Elec­tronic pa­per looks set to make a great leap for­ward thanks to the re­Mark­able 2

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - TECH NOW -

WE’RE all pretty fa­mil­iar with e-pa­per for read­ing – you’ve more than likely seen Kin­dle, the most pop­u­lar e-book plat­form from Ama­zon. These de­vices do not use dis­plays like phones and reg­u­lar tablets, but elec­tronic ink. There are a few dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies in this game, but most use tiny par­ti­cles float­ing in liq­uid un­der the dis­play. These re­act to elec­tric charges to cre­ate the marks you can see form let­ters and images on the screen.

The elec­tronic ink in­dus­try is im­prov­ing its tech­nol­ogy all the time. And while colour elec­tronic ink dis­plays are not quite ready for the main­stream, they are be­ing de­vel­oped.

But why would you even bother with this if we al­ready have very high res­o­lu­tion full colour dis­plays on tablets and phones?

Well, there are a num­ber of ad­van­tages to elec­tronic ink – the big­gest be­ing that it is much eas­ier on the eye than the screens phones and tablets use, but it also uses a lot less power.

Elec­tronic ink screens do not emit light but sim­ply re­flect nat­u­ral light, much like real pa­per. And they only re­ally use power when chang­ing states – they don’t need power to main­tain states.

This tech­nol­ogy has been used mostly for read­ing up to now. But in­creas­ingly it’s also be­ing used for writ­ing.

The pin­na­cle of that tech­nol­ogy at the mo­ment is the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion elec­tronic pa­per tablet from a com­pany called re­Mark­able – the re­Mark­able 2.

One of the big­gest bar­ri­ers to a us­able elec­tronic ink writ­ing en­vi­ron­ment is the la­tency – the time it takes for the screen to re­act to your pen’s touch. Then there’s the gap be­tween the sur­face of the de­vice that you touch with the pen,

and the level on which the ink is ac­tu­ally dis­played – when this gap is too large, it doesn’t re­ally feel like you’re writ­ing on the sur­face at all…

The re­Mark­able 2 seems to have solved those is­sues – or at least got close enough to solv­ing them to make writ­ing on an elec­tronic ink screen very us­able in­deed.

The re­Mark­able 2 is an in­cred­i­bly thin tablet with a 10.3in dis­play fea­tur­ing an elec­tronic ink sur­face with a res­o­lu­tion of 226dpi.

It’s just 4.7mm thick and weighs just over 400g.

The sty­lus (which re­quires no pair­ing or charg­ing) clips to the side of the de­vice mag­net­i­cally and there is a range of cool cov­ers to keep your re­Mark­able safe.

Why choose this over a stan­dard tablet? Well there are a cou­ple of rea­sons – re­Mark­able has gone to some lengths to try to repli­cate the feel of pa­per as well as its look.

There’s a tex­tured sur­face to the dis­play and the tip of the sty­lus, and this pro­duces the kind of fric­tion you might ex­pe­ri­ence when drag­ging a pen­cil across a piece of pa­per.

The dis­play re­acts to more than 4,000 lev­els of pres­sure, and can de­tect tilt in the pen.

There are two kinds of sty­lus you can buy, and the only real dif­fer­ence (aside from the colour

– one is black and one is white) is that the black one has a built-in ‘eraser’ on the end.

The other rea­son to make this your tablet is its lack of dis­trac­tions. You can ba­si­cally do three things with it – read, write, and draw. No video, no so­cial me­dia, no email or mes­sages. There is a web browser, but that’s only re­ally use­ful for read­ing ar­ti­cles pub­lished on­line – this re­ally is a de­vice that aids con­cen­tra­tion and think­ing.

A third rea­son to be in­ter­ested is the de­vice’s bat­tery life – it’ll go for two weeks with­out recharg­ing!

It sup­ports both PDFs and ePub e-book for­mats, so could re­place your Kin­dle just as eas­ily as your iPad.

There are a cou­ple of other neat fea­tures that might also make life eas­ier – it can con­vert your hand­writ­ing to text, and syncs doc­u­ments via the web so you can ac­cess them on the re­Mark­able app on your phone or tablet for shar­ing.

The reMark­lable 2 costs £399 in a spe­cial launch bun­dle that fea­tures the de­vice it­self, a sty­lus, and a fo­lio cover.

You can find out more at re­mark­

The re­Mark­able 2 is a fo­cussed and ef­fec­tive read­ing and writ­ing tool

The re­Mark­able 2 even repli­cates the fric­tion of the pen­cil on a page

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