ReMarkable: A Review

I am an inveterate list-maker and note-taker. There are scratch pads and pens all over the house so I don’t have to go hunting for something to write a thought on. For my writing, I’ve used spiral-bound notebooks – one for each fiction series. (The nonfiction have their own 3-ring binders for all the research!) The only problem with notebooks, despite highlighted edges and a lot of paperclips, is nothing is truly organized, much less searchable. The other problem with a notebook is it’s generally not where I have an idea, meaning I either go upstairs to the office to grab it, or write a thought on a piece of paper then transfer it. It’s not efficient and my Virgo-ness isn’t happy.

Sometime in early December, I think, an author I follow on Instagram (and I wish I could remember who), posted an image of a ReMarkable tablet they’d bought. They were thrilled with it. The idea intrigued me so I looked at it.

My first reaction was a gulp at the cost. It’s not cheap! By the time I added their upgraded stylus (has an “eraser” at the top) and an “inexpensive” cover, the pricetag was almost $600. On the other hand, how much money and time had I wasted using paper and having to search through things? They have a 100-day return policy so I bit the bullet.

I’ve had it about three weeks, now, and here are my thoughts:


  1. I no longer need pen and paper next to my recliner (where I do a lot of thinking as well as reading and watching television). If I have a thought, I can grab the tablet, wake it up, select a document and scribble something. No need to transfer my idea from scratch paper to a notebook; and it’s a lot faster than opening my laptop, waking it up, opening a Word document or my “to-do” list, then typing something.
  2. These same documents wirelessly sync to my laptop so I don’t need to haul a notebook around when I’m ready to do something with said scribbles. (I have it open in a separate screen right now so my thoughts on this tablet are immediately visible.) NB: The sync function is free for a year. After that, it’s $2.99 per month. Not so sure about that…
  3. The “feel” is very close to pen-and-paper. The stylus doesn’t slip around the page, which is something I was concerned about.
  4. The stylus is magnetic and snaps to the edge of the tablet. The magnet is strong enough it won’t easily fall off. At least, I haven’t yet just “brushed” it off.
  5. It has a hellacious battery life. Granted, I don’t use it daily or for very long at a time, but 3 weeks in, it still has about 50% battery. That includes the couple of hours it took to transfer a bunch of notes on my current WIP over from a notebook.
  6. I haven’t yet used these functions, but it does have the ability to work on Word documents and pdf files, as well as read epub books. You do need to drag-and-drop them to the tablet from wherever, though.
  7. While I type when writing a book, I know a lot of folks actually write. The handwriting-to-text conversion would be very handy for them.
  8. It comes with a bunch of different templates, from a plain sheet, to lined, to lists, to graphs.
  9. It doesn’t access the internet, which means when you’re thinking (or writing, or sketching), there’s no temptation to “just check social media for a minute or two.”
  10. I didn’t know until earlier this week that is has competition. I looked at its competitors and still think this is the best one for me. YMMV.


  1. I’m still getting used to the stylus. If you’re just writing, be sure to select the “ballpoint” or “mechanical pencil” option. Because it can also be used as a sketchbook, the “pencil” option will give you either really fat, smudgy lines, or your writing will be almost imperceptible, regardless of which thickness you select. (Thank goodness for the eraser function!) I do wish the stylus was a little fatter, or had a fatter option. It’s as skinny as a #2 pencil, which is hard on arthritic hands after a while.
  2. While it does a good job of handwriting recognition, if you’re making a list, use the list template. Otherwise, it doesn’t recognize line breaks when converting handwriting to text. (After I’d written out all the characters in the current series, I tested the text conversion. It was a mess!) Also, and really no fault here, while it does have  “search” function, that only works after conversion to text.
  3. It has a “Quick Sheet” that is only a plain sheet of paper. There’s no way to set your personal “quick sheet” template to, say, lined paper.
  4. You also can’t delete a Quick Sheet which is a pain for me. I have a habit of scribbling myself a note (perhaps something I need to do the next day) then once I’ve acted on that, I can’t delete the Quick Sheet and a clean one will magically appear. I have to erase what I’ve written.

If you already have something that uses a stylus (perhaps a Galaxy Note phone), you can save a bit. Same thing goes for a cover – it’s not necessary but our cats don’t manage their claws well so I put a cover on virtually everything. I still have a month or so to decide for certain whether I’m going to keep it but I’m leaning toward, “yes.”