reMarkable's tablet for paper lovers set to hit the streets in August

Early hands-on reviews of the reMarkable show promising results for the digital paper slate.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The reMarkable tablet features a CANVAS display that's meant to look like real paper and offer the same friction as when using a pen.

Image: reMarkable

reMarkable is edging closer to delivering what it hopes will be the most paper-like experience to date on a notepad.

The Norwegian team behind the reMarkable 10.3-inch E Ink display sketching and writing notepad is now ready to show off the device ahead of its planned pre-order shipping date in August and October.

The tablet has been under development for the past four years and debuted late last year with a pre-order price of $329. That reMarkable is ready expose the notepad to reviewers should comfort those who gambled on the promise of early prototypes.

reMarkable features a CANVAS display that's meant to look like real paper and offer the same friction when using a pen. It doesn't display colors, but supports 16 shades of grey for text, and black and white for pens and brush inputs.

E Ink tablets have great battery life, but the displays typically have high latency. reMarkable claims the E Ink current prototypes have a latency of between 50ms and 60ms when using a pen, which is slower than Microsoft's new Surface Pen, but better than most E Ink devices.

Popular Mechanics' reviewer found the lag when drawing to be "imperceptible". LaptopMag found it to minimal too and is impressed with its select and clone tool for replicating patterns.

To mimic the feel of a pencil on paper, the reMarkable's pen nib actually wears down with use. However, there are 10 replacement nibs. As The Verge's hands-on notes, writing on the slate even mimics the scratching sound of scribbling on real paper.

The reMarkable has an aluminum frame and plastic-based display with a 1,872 x 1,404 resolution at 226 dots per inch. The display will scratch more easily than glass but won't shatter if dropped and is currently undergoing water-resistance certification, according to reMarkable.

At 350 grams (12.4oz), it's a tad heavier than the iPad mini 4, but should be easy to carry. It also comes with 8GB internal storage, 512MB RAM, a 1GHz processor, and Wi-Fi.

Currently supported formats include PDF and ePUB. The device runs on Codex, a custom Linux-based operating system "optimized for low-latency e-paper", according to reMarkable.

The notepad is currently available for pre-order for $479, which includes the pen and a protective case, which would normally retail for $716. The notepad itself will cost $529 when it's generally available, and the pen will cost $79.

The reMarkable is likely to have a narrow audience given its limited functionality and high price, but it could establish an enthusiastic fan base if it lives up to its claims.

Sony is also taking a second stab at the digital paper notepad with the just released Digital Paper 13-inch E Ink DPT-RP1 notepad, which costs $700 in the US.

According to Sony, its first Digital Paper DPT-S1 notepad is popular with professors, researchers and graduate students in science and technology disciplines, as well as with legal, financial and medical professionals.

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