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Using the reMarkable paper tablet

Read, write, think and repeat

May 31, 2021 -

This month I received my reMarkable paper tablet and ever since I have been using it extensively: reading, writing and thinking. The paper-like display makes you forget about its digital innards. Read along for my thoughts.

reMarkable's party trick: better paper, better thinking
reMarkable's party trick: better paper, better thinking

You're greeted with the slogan "Better paper, Better thinking" when you open reMarkable's box. How can one possibly improve paper?

The reMarkable's display: very much like a piece of paper in colour and texture
The reMarkable's display: very much like a piece of paper in colour and texture

Hard to capture in a photo, but the faithful recreation of paper on the reMarkable's display feels very real to your eyes and fingers . The thin and lightweight body perfectly matches the unique display for its goal: creating "better paper".

Thin and lightweight
Thin and lightweight
Like reading a real printed book
Like reading a real printed book
No clutter, just content.
No clutter, just content.

At first I thought of reMarkable as a fancy reading (and writing) tablet. But after a short while something odd happened. No longer I thought of the "thing" as an electronic computer tablet. The technology faded into the background. The "thing" became just my book or just my writing.

Working with reMarkable - using it in tandem with iPad
Working with reMarkable - using it in tandem with iPad

On many occasions this "device-less" characteristic removed any awkwardness that one could imagine when you combining it with other devices. The minimalist in me did not have any problem combining reMarkable with my other favourite tablet: iPad.

Working on an idea - sketching on reMarkable
Working on an idea - sketching on reMarkable

Sketching ideas helps me iterate my thoughts. Outlining an idea, thinking about it, and filling in missing details. The reMarkable delivers its promise of "better paper" by being able to digitally copy, archive and share your work.

Digital copy (PDF) from the idea that I sketched
Digital copy (PDF) from the idea that I sketched
Annotating digital documents directly - no need to print and scan
Annotating digital documents directly - no need to print and scan

Conclusion

If you're looking for "better paper", then reMarkable provides you with a strong option. The tablet does (almost) everything right to get out of your way. Its focus on one task sets it apart from pretty much all other tablets that attempt to do everything. This singular emphasis might not please everybody, but for those that do value this focus it can be quite remarkable (pun intended!).

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