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ReMarkable 1 vs ReMarkable 2: A Detailed Comparison for 2023

E Ink writing slates have existed on the fringe of mainstream tech for years. But newer models like the reMarkable 2 have thrust these distinctive tablets back into the spotlight.

If you‘re weighing the original reMarkable 1 against the updated reMarkable 2, you may be surprised at the differences between these specialized tablets. As a digital paper enthusiast and longtime user of both devices, I‘m here to unpack everything you need to know to decide which reMarkable fits your needs.

In this detailed head-to-head guide, we‘ll compare the reMarkable 1 and 2 across 10 key categories:

  • Specs and features
  • Design and ergonomics
  • Display quality and responsiveness
  • Processor performance
  • Battery efficiency
  • Software ecosystem
  • Accessories and extras
  • Availability and pricing
  • Overall usability and experience
  • Bottom line: which model wins?

Let‘s dive in with a top-level view of how the original and newer reMarkable tablets stack up:

ReMarkable 1 vs 2: At-a-Glance Comparison

Spec reMarkable 1 reMarkable 2
Announced 2016 2020
Display 10.3" 10.3"
Resolution 1,872 x 1,404 1,872 x 1,404
Processor 1GHz ARM A9 1.2Ghz dual-core ARM
Storage 8GB 8GB
Battery 3,000 mAh 3,000 mAh
Size 177 x 256 x 6.7mm 188 x 246 x 4.7mm
Weight 350g 403.5g
Status Discontinued Available
Launch MSRP $599 $299

With the vital signs inspected, let‘s diagnose the specific differences that set these writing slates apart.

ReMarkable 1 vs 2: Key Differences

The reMarkable 1 debuted in 2017 as one of the first E Ink hybrid devices focused squarely on notetaking. The reMarkable 2 followed in 2020, retaining the original mission while evolving the formula.

Across 3+ years between models, reMarkable made meaningful enhancements to design, display, processing, battery, and price. Let‘s break down each element.

Sleeker, Slimmer Design

The original reMarkable aims for function over form in its industrial design. At 6.7mm thick with large bezels, physical buttons, and 22mm side margins, the first iteration prioritizes writing room over aesthetics.

In contrast, the reMarkable 2 sports a modern makeover. It shrinks thickness to 4.7mm with smaller bezels for a more streamlined silhouette. Button controls also shift to the minimalist quick menu for a cleaner facade.

While improved ergonomics add slightly to the weight, the reMarkable 2 looks and feels closer to a digital clipboard vs. the tech gadget vibe of its predecessor. For users craving distraction-free focus, form following function is a boon.

Upgraded Display with Latency Boost

Both reMarkable tablets center around a 10.3” monochrome touch display. But the difference lies beneath the surface.

The original model features a Canvas composite display designed expressly to mimic real paper. Its texture, friction, and feedback aim to transport the tactile experience of writing in a notebook.

Seeking further performance gains, the reMarkable 2 adopts a flat tempered glass overlay instead. This sacrifices some paper emulation for immense latency improvements, dropping response delay from 50+ ms down to just 21 ms.

For avid note-takers and sketch artists, shaving crucial milliseconds makes all the difference in responsiveness. And while the Glass display shifts the sensory experience, its crisp fidelity stays true to reMarkable’s paper-like ethos.

More Muscle Under the Hood

In terms of pure processing punch, reMarkable tablets will never compete with multimedia powerhouses like the iPad Pro. Their specialized E Ink displays fill niche needs for long-form reading and writing vs. graphics-intensive apps.

But even by the standards of distraction-free eWriters, the original reMarkable lags behind with its modest 1GHz chip and 512MB RAM. The reMarkable 2 rights the ship with its 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB memory allotment.

While benchmark tests demonstrate only minor speed gains, the boost keeps reMarkable competitive with rivals like the Quaderno Gen 2. For users invested in the reMarkable environment, it’s enough to maintain a smooth operation.

Double the Endurance on Single Charge

Despite major advancements elsewhere, battery capacity remains static from reMarkable 1 to reMarkable 2. Both packs clock in at 3,000 mAh.

But through software and power efficiency enhancements, the sequel squeezes nearly 2x usage out of the same cell size. longevity leaps from an already-strong 3-4 days on the original to a class-leading 2 weeks per full charge on the reMarkable 2.

For traveling professionals or avid note-takers, maximizing uptime vastly improves the on-the-go experience. Combined with the 2‘s svelter profile, you can stash this slim slate in your bag and keep writing for days without plugging in.

Expanded Ecosystem of Accessories

As first-gen devices, accessories were understandably sparse for both tablets out of the gate. But reMarkable continuously expands its ecosystem for the 2nd generation device.

Key additions include the Marker Plus stylus with built-in eraser and improved Canvas feel. There‘s also a wider selection of replacement nibs and a growing array of protective Folios to safeguard your investment.

