It’s no secret I’m a fan of the reMarkable, a tablet with a paper-like display that’s focused on text and sketching rather than rich media and games. The sequel to the original, announced today, looks to make a good thing even better.
Designed for the creation and consumption of monochromatic content like long documents, ebooks, notes and sketches, the reMarkable set itself apart as a more minimalist alternative (or complement) to the likes of the iPad or Surface. The device was crowdfunded and has sold more than 100,000 units; meanwhile the company has grown and attracted a $15 million A round. One sees in retrospect that the money helped launch this successor.
The most obvious change is to the design. It has a bold asymmetrical look with a chrome band along the left side, indicating the tablet’s main use as an alternative to a paper notebook: Hold it with your left hand and write with your right. Sorry, lefties.
The new tablet is just 4.7 mm (0.19 in) thick, thinner than the iPad Pro and Sony’s competing Digital Paper tablets, both of which are 5.9 mm. Let’s be honest — at these levels of thinness it’s getting hard to tell the difference, but it’s an accomplishment nevertheless.
Probably the best thing about the original reMarkable, however, was how good it felt to write and draw on, and the company has spent the last few years improving that wherever they can. For one thing, the already very small delay of about 40 ms between touching the screen with the stylus and a line appearing has been nearly cut in half.
That’s an area where every milli-unit counts. The lag on a real pen and paper is zero, of course, and while the reMarkable was good, there was still a very slight lag, especially when making large gestures or lines. As ?????? explained to me:
The hardware to further push the latency down further did not exist, so we decided to invent the technology ourselves. We redesigned both the hardware and software architecture that controls the display through a completely new display controller that changes how the display itself is electrically controlled, down to the voltages and electrical currents applied in complex waveforms to each individual pixel, millions at a time. The result is a 20ms latency, smoother ink flow with less jitter, and a completely uncontested digital writing experience perfected.
I intend to investigate this myself once I get my hands on one of the new devices. The company worked with E Ink, the main manufacturer and investor in e-paper type displays, to accomplish the new display, which has the same specs as the previous one otherwise: 10.3 inches, monochrome, 1872×1404 resolution for 226 DPI.
Here’s the inevitable, yet well-executed, aspirational promo video:
The software running on the reMarkable has received several major updates since the product made its debut, adding things like handwriting recognition, a new interface, better performance and so on. But one of the most requested features is finally coming with the new device: saving articles from the web.
Unfortunately they didn’t answer my specific request of adding Pocket integration, deciding instead to roll their own with a Chrome plugin that sends a reformatted webpage to the device. Unfortunately I use Firefox, but I can make an exception for this.
The company is claiming a 3x boost to battery life, using the same 3000 mAh battery, based on performance improvements throughout and a more efficient (but more powerful) dual-core ARM processor. That means two weeks of use and 90 days of standby. This is welcome news, because frankly the battery life and power management on the last one were not great.
Lastly, the “Marker” itself is getting an upgrade I’ve desperately wanted since the first day I tried the tablet: an eraser. You could always erase by selecting that tool, of course, but now one of the tips of the stylus will activate it automatically, a feature borrowed from Wacom and accomplished in collaboration with them. Of course, the eraser-enabled “Marker Plus” costs $99, $50 more than the plain one. They both stick onto the tablet via magnet, though.
“We’ve worked closely with Wacom the last two years to create Marker Plus, the most beautiful pen we have ever made,” reMarkable co-founder and CEO Magnus Wanberg told TechCrunch. “In addition to premium materials and design, it features an end-cap eraser that works seamlessly with the reMarkable software. We’ve fined-tuned the eraser sensor in collaboration with Wacom’s engineering team to make sure it looks and feels like just a real eraser on paper.”
But overall you’re looking at a much cheaper package. The reMarkable, for all its merits, was not cheap at $700. The reMarkable 2 will sell for $399 if you pre-order, and comes with a Marker and a nice folio case. For anyone who was on the fence about the first one, the sequel may prove irresistible.
Apple supplier Foxconn's sales down 7.7% in March – Cape Breton Post
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Sales at Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, a key supplier of Apple Inc’s products known by its trade name Foxconn, were down by 7.7% in March.
The world’s largest contract electronics maker reported revenues of T$347.7 billion dollar ($11.51 billion) in March, falling from T$376.6 billion from a year earlier, it said in a filing to the Taiwan stock exchange on Monday.
January-March revenue totalled T$929.7 billion, down by 12.0% from the previous year, the filing showed.
