The Remarkable 2 has quickly become one of the most endearing digital note taking devices. The company has a complete line of accessories, such as a premium stylus and different cases. The product has been on the market since early last year and many users love the distraction free writing experience. The Kobo Elipsa is a new product that pulls double duty, it is a fully functional e-reader and also an e-note. What device is better for your needs?
The Remarkable 2 has a few strong things gong for it. You can freehand draw, take notes, edit PDF files and also ebooks. The UI and writing experience is the same, no matter what you are editing. There are way more pencil and brushes than the Kobo. Customers love the tilt recognition, this is ideal for shading, there is also strong functionality for layers, which is similar to Adobe Photoshop. You can read ebooks on the Remarkable, but since there is no digital bookstore, you have to sideload in your content, ditto with PDF files. You cannot simply it into your PC and drag and drop via Windows Explorer, you need the Remarkable desktop software to transfer everything, and only one device can be registered to an account at a time.
Remarkable has been very good at issuing firmware updates. They issue them once every three or four months. They tend to be large in scope, which means they introduce a ton of new functionality and solve many lingering bugs. Remarkable has their own blog, which comprehensively outlines all of the features and they also send out an email to anyone who has the device, letting them know a new version is available.
Remarkable has a very solid marketing campaign. They advertise on Google Ads, Facebook and Twitter. The company is very friendly with the media and sends out hundreds of units for the purpose of conducting hands on reviews or YouTube videos. All of this really helps with free advertising.
The Kobo Elipsa is going to come out at the end of June, but we already have it in our YouTube studio and have conducted an unboxing, review and written review. This device has many different things going for it. It has the same Kobo e-reading software that is on all of their other products. This gives users the ability to login to their existing account and sync all of their past purchases. The Kobo digital bookstore is also available, which gives access to millions of free and paid titles. Overdrive is available, simply visit the settings menu and enter your digital card number. This will then open up a new navigational entry, listing of all the ebooks that the local branch has in stock. Pocket is also here, which syncs blog articles directly to the Elipsa. Some users have huge repositories of ebooks and PDF files in their Dropbox account, the Elipsa has Dropbox functionality to sync all of the content directly to the e-reader.
This product is the first e-note that Kobo has ever released. They are employing an active stylus and not a WACOM one, so only the Kobo stylus will work. It is designed well, has an eraser button and highlight button, it is powered by a single AAA battery. The note taking functionality is not as advanced as the Remarkable, nor does it have a layering system. There are two different ways to freehand draw, one is with the basic app, and another is the advanced one. The advanced note taking app just provides a few features, such as entering math equations and then Elipsa will solve them automatically, there is also handwriting to text conversion. The overall drawing experience is fantastic and advanced settings really make ebooks and PDF files shine.
I believe that the Elipsa is the better device. It has a bookstore, Overdrive, Pocket and Dropbox support. You don’t need proprietary software to sync content. There is an internet browser to pursue the web, and read articles online. It has a way better home screen, listing the books you are currently reading and recommended books, along with some of your notes. The Remarkable basically just has a file browser. The Elipsa is much more capable device, and is issued by a trusted name in the e-reader business. The company will also have it available in the retail setting, in dozens of countries, allowing people to try it, before they buy it. Remarkable on the other hand is only available on their website.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.