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Can the ReMarkable 2 survive in an iPad’s world?

A new ReMarkable 2 tablet has just launched, which you can pre-order now for $399, marking the firm’s second attempt to bring an e-ink iPad-rival to the masses.

Confused why you’d want an e-ink tablet? We were when we first saw the original, but after got our hands on the first-gen l e-ink tablet back in 2017 we were grudgingly impressed, despite the limited functionality of the device.

The ReMarkable tablets only have one party trick, but it’s a really good one. The gadgets replicate the look and feel of pen on paper, which makes it easy to handwrite notes or annotate documents. As a neat little extra, the tablet can also take your notes and turn them into digital text.

Related: Read our ReMarkable Tablet review

According to the tablet’s Norway-based designers, the ink-on-paper effect has been improved in this new tablet, thanks to some clever innovations in display technology and surface materials. It’s also a lot more paper-like than its predecessor in its dimensions – the new design is just 4.7mm thick, making it the thinnest tablet on the market.

Despite these improvements, it looks like some of our gripes with the original product haven’t been addressed. For example, there aren’t any big name cloud services on the device, such as Dropbox or G-docs. You can access ReMarkable’s cloud service, but that doesn’t feel like a great solution for people working on big group projects, where other brands are usually preferred.

Related: The best tablets for 2020

We also previously questioned whether or not there was enough functionality on the original tablet to satisfy serious artists – but as the new device feels more squarely aimed at note-takers and readers, that issue is probably less relevant.

There are a couple of other useful little improvements. The battery life lasts weeks now, rather than days, and there’s a new pen accessory that comes with an automatic eraser. But until we get our hands on the new model we won’t be able to do an accurate comparison.

It’s an interesting time to launch a new tablet, given that the market has been shrinking for years and the big players have gobbled up most of the sales. But if the ReMarkable 2 manages to grab the attention of note-taking obsessives who are tired of hoarding physical notepads, it might buck the negative tablet trend.

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