Apple and Samsung mainly dominate today’s tablet market. Other brands, too, like Amazon and Google, have enjoyed success. However, they’ve failed to achieve anything like the reach of the two market leaders. Strictly in terms of Amazon, while its Fire tablets haven’t proved overly popular, its tablet-like Kindle devices have been a runaway success in their own right.
That said, they’re largely distinct from the likes of Apple’s iPads
and Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs
. Instead, Amazon’s Kindles
focus less on overall functionality and very squarely on reading
. Kindle-branded products excel in this regard chiefly thanks to their e-ink displays. It’s something that Amazon does exceptionally well, far outselling alternatives from other manufacturers.
Still, that hasn’t prevented various newcomers from competing for space in the same market. Among the most interesting is the reMarkable tablet
. Since the reMarkable tablet combines various aspects of different tablets from multiple manufacturers, it’s something of a unique proposition. So, does the reMarkable tablet live up to its name? Or is it simply remarkable by name and not by nature?
Remarkable by Name
The snappily named reMarkable tablet is now in its second incarnation. Marketed simply as the reMarkable 2
, the latest 10.3-inch model improves upon what came before it in various areas. Accordingly, first-generation reMarkable tablets have been discontinued, with only the reMarkable 2 now available for purchase.
The reMarkable 2 combines elements of other devices like Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle. The result is what reMarkable calls a digital notebook that’s as close to paper as it gets. At its core, the reMarkable 2 serves primarily to convert handwritten notes into text.
reMarkable 2 users can then share these notes by email or include them in reports and presentations. There’s also built-in Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive integration. However, much of this relies on a costly and ongoing subscription. More on that in a moment.
Remarkable by Nature?
Somewhere that the reMarkable 2 immediately impresses is when held in one’s hands. It’s currently the world’s thinnest tablet, measuring just 0.19 inches thick. Thinner, the manufacturer says, is better for note-taking and provides a more paper-like writing experience.
Elsewhere, the lightweight reMarkable 2 isn’t just about note-taking either. It’s also designed to offer an eye-friendly reading experience, just like Amazon’s various Kindles. To that effect, the reMarkable tablet does what it sets out to do very well. Although whether it’s truly remarkable is debatable.
One particular selling point of the reMarkable 2 is that it allows users to share ideas directly on big screens or in video meetings. With that, a reMarkable tablet becomes a digital whiteboard on which to write, draw, and demonstrate concepts live with other people. At the same time, and strictly financially speaking, all of this comes with a high price.
Pros and Cons of the reMarkable 2 Tablet
While Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite
starts at around $120, the backlight-less reMarkable 2 costs $299. For that, buyers get the tablet only. Yet, to get any real value from the device, a special reMarkable Marker is required. The standard reMarkable Marker costs an additional $79, while the reMarkable Marker Plus, which includes a built-in eraser, costs $129.
Add in the recommended reMarkable Book Folio in a choice of brown or black leather, and there’s another $169 to pay. At that, the cost of the overall reMarkable 2 package almost doubles to just shy of $600. And the reMarkable 2’s high outright cost isn’t the only downside. But first, a closer look at the tablet’s various positives.
reMarkable 2 Pros
- Virtually instant response
- Textured writing surface
- Support for 33 languages
- No notifications or distractions
reMarkable 2 Cons
- High cost
- No backlight
- Limited functionality
- Not a traditional tablet replacement
Unfortunately, the reMarkable 2 tablet also heavily relies on a paid subscription. Even fundamental things like screen sharing, handwriting conversion, and sending files via email require users to pay a monthly fee of $7.99.
Without a subscription
, the reMarkable 2 lacks all of its core note-taking features, including access to templates and the ability to transfer files and annotate PDFs. With no subscription, buyers also lose the ability to use reMarkable’s Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive integrations. Therewith, it’s essentially a glorified $299-$597 Amazon Kindle.
reMarkable 2 Tablet Conclusion
The latest 10.3-inch reMarkable tablet is an interesting and largely unique proposition. if nothing else. Remarkable in certain areas but less so in others, it’s let down somewhat by its confusing, high, and subscription-based pricing.
Ultimately it’s an extremely costly option when purchased with the necessary reMarkable Marker and recommended Book Folio. As a result, it’s likely not special enough to justify its high price tag.
At around $400, Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad
equipped with an Apple Pencil
is a more versatile and usable tablet. Still, where someone needs or wants something more focused that does precisely what the reMarkable 2 promises, it’s hard to beat. That’s thanks in no small part to the fact that it’s almost entirely without direct competitors.
It could be argued that there’s a reason for this. After all, why haven’t the likes of Apple and Samsung developed directly competing products? The reality is that the reMarkable 2 remains a very niche product. Therein, perhaps, lies its charm. However, add in the need for the reMarkable 2’s near-$100/year subscription to see any real benefit from the tablet, and it feels like a hard sell under most circumstances.
reMarkable 2 Tablet Warranty
reMarkable customers who choose not to pay for a subscription get just a 12-month limited warranty with their new tablet. Meanwhile, subscribed buyers get 36 months of coverage
, albeit at a three-year subscription cost approaching $300. In addition, this extended warranty does not cover accidental damage. In any case, and given the high price of the reMarkable 2 tablet, buyers would be wise to upgrade to a greater degree of extended warranty protection regardless of their subscription preferences.
Upgrade With Upsie
With an extended tablet warranty from Upsie
, reMarkable 2 buyers have coverage in the event of manufacturing defects, mechanical faults, and accidental damage, including drops, cracks, and liquid spills. Upsie’s extended tablet warranties also include expert local repairs and a replacement device if it’s not cost-effective to fix a product on the first claim, all for up to three years.
Upsie also offers unlimited claims up to a tablet’s purchase price and free warranty transfers. Best of all, Upsie’s warranties cost up to 70 percent less than warranties from manufacturers or retailers. For example, a three-year Upsie warranty
for a $299 reMarkable tablet costs just $82.99 for comprehensive coverage.
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