reMarkable 2 Is a Great Device for Those Who Don’t Mind Paper-Thin Features

The reMarkable 2 device standing in front of its box and in front of a tiled wall.
Credit: StealthOptional

The reMarkable 2 device standing in front of its box and in front of a tiled wall.
Credit: StealthOptional

When it comes to keeping notes and staying organized, I’m a fairly strange person. Keeping tabs of everything going on in my work and life via my smartphone feels too cumbersome to keep track of, and I love the idea of writing in a paper notebook. However, the latter takes up a lot of space, and I usually forget notebooks in storage, so that’s not a great option either. Fortunately, the reMarkable 2 fits into that very specific and weird niche I’ve been looking to fill.

A tablet that’s smart enough to keep track of notes, and feels like writing on paper, but not too smart that I lose myself in a catalogue of apps and social media, the reMarkable 2 is almost a great device. While it does ask for a high price, one that many won’t and shouldn’t pay, the device does offer a unique approach for those who fail to keep track of their daily lives.

For those unaware, the reMarkable 2 is a smart tablet that, at first glance, isn’t too different from many tablets. However, it’s a large device that offers an E-Ink display, much like Amazon Kindle, and has a focus on taking notes, with a display that feels as close as possible to actual paper.

A reMarkable 2 tablet screen with the icon for the different pen styles selected and offering options
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Credit: StealthOptional

Don’t get me wrong - it does still feel like drawing on a standard screen, more so than it does feel like paper, but it’s certainly closer to writing on physical paper sheets than most devices. It feels spectacular to draw on, and how the reMarkable 2 reacts to different pressures is nothing short of magical, which is made even better by the large variety of pencil types and thickness settings you can choose from.

In fact, the Marker and Marker Plus, both pens which you’ll want to use with the reMarkable 2, require you to switch out the tips often to ensure you can still write. It may sound tedious, but this adds to the overall experience, helping keep up the appeal of feeling like you’re writing on actual paper. The pens also feel incredibly easy to grip, and the overall quality is very high - even if the price is a bit too high.

Admittedly, the standard Marker is the better option out of the two. The standard Marker doesn’t offer the working eraser like the Marker Plus does, but it’s easy to quickly erase any mistakes using the eraser setting, so the additional cost of the Plus isn’t worth opting for. I understand and like the appeal of having an on-pen eraser that functions, but the Marker Plus isn’t worth paying extra.

A hand holding a reMarkable 2 Marker Plus in front of the box it comes in
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Credit: StealthOptional

I found the reMarkable 2 most useful as a tool for taking notes during meetings or writing down to-do lists and organizing my workload. The useful reMarkable app on Windows made it easy to quickly bring my files from the tablet to my PC without any issues at all - everything appeared as soon as I brought up the app, so long as the device was connected to the internet.

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This was also the best way to bring my e-books over to the reMarkable 2. Despite the large size, it works wonders as an e-reader and the large display made it very accessible to read, but considering the price, I wouldn’t recommend buying it solely for reading digital books, as other tablets are a lot cheaper for that task, such as Amazon Kindles. However, it’s another task that the reMarkable 2 tablet can do with relative ease. You can also use a Google Chrome extension that will send articles from websites to the reMarkable 2 for later reading, which I found useful for any lengthy investigation pieces or features that I wanted to read in my free time.

The reMarkable 2 is also great for sketching - personally, I’m not an artist, but if you want to trace out pieces or just scribble out some ideas, then it is a great option for that without wasting any paper. Unfortunately, the e-ink display means you’re limited to black-and-white designs, and while there are some color inks to draw or write in, these will only appear when you export the notes onto the reMarkable app, for example. If you’re looking for a tablet that does colorful art pieces, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

A reMarkable 2 sitting on someone's lap with the screen showcasing a page of the book "What If? 2" by Randall Munroe
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Credit: StealthOptional

It sounds like I’m really disappointed with the reMarkable 2, and maybe I am somewhat. However, while the reMarkable 2 is mostly a one-trick pony, it does that one trick exceptionally well. Writing on the device feels ridiculously smooth, and while the e-ink display does lead to some understandable issues, like ghosting and a slow refresh rate compared to standard screens, it looks great on the reMarkable 2.

A lack of apps and social media features, or any algorithms with doom scrolling elements are missing from the reMarkable 2, and that’s a great thing for me. It allows me to use the device without any distractions, without the pop-up of unnecessary notifications or the need to dive into another app during a train of thought.

There’s also the remarkable (I knew I’d make that joke somewhere) battery life that the device is capable of. I only need to charge it once every few weeks, and while I imagine many people who use it for lengthy periods taking notes will have to charge it more often, for most users, you’ll only charge it every now and again.

However, the biggest issue is going to be the price for most people. If you’re not completely sold on that one trick the reMarkable 2 does right, the $320 / £379 price is going to sting the eyes. And, that’s for the basic reMarkable 2 - no Marker Plus or Type Folio. This isn’t going to be the perfect solution for everyone, and it’s definitely not the all-round tablet you may hope for. But, for those like me looking for the perfect middle ground of taking notes without the distractions and losing notebooks, it does a solid job despite the paper-thin features.

reMarkable 2 review
The reMarkable 2 doesn’t oversell you on its set of features. It does mainly one job, taking notes and writing on the incredible-feeling display, but it does that job extremely well, and without the distraction of social media or internet browsing. However, the disappointing Marker Plus, and the qualms of an e-ink display leave me wanting a reMarkable 3 to fix all of the minor issues.
7 out of 10


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