Last month, Foxconn reported a 23.7% fall in profit in the last three months of 2019 as it braced for the impact from the coronavirus pandemic that hit demand from key customers.
(Reporting by Twinnie Siu; Editing by Alison Williams)
A $1,000 Samsung phone with a removable battery just went on sale in US – Android Authority
A not-so-new Samsung Galaxy phone with a removable battery just went on sale in the US. With internals that somewhat match those of the Galaxy S9, the Galaxy XCover FieldPro is a $1,100 phone that’s now up for grabs through AT&T.
The device was first introduced in October 2019 but its availability at the time was limited to enterprise customers.
The rugged phone has a removable battery and is designed for people like law enforcement officers, emergency workers, hikers, trekkers, technicians, and other users who basically need a rough and tough device for extreme conditions.
The phone carries US military standard certification (MIL-STD-810G) for durability and ruggedness. This gives it the ability to survive extreme temperatures, shocks, vibrations, and drops. It’s also IP68 rated for water and dust resistance.
Samsung Galaxy XCover FieldPro specs
As far as the specs of the phone are concerned, it features 2018’s flagship Exynos 9810 chipset. It also gets a 5.1-inch QHD display, 4GB RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 4,500mAh removable battery.
In terms of cameras, the Galaxy XCover FieldPro houses a 12MP dual aperture primary shooter and an 8MP selfie snapper. The camera setup is exactly the same as the one found on the Galaxy S9.
There’s a fingerprint sensor at the back of the device and it uses a pogo pin connector for charging or attaching peripherals.
Just like the XCover Pro, the FieldPro also gets a dedicated push-to-talk button that facilitates two-way communication during emergencies.
You get a USB-C cable, a travel adapter, a pogo pin charger, a push-to-talk earphone, an an extra battery in the box.
This rugged smartphone doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the retail price listed on AT&T’s website is a whopping $1,104.99. This brings it in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy S20 series as far as premium pricing is concerned.
However, if you are looking to buy the device on the cheap, you can also pick it up with a 30-month AT&T instalment plan for $36.84/month. The carrier will start shipping the phone between April 13 and April 15. There’s also an option to pick it up from an AT&T retail outlet.
Like the idea of a rugged Samsung phone with a removable battery? Then you can check out the phone on AT&T’s website via the button below.
Samsung Galaxy XCover FieldPro A rugged phone with removable battery
Who says smartphones with removable batteries are dead? Certainly not Samsung, as its Galaxy XCover FieldPro is now available to purchase. You’re essentially getting a Galaxy S9 with a 4,500mAh removable battery and more rugged design.
More posts about Samsung
Cooking Mama dev shuts down rumours of Switch version mining crytocurrency – GamesIndustry.biz
The developer of Cooking Mama: Cookstar has assured that the Switch game does not utilise Nintendo’s hardware to mine for Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
Responding to various queries on Twitter, New York-based studio 1st Playable said “Those are all rumours.”
“As the developers, we can say with certainty there is no cryptocurrency or data collection or blockchain or anything else shady in the code,” the developer tweeted. “The Nintendo Switch is a very safe platform, with none of the data and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games.”
The rumours appear to centre around confusion over the game’s release. IGN has a detailed breakdown of the many oddities.
At the heart is the fact that Cooking Mama: Cookstar is — according to its own website — supposed to be available now. But it does not appear listed on Nintendo’s online store, Amazon is only selling copies through two third-party sellers, and Walmart is listing it as out of stock.
There are also reports that the game appeared briefly on the US eShop before being delisted and does not appear anywhere on the European eShop.
But some Twitter users appear to have received physical copies.
In another tweet, 1st Playable said it was “frustrated as everyone with the distribution situation,” although offered no further clarification.
This confusion, combined with a 2019 press release announcing Cooking Mama would feature blockchain functionality, led to the rumours that the game would be used for mining Bitcoin.
When presented with this press release, 1st Playable clarified that it was released back in February 2019, adding: “We presume [it was] hypothetical like most releases around blockchain are.”
The studio continued: “Blockchain was never brought up to us developers, and we were entertainment to hear about [it] in late 2019. Not happening anytime soon.”
Oddly, these tweets are the only activity from 1st Playable’s account since Novembr 2017.
GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Nintendo and publisher Planet Entertainment via its PR agency Sandbox Strategies for clarification.
Distributor Koch Media responded but was unable to offer any clarification.
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