The Remarkable Paper Tablet is something that you see, and suddenly want to get your hands on. But, is the tablet still worth it, two years on? I’ve chatted about its use as a student and as a bullet journal but haven’t yet given a full reMarkable tablet review. Read on to see my (first generation) reMarkable tablet review, two years after its purchase.
reMarkable Tablet Review (Two Years on)
Looking back into my emails, I purchased the first generation reMarkable paper tablet (with a white outer casing) in June of 2019.
I remember it turning up at my door only a couple days after and being absolutely astounded by the unboxing experience. The reMarkable comes in a grey magnetic box, labelled “better paper, better thinking” and definitely giving off some Apple packaging kind of vibes.
Turning it on and feeling the writing experience was definitely something else! Seeing my very familiar handwriting easily translated on reMarkable’s screen was really cool.
The actual tactile feeling of writing on the tablet is something that I can’t describe in words, so I’m not going to try, but it definitely is unlike writing on an iPad or phone screen! I haven’t experienced anything that really emulates the feeling of the tablet.
When I ordered the reMarkable tablet, I was in my third year of university. It didn’t take long at all to become a staple item in my undergraduate backpack.
The first year…
I was always someone who wrote lecture notes in a notebook. My stack of notebook was very easily (and very quickly) replaced with the reMarkable paper tablet. Instead of carrying around 4 different notebooks, I had one device with all the note-taking capabilities I needed.
I have never been very fussy with the options of pens/markers on the tablet. As I mostly used the tablet for writing simple notes, my go-to was the fineliner in its smallest size. I could highlight any of the important things using the highlighter, and that was about all I needed!
I’ve therefore not got a lot to say about anyone who wants to use the tablet for drawing/design purposes (as I don’t have too much experience there – besides a ‘boring lecture’ doodle now and then).
However, I did find very early on that the battery was very average. I was charging it probably every two/three days depending on the amount of in-person classes/lectures I had to attend.
The battery issue has considerably decreased with the updates from reMarkable though overtime though. I’ve also changed the way I use the tablet (read on…) so I don’t encounter any problems with the battery life at all.
Another noticeable con that came up in the first year was the discolouring of the original reMarkable pen that comes with the device. For the first few months, it was nice and crisp white, looking very fancy matchy-matchy with my tablet. However, it didn’t take long for the grip of the pen to discolour, looking dirty every time I wielded it.
I still haven’t worked out a way to fix this. While I did end up going out and purchasing the Steadler Noris Digital Pen from Amazon, I still love the size of the original pen (and keep using it regardless of its off-white colour).
I would love to buy myself another reMarkable pen to make up for my off-coloured original, but I, still to this day, cannot justify the money to buy the alternative remarkable pens from their website.
In a similar fashion, I never ordered the folio that is made by the reMarkable company. Just a little bit too pricey for me!
I took the liberty to get something a little more exciting (and rose gold) for my tablet – a simple apple iPad sleeve, with an apple pencil holder from Amazon. It has survived the two years of me owning and using my reMarkable tablet!
Overall, there were easily some noticeable improvements that could have been made before the original reMarkable was released. But, in the first year of owning the device, it did exactly what it was meant to do: it was a notebook in device form.
Two Years On…
I still carry my reMarkable in my bag on a daily basis. It still plays a role in how I do my work as neuroscientist in-training (PhD candidate). However, I definitely use it a little differently than I did before.
My reMarkable now takes a bit of a back seat in my work, and I think that’s mostly because I don’t have a need to take bulk handwritten notes like I did before (in undergraduate university classes).
Now, I spend a lot of time doing work that is a little different and that doesn’t involve copying down large bits of information to later make sense of and memorise.
How I use the reMarkable Paper Tablet now
There are a couple clear instances where I’ll reach for my tablet instead of typing up notes in Notion.
I will always take my reMarkable in to supervisor/laboratory meetings and workshops to jot down key points I need for later on.
I use my tablet to easily access journal articles if I want to catch up on some reading I need to do on the bus.
I have put my notes for a presentation/tutorial on there so that when I am presenting or teaching, I still look professional. It is better than having a pile of paper up there with you!
I have actually reached for the tablet to draw up figures for a manuscript I’m currently writing. That was definitely unexpected! Then the sketches are easily accessible on my office computer.
It’s also really held a strong position as an acting Kindle. I’ve transferred quite a few ebooks to it, and often use it as an easy way to make my books (for leisure) and work stuff easily transferrable in a single device (while still being nice for the eyes).
The reMarkable tablet has always been a staple in my everyday work flow for the entire two years that I have owned it. While there were a few bumps in the beginning, the consistent updates from remarkable have helped to make the device practical and usable in every day situations.
If you think you are someone who would love to stick with hand-writing notes, but make them more accessible, translatable and streamline your notes – you will likely not be disappointed!
Hope you enjoyed this reMarkable tablet review (two years on)!
If you want to read more about the reMarkable and how I use it, have a look at my other blog posts:
How I use the reMarkable Paper Tablet as a student
The reMarkable Paper Tablet as a Bullet Journal.