My reMarkable Journey

A review of the reMarkable tablet

A little over a year ago I was on the fence about buying the reMarkable “paper” tablet. This is a kindle-like device designed exclusively for hand writing and drawing. It’s also been a good device to read 8.5×11 PDF’s such as downloadable reports, though reading isn’t the primary function of the device.

The pros, though are impressive: a kindle-like writing instrument that allowed me to digitally record my thoughts without carrying around upteen notebooks, impressive paper “feel”, and most importantly for me me, no LED backlights (which screw up my ability to sleep and is causing me headaches).

It was expensive, and by all accounts, was missing some features – handwriting recognition and the ability to organize notes within notebooks being the the two major downsides for me. That said, the hardware itself had really good reviews, and the software was being updated regularly with a healthy developer community doing some cool things.  

I suspected any shortcomings could be addressed through software.

So, I took the leap.  

I wasn’t disappointed.  Actually, I can say now, that it’s the best electronic device that I’ve ever owned. The over-the-air updates kept improving the experience over the time I’ve owned the device,.

I stopped carrying around mega-notebooks, and become much more consistent in my journaling.  I was able to flip it on, take some notes, and not worry about whether I’d lose that particular paper again. I was capturing more, reviewing more … having more and better ideas.

It’s also light, and fits in my backpack when I go hiking … something I don’t do with my computer, ever.

There’s something about long-hand writing that just frees up a portion of creativity that you can’t get on a keyboard.  I was having fewer headaches (always a problem for me when looking at “screens” such as computer & TV – a problem I’ve had since I was a kid), and having fun with the device.

Then, a few months ago, the reMarkable team relased handwriting recognition. Though a bit clunky (it emails you the text), it accurately reads my chicken scratches, opening up a whole new world of the write edit cycle for me.

Another benefit I love, which was unexpected – the ability to “screencast” my drawing to a computer for video recording notes or during a webinar.  It’s, Just, Cool.

Then, just this week (April 2019), they sent an over-the-air update that allows me to better organize the pages within my notebooks This has become critical as I use it more and more often.

Now? I think it’s done. I can’t think of any additional features I even want, and I can unreservedly recommend the reMarkable for people that:

  • Want a device exclusively for writing (no Internet or interruptions)
  • Like me, want to reduce LED “screen time” on a computer or phone (esp. in the evening)
  • Take notes or write using paper and pencil
  • But love electronic gadgets

If that doesn’t fit you, then for the price, you may be better off with an iPad pro or similar. For my own style, however, the reMarkable just rocks.