Over one million reMarkable 2 tablets have been sold. So, they must be doing something right.
I panned the reMarkable 2 when I reviewed it last year. Despite an admittedly awesome approach to hardware design and one of the best tablet writing experiences on the market, an abysmal pricing strategy ruined it.
The device itself was pricey enough, but the frankly ludicrous approach to the pricing and feature capping of the Connect service made it impossible to recommend.
However, in 2023, things changed. Big time. So, with a new and far more realistic price point, is the reMarkable 2 worth it in 2023?
The new reMarkable 2 pricing
Let’s have a quick chuckle at the pricing strategy originally adopted by the team at reMarkable.
The tablet itself was £399. That’s relatively expensive on its own, but when you get your hands on one, it’s easier to justify. The reMarkable 2 is, after all, a very nice piece of kit and, although it’s not a full-on tablet (more on that in a moment), it does compete handsomely with the iPad in build stakes.
You’re going to want a stylus to write on the thing, though. There are two options – the Marker and Marker Plus – which used to set you back £79 or £129, respectively, depending on whether or not you wanted a digital rubber.
At this point, we were heading firmly into Sillysville.
But it got worse.
On its own, the reMarkable 2 would only sync its notes with your computer for 50 days before removing them from the latter. To gain limitless syncing and a bunch more features that should have come as standard, you needed to sign up to the Connect service, which came in two flavours at either £4.99 or £7.99 per month.
The full-blown reMarkable 2 experience would, therefore, set you back £624. Which is a lot of money for a digital notebook.
Things really have changed. The reMarkable 2 tablet is now £299, and you can even opt for a refurbished version at £279. These are far more sensible prices for the hardware.
The Markers have received a much-needed price drop too, landing at a more respectable £59 and £109 for the standard Marker and Marker Plus, respectively.
The Connect service is where things have really improved, though. Firstly, they’ve done away with the weird tiers and have arrived at just one subscription – a year of which you can grab for free with your tablet purchase. After that, it’s £2.99 per month and provides unlimited cloud storage, full desktop syncing, and three years of hardware protection.
This is more like it!
Is it better than the iPad mini and Paperlike?
If you buy a reMarkable 2 today with a standard Marker and the one-year free Connect service, it’ll cost £358. By comparison, an iPad mini with the second-generation Apple Pencil and a Paperlike screen protector (essential if you want to make it as reMarkable-like as possible) will set you back £742.
There is now a huge chasm between the pricing of these two devices.
I’ve been told off for referring to the reMarkable 2 as a tablet, which is silly – the company behind that product literally refers to it as a tablet itself. It also has a built-in web browser, which means it is genuinely having a stab at being a do-it-all device.
In reality, the reMarkable 2 is a vastly different tablet compared to the iPad mini. The latter is the king of tablets and will be until Apple does something interesting with the rest of the lineup. Paired with the brilliant Apple Pencil and even more brilliant Paperlike screen protector, it straddles note-taker and full-screened computer perfectly.
The choice between the two is, therefore, actually pretty simple. If you need an iPad that can double brilliantly as a note-taking device, spend that extra cash on the iPad mini because the reMarkable 2 will not cut the mustard, regardless of the huge price drop.
That leaves one question, doesn’t it?
Final conclusion: who is the reMarkable 2 for?
During my original review of the reMarkable 2, I came to the conclusion that it could only be for people who were really serious about digital note-taking. A narrow market, I decided.
I still think that’s the case. The new pricing has just made it a far more sensible purchase for those people. If you sit within that bracket, there’s no longer a chance you’ll experience buyer’s remorse, which is the highest praise I can offer the new pricing strategy.
It’s great to see that the team behind reMarkable 2 listened and acted on the criticism thrown its way. I, for one, can forgive them for what was a daft approach originally to the pricing of this wonderful writing tablet. If you don’t need all of the fancy stuff offered by the iPad mini, the reMarkable 2 remains the best note-taker on the planet, and it is, finally, affordable.
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