It’s been over half a year since ReMarkable started taking pre-orders for its 10.3 inch writing slate with an E Ink display and support for pen input. The company says the first units are expected to ship in August and October, with pre-orders placed today shipping in October.
But the bigger news is that ReMarKable is finally showing off its latest prototypes, and early impressions seem pretty positive.
If you’re in the market for an electronic paper slate designed for writing and drawing, this might be your best option to date… which probably isn’t saying much since there haven’t been very many options to date.
The slate that ReMarkable plans to start shipping this summer will have a 10.3 inch, 1872 x 1404 pixel E Ink Carta display, measure about 0.26 inches thick, and weigh about 12.3 ounces. And the prototype LaptopMag went hands-on with was thin, light, and easy to hold while reading or writing.
More importantly, the felt-tipped pen offered a paper-like level of friction when scribbling on the tablet, and The Verge notes that latency was between 65 and 70 milliseconds, although the goal is to get that down to 55 ms before launch. Sure, that’s not as good as Microsoft’s Surface Pen + Surface Pro which offers 21ms latency, but it’s pretty good for a device with an E Ink display.
ReMarkable’s pen supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, offers tilt detection, and doesn’t require a battery. It comes with 10 replaceable felt tips, since the felt wears down over time.
The tablet runs Codex, a custom Linux-based operating system developed by ReMarkable, and it includes features for taking notes, annotating PDF documents, or creating and exporting artwork as vector art. You can even use layers, so notes or images drawn on top of a document can be viewed or hidden at any time.
Documents and artwork created on the tablet can be exported to Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android apps. ReMarkable also plans to add support for downloadable third-party apps in the future.
The ReMarkable slate has a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 8GB of storage, which the company says should be enough for storing 100 thousand pages of documents. There’s a micro USB port and a 3,000 mAh battery.
If there’s one down side, it’s the price: the ReMarkable tablet may look a lot like an oversized Kindle, but it’s a lot more expensive. The tablet alone has a list price of $529, while the “Marker” pen is another $79 and an optional folio case adds $79 more to the price for a total of $716 when you include the $29 shipping fee.
ReMarkable is offering a limited-time bundle that lets you pre-order the tablet + pen + case for $479, with shipping included.
Update: The BBC has a hands-on (or pen-on) video, and the latency does look pretty impressive for a device with an ePaper display, although you can definitely see a little bit of lag.