The Sony Digital Paper DPT-Rp1 has been available for the past three years and sets the gold standard for viewing and editing PDF files. The split screen view is robust and it is great for making notes. The Remarkable 2 has started to ship to people who placed pre-orders back in April and this device can not only view/edit PDF files, but also EPUB ebooks too. The drawing app is one of the best in the business, with their layering system and handwriting to text engine.
The DPT-RP1 features a 13.3 inch E-Ink Carta screen with a resolution of 2200 x 1650 and 207 PPI. The screen is completely flush with the bezel and not only does this make the device have a premium feel, it also provides a ton of benefits. You can easily draw edge to edge, which is quite useful for people who are editing a full screen PDF file.
Underneath the hood is a Marvell IAP140 64-bit Quad-core IoT Applications Processor and ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, up to 1.2GHz, and has a separate power low-power Cortex M3. It has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, but when you power it on the first time, there is 11 GB. The rest is reserved for the Google Android operating system and some of the stock PDF templates that are available.
The Remarkable 2 features a 10.3 inch E INK display with Canvas 2.0 technology for a better refresh system when viewing PDF files or reading ebooks. It has improved, contrast, making sure it gives a great writing and reading experience.The resolution is the same as the original with 1872×1404 with 226 PPI, it also has multi-point capacitive touch. The screen has 21ms latency, which is very ideal.
Underneath the hood is a 1.2 GHZ dual core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Remarkable has basically doubled the processor and RAM from the original, but has kept the internal storage the same. Also, the company has decided to forgo a Micro USB port and instead embrace USC-C, which should appeal to the vocal minority that hates having multiple cables.
Drawing or editing PDF files is heavily dependant on software, but also the stylus. Sony has one stylus, that needs to be recharged via USB. It also does not have pressure sensitivity, but the pen is designed really well. It is made of brushed aluminum and is hefty, with some good weight. The default Remarkable pen is not that great, it has a sandpaper type of feel and is made of plastic. The premium Marker Plus is way better, but costs $99. It is made of aluminum, has an eraser button weighs more than the DPT stylus, it also does not need to be charged. Both companies offer different types of nibs, but Remarkable does not sell the nibs separately yet.
I think the Remarkable 2 provides good value. It retails for $399, during the pre-order period, and the price should go up around $100 when it ends. It provides a great drawing experience, but the DPT-RP1 at $699+ provides a better PDF experience, since more content can fit on the screen at any given time. It also has more advanced rendering engine. You can fit 2 pages of the same document on either side of the screen, or even a the note taking app on one side and a PDF on the other.
This comparison video will give you a sense on the industrial design of the the Digital Paper and Remarkable 2. We take a look at the UI, drawing and note taking experience. If you are on the fence on which one is better for your workflow, this video will answer these questions.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.