If you’ve dreamt of having an E Ink laptop that lets you write in peace away from the noise of the internet fairground, the ReMarkable 2 tablet and its new keyboard could 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 paper pad and pencil”. But it’s strangely lacked an official keyboard accessory to boost its appeal for writers – until now.
The new Type Folio ($199 / £179, around AU$320) is a super-slim keyboard that snaps onto the ReMarkable 2 with magnets, and apparently needs no additional pairing or charging.
That means you can type your notes or debut novel onto the tablet’s 10.3-inch E Ink display, without worrying about eye strain or being bombarded with the internet’s increasingly tenacious notifications and adverts.
Despite its slim profile, ReMarkable says the Type Folio’s keys have 1.3mm of travel – still a way off the world’s best keyboards, but a lot better than stubbing your fingers on a touchscreen. A few recent software tweaks also promise to make sure the typing experience melds nicely with ReMarkable’s traditional note-taking and sketching strengths.
For example, any handwritten text will intelligently connect to your typed text, so your scribbled and typed notes stay connected as you edit. You can also convert handwritten notes into text, then edit them using the Type Folio keyboard.
With ReMarkable promising that future software updates will bring more features to the Type Folio’s integration with its latest tablet, it could well become an essential accessory – particularly if you find it hard to concentrate when writing in the likes of Google Docs and Microsoft Word. We don’t blame you, when 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 its new Type Folio keyboard aren’t the only way to block out its many distractions, they are shaping up to be one of the best concentration-boosting combos around.
The combination certainly isn’t a cheap one – get the ReMarkable 2 tablet with its new keyboard and a Marker pen and you’re looking at an investment of $577 / £517 (around 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 check, or even a lit screen.
If you need more connectivity from your E Ink typewriter, combining something like a Boox Nova Air or a Meebook P10 Pro with a Bluetooth keyboard could be a cheaper and more powerful setup, as both run Android and give you access to the Google Play Store. Of course, our Onyx Boox Tab Ultra review found that tablet had a hard time keeping up with keyboard input.
We feel that these more powerful options might defeat the object of a pure, distraction-free writing machine. If you’re looking 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 – and its new Type Folio keyboard turns it into a super-minimalist laptop that could well be worth its premium.