If you’ve been dreaming of an E Ink laptop that lets you write in peace and quiet, away from the noise of the Internet funfair, the ReMarkable 2 tablet and new keyboard might be for you.
We’ve long been fans of the ReMarkable 2, calling it “the best digital handwriting and sketching experience you can get this side of a notepad and pencil”. But oddly enough, it has so far lacked an official keyboard accessory to increase its appeal to writers.
The new Type Folio ($199 / £179, about AU$320) is a super-thin keyboard that snaps onto the ReMarkable 2 with magnets and doesn’t seem to need any extra pairing or charging.
That means you can type your notes or debut novel on the tablet’s 10.3-inch E Ink display, without worrying about eye strain or being bombarded with the Internet’s increasingly persistent notifications and ads.
Despite its slim profile, ReMarkable says the Type Folio’s keys have 1.3mm of travel – still a far cry from the world’s best keyboards, but a lot better than bumping your fingers on a touchscreen. A few recent software tweaks also promise to ensure that the typing experience blends nicely with ReMarkable’s traditional strengths for note-taking and sketching.
For example, any handwritten text will intelligently connect to your typed text, keeping your scribbled and typed notes connected while you edit. You can also convert handwritten notes to text and then edit them using the Type Folio keyboard.
With ReMarkable promising that future software updates will add more features to the Type Folio’s integration with its latest tablet, it could well become an essential accessory – especially if you find it hard to concentrate when writing in Google Docs and Microsoft Word. We don’t blame you, because ChatGPT is always just a few clicks away.
Analysis: A pricey delight for minimalists
For writers, the Internet has become the ultimate test of self-discipline – and while the ReMarkable 2 tablet and new Type Folio keyboard aren’t the only way to block out the many distractions, they do become one of the best concentration-boosting combos around.
The combination certainly doesn’t come cheap – buy the ReMarkable 2 tablet with its new keyboard and a highlighter and you’re looking at an investment of $577 / £517 (about AU$930). That’s more than an iPad 10.9 (2022) and it’s worth bearing in mind that the ReMarkable doesn’t have home comforts like a web browser or spell checker, or even a backlit screen.
If you need more connectivity from your E Ink typewriter then combining something like a Boox Nova Air or a Meebook P10 Pro with a Bluetooth keyboard can be a cheaper and more powerful setup as both run Android and give you access to the Google Play Store. Naturally, our Onyx Boox Tab Ultra review found the tablet struggled to keep up with keyboard input.
We feel that these more powerful options could defeat the purpose of a pure, distraction-free typewriter. If you want to combine the feel of real paper, an incredible writing experience and the convenience of digital connectivity, the ReMarkable 2 tablet remains a unique option. be worth its premium.