Remarkable 2: World's thinnest tablet

remarkable-2-review

Overview

This might be a weird thing to admit as an adult, but I don't feel like I was ever smarter than when I was in school and it was my job to learn and I accomplished that mostly by writing stuff down by hand I am definitely one of those people who only really stores and processes information. If there's like a physical action that goes with it in my case that was writing because typing in class was a thing in college but definitely not in high school.


So I've really kind of formed my learning behaviors around that mechanical action and since I don't do that so much anymore I honestly feel a little bit dumber for it which is why devices like the remarkable have seemed so interesting

Now if you're not familiar the original remarkable was an e-ink tablet developed so that people who are like me who would prefer to write stuff down and annotate stuff on a tablet had something to work with but because it's e-ink it had something approaching the feel of writing on paper with a pen
and that was honestly huge for quite a few people who didn't know they needed this device until this device existed.

now as appealing as that original hardware was it definitely wasn't perfect for one it had a plastic body. Furthermore, the stuff inside was a little more concerning we only had 512 megs of ram and a single core one gigahertz processor.

Really kind of let things down however remarkable 2 which in terms of hardware is clearly superior to the original in every single way not only is it
beautiful it packs updated internals and a really nice new marker which we'll get to in a little bit the experience is maybe not as groundbreaking as the original remarkable was but there are a lot of really important updates here.

Specifications

Let's talk about the hardware and right upfront, I cannot overstate just how much better this new design feels compared to the original the evolution of the remarkable one to the remarkable 2 honestly feels quite a bit like amazon's kindles evolving over time we had soft friendly white plastic designs up first eventually leading the way to really sleek beautiful minimalist designs. 

Now the size of the screen itself hasn't changed both versions of the remarkable have a 10.3-inch canvas e-ink display but the stuff around the display in the remarkable 2 is hugely different that's because we're looking at an aluminum build instead of that plastic we got on a remarkable 1, that gives it an extra sense of sturdiness that also allowed remarkable to make this what they claim is the world's thinnest tablet.

Now the physical controls that we got in the remarkable 1 are largely gone here there is exactly one button on the remarkable 2, it's on top that you use to put the thing to sleep and wake it up again. I should also point out that instead of the micro USB port that we got on the original remarkable we finally have USB-C is just a nice thing to see in 2020.  

It really just makes it easier to charge this thing with one cable that you use for all of your other stuff too. The remarkable 2 has double the ram it has one gigabyte of ram which should help keep system tasks running more smoothly and so should the dual-core 1.2 gigahertz processor which by all accounts should be a huge improvement over what we got in the original and 

I have to say in terms of day-to-day performance I don't really see a huge difference sure there are some tasks that happen faster if you load an e-book
onto these devices, you will see that switching the fonts and the line spacing and the alignment and the justification all of those little things happen
marginally faster on the remarkable 2 than they did on the original hardware.

And the same feels generally true when you're working with pdfs in general
in situations where you see art or diagrams in addition to plain text in a pdf that actually loads and aligns itself correctly slightly faster on the remarkable 2 but again I'm not seeing a quantum leap in performance which is again a little weird because we're going from a single core to a dual-core and slightly higher clock speeds and double the ram like it should be better than this and it may well be better than this in use cases that I haven't really tried out yet.


Display and Design

The remarkable 2 is quite a bit better that is for a few reasons 
remarkable has developed a new kind of screen coding for the remarkable 2  that they say makes this display feel more like paper when you use the pen.

I should also point out that with this generation canvas display and the marker you're getting 4096 levels of pressure which is twice what you'd get
out of the remarkable one that again is one of those things I'm not sure a lot of people are going to see the value of immediate artists will almost certainly see a change, for example, get a pencil and sort of really get fine-grained light wispy marks on a remarkable 2 that take a little bit more effort to get
just right on the remarkable 1.

But in day-to-day use again I'm not sure that you're gonna see the difference and much like the galaxy note 20 this year which has seen significant improvements to pen latency those improvements are kind of happening on this front too we're looking at a latency of about 21 milliseconds on the remarkable two which is quite a bit lower than what we got previously I think the original remarkable tablet was
it started out at like 51 milliseconds then they eventually got it down to 40
via software updates but 40 to 21 is still a pretty big deal and again if you're an artist you'll see that as you make big sweeping strokes along with the display the amount of gap between the stroke itself and your pen tip is about the half but if you're more like me and you mostly deal with quick short punctuated strokes when you're just trying to get notes down in the middle of a meeting or a conversation then that value might not be immediately
apparent to remarkable's credit for now at least the plan is to make sure that there is no feature gap between the original remarkable and the remarkable 2.

So if you splurged on the original model years and years ago you will continue to get software updates and for the time being at least, you won't see a huge gap in software between one versus the other.

My Thoughts On It

I know it's a bit early for sweeping judgments but even after just a week of testing again this non-final hardware I can't help but really love it just because the act of writing means so much to me and this gives me a way to do it in a way that just feels more focused and honed that being said there is a pretty significant flip side to that argument and that is the fact that this is a 399 dollar eating tablet that does a fraction of what other $399 tablets will do for you.

You cannot play movies you cannot play games you cannot get on the web in any meaningful way so at the end of the day you have to ask yourself do you want to buy a thing that will solve one very specific problem in your life or do you want to buy something that for the same amount of money will do a pretty good job at solving the problem.

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