Our growing reliance on technology seems to be offset by a widespread sense of nostalgia – an irrational longing for the days when books were printed on paper, and photographs developed on film. But a new generation of technology is proving that the tactile, sentimental appeal of pre-pixelated media is not irreconcilable with progress.
The reMarkable paper tablet is a new innovation from Norway: it has successfully incorporated many of the features of a traditional notebook, and affects the experience of putting pen to paper as realistically as possible onscreen. Its matte display screen is pleasantly unadulterated by the glare of a back light, and records the movements of the pen-sharp stylus without the time-lag that ordinarily disrupts the illusion of ‘writing’. Interestingly, the reMarkable tablet uses E Ink display technology, which was popular with early model tablets, and Kindles – presumably because this (now slightly outdated) technology enhances the reMarkable’s resemblance to an actual notebook.
For technology-fatigued users, the reMarkable paper tablet represents the ideal union of custom and convenience: one can read on it, sketch on it, and handwrite one’s notes on it, without having to adjust to a radically impersonal format. This might seem like regressive thinking, particularly to people who’ve unequivocally embraced the holistic capabilities of tablet technology without remorse. But, though its true that we’re no longer burdened by paper-laden suitcases, its equally true that we’ve sacrificed a great deal of creative romance to technology; and it may be that the reMarkable paper tablet signifies a movement towards technologies that encompass the best of the past.
Available via remarkable.com.