While available accessories aren‘t radically different for existing owners between devices, new buyers benefit from tailor-made solutions that prolong peak performance.

Affordability Amplified

For tech early adopters in 2016 willing to wait out production delays, the reMarkable 1 asked a hefty $599 entry fee. Some backers received discounts via indie crowdfunding campaigns, but retail models held firm at flagship pricing.

Four years later with an established fan base, reMarkable could lower costs on the 2nd generation unit without sacrificing quality. The $299 sticker price drastically improves accessibility to a wider audience beyond tech elites.

What‘s more, the original reMarkable 1 is no longer available through official seller channels. The rare units circulating demand premiums at 2-3x the reMarkable 2 rate. With support winding down as well, making the upgrade leap is increasingly prudent financially.

Similarities Maintained Between Versions

While reMarkable enhanced some elements for the reMarkable 2, other foundational features remain consistent across both generations. Let‘s examine key capabilities that carry over from the company’s inaugural tablet.

Matching Screen Size and Resolution

The most prominent continuous spec is display size and pixel density. Both removable models incorporate the same 10.3” digital Canvas touch panel. And their sharp 1,804 x 1,372 resolution translates written strokes and sketches with crisp fidelity.

Maintaining identical screen real estate was essential to upholding reMarkable’s core competency for distraction-free writing and drawing. And with ultrafine details unmatched by wider formats like A4, the natural zoom suits both quick notes and intricate illustrations.

Cloud Sync and Chrome Extension

On the software side, the helpful reMarkable cloud sync integrates tightly with both tablets. Users can back up vital documents online and fetch them from any device. Sign in securely using fingerprint ID or password to prevent leaks.

The free reMarkable Chrome extension also enables seamless transfers between the tablet environment and your broader workflow. Simply shoot web articles, PDFs, and e-books to your reMarkable to peruse them later without distractions.

By preserving tried-and-true digital connections, reMarkable smartly retains 1:1 compatibility even as more users transition to the second-gen model. Owners can collaborate and share between old and new devices thanks to the unified platform.

Palm Rejection Preserved

Entering text on an E Ink display poses natural challenges without the responsiveness of LCDs. But remarkably, the reMarkable 1 and 2 both integrate excellent palm rejection to prevent stray marks while writing by hand.

Thanks to machine learning algorithms that filter out errant contact points, you can rest your palm on the screen seamlessly without disrupting your cursive script or sketch strokes. It‘s a subtle yet game-changing refinement for extensive writing sessions.

Text Recognition Transcription Ready

While lacking a keyboard, the reMarkable tablets empower swift digital note conversions through AI-powered handwriting recognition. Both models can parse pages upon pages of script into editable documents with minimal tweaks.

It may never match natural typing for speed, but excellent text parsing vastly simplifies integrating analog ideas into your digital workflow. For scribes who think best in longhand, it‘s an invaluable bridge between focus modes.

4 Fascinating reMarkable Facts

Before closing the book on this head-to-head comparison, here are four fast facts about reMarkable‘s fascinating history you may not know:

  1. Norwegian Engineering: reMarkable originated in early 2013 from an Oslo-based startup.
  2. Crowdfunding Roots: After initial R&D, the original reMarkable tablet campaign launched via Indiegogo before retail availability.
  3. Codex OS: The Linux-based operating system powering reMarkable tablets is called Codex. It enables smooth E Ink optimization exclusive to the platform.
  4. Three Co-Founders: Longtime friends Magnus Wanberg, Paal Saugen, and Morten Rønning founded reMarkable together in 2013.

reMarkable 1 vs 2: Which Should You Get?

We‘ve unpacked a ton of fine print between the reMarkable 1 and reMarkable 2. With all their similarities and differences fully inspected, which one should you actually get in 2023?

For new buyers, the reMarkable 2 easily triumphs as today‘s definitive best-in-class eWriter. It perfects the recipe that made the original a cult favorite while amplifying power, battery, and stylistic appeal. And at $299, it‘s far more affordable without compromising premium quality craftsmanship.

For existing reMarkable 1 users, the upgrade equation isn‘t quite as definitive. If you primarily write or sketch without demanding blazing speeds, preserving your legacy reMarkable may suit you fine. But if lag drives you crazy, the zippy response times on the 2 are transformative. Faster syncing, extended runtime, and soon-to-expire accessory support also gently nudge veteran users toward upgrading sooner than later.

No matter your background, evaluating your priorities and use case simplifies selecting the ideal model to match. For virtually all newcomers to E Ink tablets in 2023 though, the reMarkable 2 stands confidently as today‘s definitive paper tablet package under $500.

Thanks for taking this comprehensive journey comparing the original and current generation reMarkable slates! Please reach out with any other questions comparing these exceptional modern writing devices.