If you use a tablet, but prefer the feeling of writing with a pen and paper, you'll want to check out the reMarkable, a 10.3-inch tablet that offers a breath of fresh air. The slate, announced today, will pull off this feat with its CANVAS display that is supposed to offer a paper-like experience that makes it ideal for readers, writers and sketchers.
The reMarkable is available for pre-order for $379, (a steep discount from the future standard price of $716) which gets you the slate, its stylus and folio case. The tablet is expected to ship sometime in the summer of 2017.
The black-and-white CANVAS display features no glass parts, "looks and feels like paper" and offers crisp, ink-like black tones. The 1872 x 1404-pixel, 226 DPI panel is powered in part by E-ink technology and is the product of a collaboration between the Norwegian company reMarkable and E Ink, the Taiwan-based company that develops the screens.
reMarkable claims the slate features the world's fastest digital paper, with a 55-millisecond latency that makes drawing and writing feel and look realistic. While this is probably good enough, it isn't the shortest latency we've ever heard of, as our sister-site AnandTech found a 38-ms latency when using the Apple Pencil to draw in the Notes app on an iPad Pro.
The included stylus (no battery required) plays a big role in the tablet's paper-like nature, as its "high-friction pen tip" will help simulate the tactile experiences of writing and sketching. The pen offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, twice as many as the Microsoft Surface Pen so it can recognize the finest differences in pressure.
In the video, the stylus is used to annotate magazine articles, sketch portraits and draw diagrams in a textbook. Users can then share those edited pages, which looks to be a more interactive way to share a document than just sending a link. Apps for PCs and mobile devices will allow users to sync their reMarkable work in real time.
reMarkable hasn't announced any specific apps, but the tablet will offer note-taking and drawing with a notebook-based interface for organizing your work. Judging by the preview video, drawing mode will include a lot of different options including eraser, undo, zoom and adjustable brushes. The reMarkable's apps also include templates for professional users who have an idea of what they want to do in advance.
The reMarkable is supposed to last for "days" on a single charge, but the company doesn't specify how many. It runs Codex, a custom Linux-based operating system optimized for low-latency e-paper displays.
So far, the reMarkable supports PDF and ePUB files, but the company tells us "more formats" are "to be announced." You'll use the tablet's Wi-Fi connection to sync files onto its 8GB internal storage, which is slated to hold 100,000 pages of content.
And for those who lament the lack of Android or iOS apps, reMarkable is aware of this and is selling the tablet as a "distraction-free reading and writing environment." Though e-Readers owners might say they already have this experience.
reMarkable says its tablet is "virtually unbreakable," a claim we're looking forward to testing when we put the slate through its paces for a full review.
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