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iPad vs reMarkable (2020): Which Tablet Should You Get?

Users who are looking for the best device for digital hand-written notes and hand-drawn designs often find themselves torn between the Apple iPad and the reMarkable tablets. Each tablet has its strengths and weaknesses, and different users will gravitate towards one tablet over the other. To help you decide which tablet is for you, we review and compare the new reMarkable 2 tablet against the best-selling 10.2-inch iPad.

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Apple iPad (7th Gen, Wi-Fi + Cellular)

The Apple iPad (7th Generation) now sports a larger 10.2-inch Retina display along with Smart Keyboard support. Play the latest games with its A10 Fusion chip and get creative with the Apple Pencil.

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iPad vs reMarkable 2 Tablet Comparison Chart

 Apple iPad (10.2-inch, Latest Model)reMarkable 2
 Apple iPad 7th GenreMarkable 2
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at reMarkable.com

Thickness0.29″
(7.5 mm)
.19″
(4.7 mm)
Dimensions
(LWD)
250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm187 x 246 x 4.7 mm
WeightWiFi: 1.07 lbs / 483 g
WiFi + Cellular: 1.09 lbs / 493 g
.88 lbs / 403.5 g
Display10.2″ Retina10.3″ Monochrome 2nd Gen CANVAS
(partially powered by E Ink Carta)
Resolution2160 x 1620 at 264 ppi1872 x 1404 at 226 DPI
StylusApple Pencil, sold separatelyMarker
Marker Plus (w/ built-in eraser)
Latency20ms on 2nd Gen Apple Pencil21ms
ProcessorA10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture1.2 GHz dual-core ARM
Operating SystemiPadOSCodex 
Built-In CellularAvailableNo
Rear Camera8MPN/A
Front Camera1.2MPN/A
Smart KeyboardCompatibleN/A
Touch ID / Face IDYesN/A
Battery LifeUp to 10 hoursUp to 2 Weeks
Storage Capacity32GB
128GB
8GB (100,000 pages)
ColorsSilver
Space Gray
Gold
White
Book Folio covers are available in various colors

Design and Display

The new reMarkable 2 is slimmer and lighter; the iPad has a colored Retina display while the reMarkable 2’s is monochrome digital paper

design and display ipad vs remarkable
While they have similar sizes, the 10.2″ iPad (left) is slightly thicker than the 10.3″ reMarkable 2

Both the 10.2-inch iPad and the 10.3-inch reMarkable 2 are sleek, lightweight tablets that deliver their promise of portability. They are well-built and their aluminum finish adds to their premium look and feel. Despite having a slightly larger display size, the .88-lb reMarkable 2 is slightly lighter and slimmer than the 10.2-inch iPad that weighs 1.07 lbs. Their aluminum body is magnetic, allowing you to clip a stylus or cover in a snap.

The iPad and the reMarkable 2 are marketed for different types of users, and their vastly different displays reflect that. The latest iPad boasts a 2160 x 1620 resolution Retina display that packs 264 pixels per inch. Designers and artists who like to draw in color will appreciate the sharp colors and stunning images that the iPad delivers. While this is great for many, avid readers find that the glare and blue light coming from the iPad’s screen can cause eye strain when used for longer periods.

It’s remarkable how different the screens are of a regular tablet, such as the iPad, and the reMarkable 2

In contrast to the iPad’s vivid colors, the reMarkable 2 is equipped with the 2nd Gen CANVAS monochrome digital paper. Its resolution is 1872 x 1404 (226 dots per inch) and its CANVAS display doesn’t have a glare that can cause eye strain. The reMarkable 2 is not trying to compete with the iPad’s smooth, responsive Retina display. What it provides is that pencil on paper experience many still prefer in this digital age, and it does so impressively with its paper-like surface.

Performance

The iPad is the more powerful, versatile tablet, but when it comes to digital handwriting, the reMarkable 2 wins

Unlike the iPad that lets you consume a lot, the reMarkable 2 prides itself as a device designed to help you focus and escape endless notifications

While both offer the use of a stylus for digital handwriting, the experience one will get from each tablet is vastly different. The iPad line, from the 10.2-inch iPad to the iPad Pro, is heavily marketed as something that can do most tasks that an entry-level or mid-tier laptop can. Apple’s bespoke A10 Bionic chip powers the entry-level iPad while the 2020 iPad Pro runs on the latest A12Z Bionic chip. These custom processors are some of the fastest among tablets in their class.

In contrast, the reMarkable 2 runs on Codex, a Linux-based OS typically found on similar devices with low-latency digital paper displays. It boasts a 21ms latency, so you will barely feel any delay when writing using the Marker or the Marker Plus, the styli for the reMarkable 2. The reMarkable 2 supports ePUB and PDF and converts your handwriting to text that you can export. You can further sync your notes, files, and designs to other devices through the reMarkable app.

Battery Life and Accessories

The iPad requires a separate purchase of the Apple Pencil while the reMarkable 2 includes the Marker stylus and Folio cover for free for pre-orders

Apple’s Smart Keyboard for the 10.2-inch iPad (left) and reMarkable’s stylus and Folio sleeve (right)

Among the accessories typically bought with the iPad are the Magic Keyboard, the Apple Pencil, and the magnetic Smart Folio. Meanwhile, the reMarkable 2 comes with the Marker and the Folio sleeve for free as part of their pre-order promotions. reMarkable also released a line of elegant Book Folio that magnetically attaches to the reMarkable 2, similar to the Smart Cover for the iPad.

As for their battery life, the latest 10.2-inch iPad can be used for up to 10 hours for surfing, video streaming, and similar casual activities. On the other hand, the reMarkable 2 boasts up to two weeks of battery life, although it still highly depends on how often it is used. This is almost thrice as long as the battery life of its predecessor.

Verdict

The iPad offers overall better value for your money, but if you’re after a better digital handwriting experience, the reMarkable 2 is a worthy investment.

Deal Finder
Apple iPad (7th Gen, Wi-Fi + Cellular)

The Apple iPad (7th Generation) now sports a larger 10.2-inch Retina display along with Smart Keyboard support. Play the latest games with its A10 Fusion chip and get creative with the Apple Pencil.

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Sprint.com
We are reader supported. When you buy through our links we may earn an affiliate commission.

At the end of the day, choosing between the latest 10.2-inch iPad with the reMarkable 2 depends on what you need the tablet for. The latest iPad can do more and has a more powerful processor, but it cannot deliver the same handwriting and note-taking experience that the reMarkable 2 does well. An alternative that some people have found worked for them is getting a Paperlike cover for the iPad. However, even that is not the same as working on the CANVAS display of the reMarkable 2.

Price-wise, getting the reMarkable 2 on pre-order saves you around 137 USD as it comes with the accessories for free. This makes the reMarkable slightly more affordable than the iPad if you consider the additional cost of the Apple Pencil.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better, the iPad or the reMarkable 2?

The iPad offers more features than the reMarkable 2, but the latter isn’t trying to replace the former. If you typically draw full-colored digital art or want an all-around tablet, the iPad better fits your needs. The reMarkable 2 is more for users who are looking for that pencil on paper feel when writing digital notes.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the reMarkable 2 worth it?

The reMarkable 2 is worth it for users who often read and take notes using a tablet as it provides the closest experience to writing on actual paper.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can the reMarkable 2 read Kindle books?

Kindle books are not yet supported, but you can read ePUB and PDF files on the reMarkable 2.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the reMarkable 2 have color?

No. Unlike the iPad, the reMarkable 2 is not colored. It is equipped with a Monochrome 2nd Gen CANVAS display powered by E-ink Carta.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.