a sheet of virtual paper. Powered with a battery that can last for two weeks, the tablet’s partnered stylus runs the show as you write or draw by hand and run through filing menus with the digital pen.


What We Liked About the reMarkable 2:

While it seems it’s getting lost in an era of emojis, voice recognition and endless QWERTYs everywhere, there’s something satisfying, grounding and human about the physical process of writing by hand. The reMarkable 2 tablet relies on that sensation, making the daring choice of allowing a stylus to serve as the user’s primary interactive tool.

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The device’s engineers put work in to simulate the feel and texture of putting pen to paper, even though you’re applying a plastic-tipped stylus against an interactive plastic screen. The realistic effects of a pencil, marker or mechanical pencil effectively lend gravitas to otherwise mundane documents. The result is endless “work paper” that exists forever in your hand — and in the cloud.

This was a device we didn’t expect to do much for us. We didn’t come into it expecting to dislike or looking to find fault with it. The reMarkable 2 just struck as a tool of limited use at best — or a bit of a gimmick at the bleak end of the spectrum. Still, once we finished merely playing around with the tablet and settled into actually using it within constructive, workplace functions, the potent effectiveness of the machine become evident. The reMarkable 2 fires up quickly, stands ready to record anything your stylus can create and saves those creations skyward forever.

Since it simply works as promised, the reMarkable 2 can quickly become a regular, comfortable tool in your daily work routine.


Most Unique Feature: Its Lack of Features

It’s the simplicity of the reMarkable 2 that makes it such an indispensable tool, even compared to the best tablets from brands like Apple and Samsung. While it will send an email version of a document out into the world, you can’t endlessly check your email on it. You can’t surf the net. You can’t send or receive texts. You can’t check social media. YouTube is nowhere to be found. You get the idea. The tablet creates an environment for just you and your work.

We were left to wonder if reMarkable 2 could somehow trigger a larger consideration of how overloaded and distracted we are as a workforce or as creative people. Once you rediscover the ability to focus without constant online distractions, like us, you might look for other ways to remove such mental clutter from your life.

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What We Didn’t Like About the reMarkable 2:

Unless you have very good handwriting, or you print in block characters, the “handwriting to text” feature can be hit or miss. For now, if you have the hand-hewn script of a pharmacist, it’s probably best to write casually and comfortable documents that will stay in your files. If you compose something the rest of the world needs to see, consider printing it more clearly before you transition it to digital text — at least until the reMarkable 2 designers hone that handwriting feature.

In addition, there’s still an unexploited opportunity here. We have no special intel and no secret, behind the scenes look into the company’s strategy, but we’d be surprised if the folks behind reMArkable 2 didn’t plan some kind of pocket-sized version of this same device. If there’s a complication blocking more frequent use of the reMarkable 2’s external design, it’s the size of the current tablet. If designers came up with something the size of the modern phablet — a casing that could fit in a pocket — a reMarkable immediately becomes a as much a constant companion for an individual as a cellphone.


The Verdict: For the Right Kind of User, the reMarkable 2 Is Worth Every Penny

The reMarkable 2 can become an invaluable tool and a constant companion for the productivity-minded tablet user. For its $399 price tag, the gadget allows you to create, collect, organize, contain and preserve work via a stylus-driven interface that feels more human than merely banging away on a keyboard or moving a finger across a trackpad.

Where can you find the reMarkable 2 paper tablet for sale?

The manufacturers of the reMarkable 2 are seemingly very possessive of their creation and currently keep the sales in-house via the company’s website. Still, you can buy some useful, third-party accessories and protective gear via Amazon and other retail sites.

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