Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Digital paper’s “reMarkable” tablet arrives, but no local option

One of last year’s curious product ideas was a pen-friendly tablet with eReader technology, and while it might have disappeared from your memory, it’s back and ready to go.

There’s no shortage of digital paper options in the world today, what with Apple’s iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface Pro, and even using a stylus on your phone including specific devices like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but if you like paper, these may not cut it for you.

There’s something about paper that just feels different. It might be the fact that the pen feels like it carves into the parchment like the way a sculptor chisels into marble, or it could even be that it’s cheap and easy to find.

Whatever it is, electronics manufacturers have been looking to find a way to replace it for ages, and last year’s Lenovo Yoga Book even managed to get close offering a tablet-laptop hybrid with an active stylus that also let you take notes and have them appear on your computer.

But for some, it still wasn’t enough, and so the hunt was on to find the perfect paper replacement.

And then at the end of last year, a Norwegian start-up developed something that might just do the job.

Called “reMarkable”, it’s essentially a gadget similar to Amazon’s Kindle in that it looks and acts like an eBook reader with an E-Ink screen, but while a Kindle is a passive experience, the reMarkable tablet includes a digital pen to let you scribble your thoughts much like a real notebook, except without paper and ink.

Back in December, reMarkable was slated for a mid-2017 release, and now that we’re a little past it, the news is that reMarkable is going out to those who crowdfunded in August, with the first 11,000 going out at the end of the month.

That’s obviously good news for anyone who preordered, but is also good news for anyone who didn’t and was curious about what reMarkable could do for them, even if the price is kind of up there. Rather, if you were hoping it would be a small investment, think again, with the reMarkable tablet fetching $529 USD, the pen getting a cost of $79 USD, and the folio case for another $79 USD. Factor all of this in and the packaged price of $716 in the US translates to not far below $1000 in Australian dollars, making it the most expensive device we’ve seen with an electronic ink screen, especially a black and white one.

There’s no doubt that’ll be seen as a high price, and while Australians can order one online, reMarkable’s people did tell Pickr that there were no local distributors or retailers for folks to see the tablet with their own eyes, meaning the online international presence will be your only place to find it initially.

We’re trying to get our hands on one for a proper review, though, because with the iPad and the Surface presently leading the scribble tablet battle, it’d sure be nice to see an underdog get in there and show off a different way of doing things, even if the price is just a little hard to grasp.

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