Can this giant E Ink tablet make paper obsolete?


As a material, paper has a lot of benefits. It’s been around for thousands of years, it’s a universally understood medium, and it’s cheap. But there are also downsides: paper can rip and tear, it’s heavy, and can take up a lot of space. reMarkable is a company that thinks it’s time for paper to get an upgrade, with its similarly named reMarkable “paper tablet.”

The reMarkable device is essentially a giant E Ink tablet that aims to replace paper, working as a reading and note-taking device. In particular, the company is highlighting the “ultra high friction” materials used on the display to allow it to feel like writing on actual paper, alongside proprietary low-latency technology for quickly updating the screen (refresh rate is famous for being one of E Ink’s biggest weaknesses).


The tablet is intentionally designed to be minimalist when it comes to features. The reMarkable can only display ebooks, PDFs, and documents, allowing you to annotate them, or serve as a blank notebook for writing or sketching. That said, the large, 10.3-inch E Ink screen does look particularly nice for reading and taking notes on, if you’re willing to make the jump to digital paper. It definitely looks like the sort of thing I would have liked to use in college: a one-stop replacement for my heavy notebooks and textbooks, with a great screen and the ability to write notes on my professor’s endless lecture slideshows.

It’s by no means the first attempt to replace paper, but it looks like one of the nicest solutions we’ve seen so far. However, the reMarkable comes at a steep price relative to the paper printouts and notebooks it’s hoping to replace. Preorders are available for $379, a 47 percent discount off the intended retail price of $716 for the complete set of the $529 tablet, $79 pen, and $79 folio case. The company expects to ship in August 2017, but at that price, I think I’ll stick to my spiral notebook for now.

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