Testing the reMarkable 2

Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by Bishop, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

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    @Steve S: Not sure where else to put this, so I'll just leave it here.

    The gap between ordering and shipping the reMarkable 2 finally dropped to about 12 days, so I ordered one and it arrived. If you haven't seen the promo for the second gen device, it's here:

    reMarkable 2; lots of interesting tutorial stuff on their website too

    Color me intrigued.

    My first skepticism was lag with the pen and the e-Ink. Very pleasantly surprised to say it is not a problem. Part of that I attribute to the mesmerizing tactile experience of writing on the thing. Between the texture of the screen surface, the stylus tip and what I would almost swear is haptic feedback, it FEELS like writing with a felt tip on actual paper. The friction actually made me slow down to a paper like speed rather than racing to keep up as my pen tip slid across a slick glass display panel.

    My second skepticism is around eco-system. The companion app (on desktop or phone) is simple - good; but it's also efficient. The apps also make it easy to put PDFs on the device wherever you are using WiFi or USB C cable. You can see what you've written even if you don't have the thing with you. Your notes can be emailed off the device as PDF, PNG, SVG files. For those of us in the document review business (@dstrauss, @Bronsky) using the stylus and marking up a PDF is very functional. Comes down to use case: does your work flow live and die on PDFs and/or handwriting? With some tweaking, mine could.

    The filing metaphor is interesting. Documents, Folders of documents and Notebooks. Notebooks have the ability to set default template pages - but only from the device's library (which has a couple of dozen, including some perspective, hexagons, musical bars and others in addition to traditional lines, grids and dots). I took a PDF I'd printed with several dozen blank form pages and loaded it. Viola, roll your own "Notebook". Any Document or page in a Notebook can be duplicated. Documents can be moved around in Folders, but can't be added to a Notebook.

    My greatest skepticism is adding another device to the kit to carry. Would I add it to a laptop? No. Would I add it to an iPad? Probably not. Would I add it to a Surface Duo as the complete kit? That's what I'm pondering now....

    I have to say I see some benefit from not getting alerts, toasts and notifications while I'm trying to write something.

    Other things to know:
    • It is amazingly light and thin.
    • In the video, the screen looks very white; in person it has a slight gray cast
    • The lack of backlighting is a welcome respite for the eyes, but that has its limitations too
    • Spring for the upgraded stylus; having the eraser on the other end is worth it.
    • The upgraded stylus is rather Apple Pencil 2 like in weight, balance and length (but black)
    • There is an on-screen keyboard which can be used when needed for some text boxes (it won't win any touch typing speed awards, but this is built for handwriting)
    • Handwriting recognition is limited to notes you're emailing from the device, but is done on the reMarkable cloud servers.
    • You do have to create a reMarkable account to use it; don't cost nothin'.
     
  2. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    There seems to be an e-ink resurgence here on Tablet"PC"review! I just started a thread about the Boox Note Air, and in that thread @dellaster went into rationalization overdrive and got himself a Boox Nova 3. Anyway, congrats on your reMarkable 2. I have to say it though, the Note Air is pretty remarkable too. :)
     
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  3. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I've had the gen1 Remarkable for 2 and a 1/2 years, and I love it. Use it daily for note taking for business, journaling, sketching, etc. Tactile feel is great, and perhaps gen2 is even better. The OS I have is the exact same. It's very simple, but inking works very well. The fact that they are (slowly) but consistently still supporting the device after 3 years is a good sign.

    There are a number of hacks available, and I've got the ddvk hack on mine. It adds a number of additional functions- bookmarking, side-button eraser option, easier navigation and gestures, a rudimentary pinch to zoom feature, easier switching between docs, etc. Plus, you can turn them on or off in a simple pop-out UI. There's also a company that has a hack to allow for total offline usage, to get files on and off, etc. Someone is also working on getting an alternative e-reader on the device with a more sophisticated UI- you load it with a gesture. The open software and hackable nature of the device is a definite plus.

    I use the HP zbook x2 pen with mine and I love it. With the ddvk hack, the side button eraser works, and the zbook uses nice textured nibs. I'm pretty sure you can even use the Remarkable nibs in it too, instead. I've seen people using the Lamy EMR fountain pen also, and switching the nibs over. The reddit community is very active and can provide a lot of support... and complaining.! LOL.

    Keep us up to date with what you decide. I use mine in conjunction with a laptop. I also really like the focused lack of any distractions while using the tablet. No browser, no nada. Just you and the pen and paper. I like that.
     
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  4. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

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    Thanks for confirming the legitimacy of the ddvk hack. I will likely wait until I make my final decision before trying it.
     
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  5. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

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    Testing pens....

    I tried the OG Samsung GB 12 pen on the reM2. It has a smaller offset than the reM2 stylus. It also has less friction.

    Both still have a bit of the EMR jiggle around the outer fringes of the writeable screen.
     

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