The upcoming Boyue Likebook Alita and the Remarkable are two of the best digital note takers on the market. They both have E Ink screens and come with a stylus in order to edit PDF files, take notes and freehand draw. Which one is worth your money and what do they bring to the table?
The Likebook Alita features a 10.3 inch E Ink Carta and Mobius capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1872×1404. Unlike the Likebook Mimas, the screen is completely flush with the bezel, which should make it easier to draw or make notes. This is because you can draw edge to edge on a flush screen, whereas with a sunken screen, drawing along the edges is hit or miss. A glass screen will also prevent you from scratching the display if you press hard on the stylus, tradition e-paper screens can get scratched, which is why you need a screen protector or some sort of film.
The Alita has a front-lit display and a color temperature system. The front-light has a series of white LED lights on the bottom of the screen and project light upwards. This ensures that the light is not shining in your eyes, since it’s not backlit. The color temperature system has a series of orange LED lights that help defuse the white led lights. This is useful if you are using the Alita in complete darkness or low light conditions. It basically helps mute the screen, giving you a softer and warmer light. Some people dig this because the screen is not as bright when you are working at night and if you are simply reading an ebook in bed, you will likely not disturb your partner.
Underneath the hood is a octa-core 1.5ghz processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. There is a hidden SD card on the right side, it pulls out like a SIM card tray and you can close it. This is a neat little design feature and I hope other vendors decide to employ it in the future. The SD card is capable of reading up to 128GB, so you will have no shortage of available storage for your PDF files, sideloaded ebook collection or simply offloading your apps to the expandable storage.
Google Android 6.0 is what the Likebook Alita is running right now, but Google Play is not available in our prototype, but is available on all of their other models. The stylus is made of plastic and the nib is plastic, which means they will last forever, but they are not indicative to a great drawing experience like the Remarkable.
The Remarkable Writing Tablet features a 10.3-inch Canvas display and utilizes E-Ink Carta. The screen has a capacitive touchscreen and you can interact with most elements with your finger or the accompanied stylus. The note taking experience has palm rejection technology, which means you can easily rest your palm on it. The screen is completely flush with the bezel and the resolution is 1872×1404 with 226 PPI.
Underneath the hood is a 1GHZ Arm A8 CPU processor and 512MB of RAM. You have 8GB of internal storage and there is no SD card. The Remarkable has Wi-Fi that is primarily uses to fetch firmware updates and to synchronize your notes on a local network. This device does not have an internet browser or any other way to connect to websites.
Except from the Wi-Fi module and the processor, the Remarkable only uses power when the display state changes. This is the primary benefit of e-ink in general; unless an image changes on the screen, it does not draw power. It has a 3000 mAh lithium Ion battery and it should last for five days of normal usage and two weeks of battery when in standby.
The Remarkable offers a killer note taking experience. They have the best in class options for drawing, different sized pencils and pencils. Lots of layering and free-transform options in addition to the default stylus having pressure sensitivity. Remarkable recently unveiled the Marker Signature that is made of aluminium and has a graphite nib, it supports tilt sensitivity, so you can hold the stylus at an angle and shade.
The comparison video, which you can watch below, compares the Remarkable and the Alita. You can get a sense of the industrial design, stylus, drawing features and what makes them both entirely unique.
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 CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.