reMarkable converts your handwritten notes to typed text, making them easy to refine and share.
Apps available for macOS, iOS, Windows 8 / 10 and Android.
We have received a great amount of attention, inquiries and questions since we first told the world about reMarkable — a reception exceeding all our expectations. But, in this process, it has become apparent that many would like to learn more about the difference between reMarkable and other types of tablets.
There are many types of tablets out there. You have the obvious suspects, like the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Note or Microsoft Surface, and you have e-readers like Kindle, Nook and Kobo, just to name a few. All of these have different qualities, and we at reMarkable use all of them for different purposes. We would even go as far as saying there are few others who love tablets more than us.
Tablets like the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Note or Microsoft Surface are versatile devices which can be used in millions of ways. They are great for binge watching series on Netflix, they are excellent for surfing the web or social media, they work great together with the wide array of apps available from app stores, and you can connect to almost every accessory you desire. In recent years they have also improved to become better with styluses, for writing or sketching. These tablets all have high-end specifications to run thousands of different applications.
However, these devices make a lot of compromises, and that is where reMarkable comes into play. There are few tablets out there with less functionality than reMarkable, but the things that it is made for, it does better than anyone else.
During the last four years, we have developed reMarkable to be better for reading, writing and sketching than any other digital device. The tactile feeling of using reMarkable, combined with the qualities of the display, is what truly makes it different from other tablets.
“The tactile feeling of using reMarkable, combined with the qualities of the display is what truly makes it different than other tablets.”
The most important technical difference between reMarkable and LCD-based devices is the difference in their display technology. LCD displays have great colour saturation and are excellent for images, gaming and video, as it has a high refresh rate. However, these types of displays do have their downsides. Due to the glass surface, you get screen glare from the surroundings — especially in bright sunlight — making it difficult to see the on-screen content. Secondly, because LCD displays are backlit, the light gives a strain on the eyes, which over time is tiring and may cause irritation like dry eyes and headaches.
iPad air 9,8" (with full brightness) versus reMarkable 10,3" with its electronic paper display outside on a cloudy day in Oslo
Another important type of devices within the tablet category are e-readers like the Kindle, Nook and Kobo. These types of devices have a more limited use, as they are made for reading only. They are lightweight, sturdy and are easy to put in any travel bag as an additional accessory for reading books on the go.
E-Readers, as well as reMarkable, use a display technology called electrophoretic display, also known as electronic paper display. These types of screens change the physical “ink” in the display, and do not rely on backlight to change what appears on the screen. Instead, they reflect light much in the same way as paper. The downside is that they are monochrome, and therefore only capable of showing black, white and shades of gray. The display is also too slow to show dynamic content like videos.
Electronic paper displays do, however, have benefits over LCD: They are more comfortable and easy on the eyes when reading for a longer period, as they do not cause screen glare. Also, they use far less battery than LCD-devices. While the iPad has a battery life of up to 10–12 hours, a tablet with electronic paper display can last for days — or even weeks.
“…a tablet with an electronic paper display can last for days — or even weeks.”
E-readers are great for reading, but they are not capable of much more — not even writing — as the display technology has been too slow to use for input.
In attempting to create paper-like experiences for writing and drawing on a tablet, several companies have tried making paper tablets with high-friction surfaces. However, no one has successfully solved the problem with high latency, coined as “slow ink”.
In our endeavour of creating a tablet for reading, writing and sketching, we have tried almost all types of tablets and display technologies. However, writing on a glass surface was never good enough, and we always preferred pen and paper.
“…writing on a glass surface was never good enough, and we always preferred pen and paper.”
This is why we have spent the last four years developing a faster electronic paper display, with a display so quick and fluid it feels like ink on paper. The main reason for why reMarkable stands out from the crowd of tablets — even other paper-like ones — is our solution to the “slow ink” problem. We call it the CANVAS display. It combines the paper-like friction of paper with the world’s fastest digital ink, and it responds to pressure and tilting of the pen, making it feel as natural as writing on paper.
The 10.3" reMarkable CANVAS display is about the same size as the regular iPad and more than twice the size of the Kindle. Without a glass surface, reMarkable has no screen glare, instead it has a high-friction surface that provides a paper-like experience. With no glass parts, it is also virtually unbreakable.
Pen and paper are our simplest yet most powerful tools of creation. Their tactility and immediate response make writing natural, intuitive, almost like an extension of our body. In the digital world, it is difficult to replicate that experience. Attention to the subtlest details and nuances of the handwriting experience has made reMarkable as paper-like as it gets.
“Attention to the subtlest details and nuances of the handwriting experience has made reMarkable as paper-like as it gets.”
The core essence of reMarkable is that it takes the best from pen and paper and giving it digital powers. It is designed to cultivate concentration. No web surfing, e-mails or social media means no distraction and no procrastination. Not only does it keep you focused, but writing by hand is scientifically proven to improve your capacity to learn.
reMarkable is not for everyone, but for the ones who prefer pen and paper, and need fewer distractions in their life, we are working on making it into a game changer.
To learn more, this YouTube video explains electronic paper display technology in only a few minutes.
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