As an academic, I spend a lot of time reading papers. I generally hate the idea of printing out a paper for a one-time read since it feels wasteful, but I also don’t enjoy the reading experience of viewing papers on a desktop screen. I’ve always liked the look of the Sony Digital Paper that my advisor uses but it’s rather expensive and not easy to find. I used a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for several years which freed me from my desk and made note-taking easier, but still wasn’t as nice as paper.
This is why I was excited to hear about the reMarkable. The stated goal of reMarkable is to be a tablet for paper lovers. The cost is still fairly significant for a grad student, and I actually cancelled my first preorder before changing my mind and committing. While I did experience shipping delays that seem inevitable with crowd funded projects, I finally got my device this past Thursday.
So far, I’m pretty impressed by the hardware and the writing experience. There’s definitely no perceivable latency when writing and most other actions happen quite quickly as well. The software still needs a lot of work (especially the Android app) and I’ve had some issues with syncing not working correctly. My biggest disappointment so far, is that the Wi-Fi on the device doesn’t currently support networks which use usernames and passwords for authentication, which means I can’t use wireless connectivity in the office. This is a pretty big drawback, but there’s already a promise to fix this in a future software update. Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.