The folks at reMarkable sell tablets with E Ink displays and digital pens that are designed for taking notes, drawing pictures, and reading documents. Basically they’re digital replacements for pen and paper. But you know, more expensive than a legal pad thanks to a $399 price tag.

Now you can also add a subscription fee to the equation: reMarkable has announced that it’s launching an optional subscription service called reMarkable Connect.

The good news is that if you bought a reMarkable tablet before October 12, 2021 then you’re grandfathered in and have access to all of the reMarkable Connect features free of charge.

More good news? The service is entirely optional. Want to just buy a tablet and use it as you see fit? You can still do that by purchasing a tablet outright.

But new customers who want to make use of some of the tablet’s best features will have to pony up some cash moving forward.

A full reMarkable Connect subscription will set you back $8 per month and it gives you access to features including:

  • Handwriting conversion to printed text
  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Integration with Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Screen Share collaboration features

There’s also a $5/month Connect Lite option that offers unlimited cloud storage without the other features like handwriting conversion.

reMarkable Connect Pricing

The company is sweetening the deal a little by offering a $100 discount on the purchase of a remarkable 2 tablet for customers who sign up for a Connect subscription plan. And Connect customers also get a 36-month extended warranty on the purchase of a reMarkable 2 tablet or accessories.

While the idea that you need a subscription to take advantage of key features like handwriting recognition and conversion is a bit of a bummer, it also makes sense for a company that’s only released two hardware products over the past few years, but which continues to release software update after software update. An ongoing revenue source gives reMarkable incentive to continue supporting its existing hardware rather than trying to convince users to replace last year’s model with next year’s.

via reMarkable Blog

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11 replies on “reMarkable’s E Ink tablets: Now you need a subscription for handwriting recognition and cloud storage”

  1. Really glad I didn’t pull the trigger. Subscription model means you’re renting the device, and when the company goes tits up so does any usefulness.

  2. The high price was keeping me on the fence about buying a reMarkable device. Now this remarkably greedy subscription idea just made me delete all my reMarkable bookmarks. Bye-bye reMarkable…

  3. I have a Remarkable 2 and I have never seriously used the OCR, it’s really bad (or my handwriting is really bad, probs a combination of the two). The cloud storage is quite good but I don’t use it much, the best feature for me is being able to email myself stuff I’ve sketched and written which wouldn’t need a subscription

    So whilst I don’t use the features much, I’m glad to have them grandfathered. However in fairness it’s difficult to use even v expensive products like Apple without at least some sort of subscription so it’s a sad fact of the world we live in. Will be interesting to see if Supernote, Sony etc go down a similar route for their readers

  4. No longer on the fence

    This settles it for me. No need to even consider the remarkable tablet. Not paying subscription fees for something I had to pay $400 for.

  5. Charging money for OCR on this thing is about the same as if Amazon charged $5 a month for the “page turning” function on a Kindle. It’s a core function of a “digital notepad” with low CPU requirements, using tech that is decades old.

    I could see if it was JUST for the cloud storage, but this is stupid.

  6. Wait… if this is tied to a cloud service does that mean you can’t use it for proper text input unless you are connected to WiFi? That is terribly inconvenient for something you are supposed to be able to just whip out and take notes on. Or is the OCR running on the tablet, but simply refuses to work unless you purchase the licence for it? OCR is something we’ve had back in 1994, possibly even earlier, this is not something you have to spin out to the cloud unless your platform is running on a 100MHz Cortex M0 microcontroller!

    1. I think it’s assumed everyone is connected to the internet all the time.

  7. Subscriptions for things like this really are a bad deal all around. These functions should be built in and a few years of software updates really ought to be part of the deal when you buy expensive electronics.

    1. I agree. But it doesn’t work with the business model of 99% of startups in recent years.

      1. Recently, the startup business model has been…

        build distributive product that doesn’t make money
        sell product losing money with the help of investor
        have investors demand “ARR” through “monetizing” your customer base
        switch your business model and lock out users that already paid for your product to extort them into paying up, based on shady “terms of service” stating that even though you purchased the product you don’t actually own it.

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