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Remarkable starts implementing subscription plans for its cloud features (remarkable.com)
83 points by SommaRaikkonen 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 85 comments

A lot of comments talk aboue being disappointed and all, but id rather pay for cloud services than have my data sold to merchants and marketeers.

Meanwhile, I have syncthing and gocryptfs installed on my remarkable 2 and have blocked all telemetry domains with the hosts file. If i wanted to, I could even disable xochotl completely (however you spell it).

This is all good and shows that they respect their customers. We should praise this! Of course theyre not perfect--from what I understand the display driver is a big blob so its unlikely that well ever have a totally free OS running, but its way better than any of the chinese spy tablets that fill up the eink tablet space or American spy tablets sold by our favorite advertisement companies directly to our children's schools.

They're also well-positioned and pushed the eInk based note-taking line of products ahead of what we currently had. I certainly do hope they remain a viable business and keep iterating.

What stops them from charging you and selling your data?

Being bad at collecting data. We badly need data regulation, the EU had the right idea with GDPR

Why do we need regulation? Then it just becomes a thing managed by the powers that be the way they want? If we have properly shepherded data then we need no regulation. If a Remarkable tablet knows you only by a token and encrypts all of your data with your key then the Remarkable company has no access to your data by default even if they host it.

You can still sell data with GDPR.

What data does it even have to sell? It's basically an etch a sketch.

Its handwriting recognition is through their cloud service, its default document sync is through their cloud service. They have all your data if you use it the way they intend.

misplaced faith in capitalism

And misplaced identification of this system as capitalism.

What would you call it?

There is nothing stopping a company from both selling you a subscription and selling your data under a socialist organization of society. It only means the profits of said product would be more evenly distributed.

Capitalism and Socialism aren't the only ways to organize society. The state could force every company that operates within it be beneficial to its citizens.

> would be more evenly distributed.


Not sure the need for the sarcasm. If you have a criticism of what I'm saying, you can use words to address it. If you are insufficiently equipped to counter what I've said, it's far better etiquette to not post at all. Sweden is far more socialized than the rest of the world - and even employees rank and file Swedish employees of H&M enjoy a far greater share of the profits of H&M. That doesn't stop H&M from committing and profiting off of human rights abuses in Indonesia.

Under a socialist structure if all workers decided to poison the ocean in order to increase profits, that's completely possible. The main distinction is that more "shareholders" would be the people who actually do labor for the company, but I personally believe that they wouldn't act completely differently from shareholders of today if the negative externalities of their decisions were sufficiently outsourced.

Crony capitalism. Capitalism is in the name, but that's not what it is at all.

How do you convert the .rm to usable files? I tried it a couple of months ago, and that was the problem (unknown stroke types etc)...

I've been entertaining either a Remarkable2 or a Boox Note Air, but with remote-work over the last year it's been much less compelling.

Plus here in Australia we pay a significant premium for these types of devices - f.e. they're advertising the remarkable2 with Connect for USD$299 - but for Australians it's AU$499 (~ US$366).

On top of the death by a thousand cuts that is yet another subscription service, the AU version of that page indicates a subscription price of AUD$12.99 / month - compared to the USD$7.99 / month. USD$7.99 is around AUD$10.89.

The AU page's FAQ retains the ".. bought your reMarkable before 12.10.21 .." qualifier, and I think that translates to 2021-12-10, which sounds like an encouragement to buy before December to get this offer grandfathered in, but 12.10.21 (if assuming dd.mm.yy) would make more sense given today is 2021-10-13. (This is why we have unambiguous, international standards.)

$500... that was still of interest. Until I saw that the pen is not included in the price. And then the price of the pens -$170 for the version with an eraser (how could you use it without!?). I'm always adding a leather case to my devices too, and this didn't disappoint either - I'll never think my Kindle leather cases as expensive again.

If ordered, a cool $956 delivered. So this isn't happening, what a rip off those extras etc are for us down under. (Switching to US Store: USD $570 = AUD $776, maybe add 4-5% sales tax?).

PS agree completely about the date confusion. They should simply use 12-Oct-2021 or Oct-12-2021 to make it truly readable by as many as possible, as much as I like YYYYMMDD.

Edit: An Intuos Pro pen is $100 AUD, by comparison. This has tilt and pressure, with eraser and extra buttons, and comes with a number of nibs - https://www.kayellaustralia.com.au/product/2681-wacom-intuos...

I bought the device via pre-order and didn't order the Marker Plus at that time (mistake). However there is a soft-erase tool that works pretty well. Also, the Staedtler Noris Digital Jumbo, which can be typically had for around 40usd does have an eraser and I can verify it works well.

> how could you use it without

just don’t make mistakes

I very much liked your response. :)

Either rM pen also supports tilt and pressure. Still fairly expensive though

Just in case you're unaware, Onyx is well-known for violating the GPL license and not releasing their source code. Something to consider.

> Customers who bought their reMarkable paper tablet and registered a cloud account before 12 October 2021 get a free

Looks like the cutoff date was yesterday.

Hey as a fellow Australian, have you heard of freight forwarders? I use them to avoid the Australian tax

australia has 10% GST included in the price

$776x1.1 (for my build, see sibling comment) is $853 - well short of the $956 charged.

Not sure how to feel about this. I will say that at least, as someone who already owns a reMarkable 2 who had access to these features already, I'll still have access to them:

> If you bought your reMarkable before 12.10.21, we want to give you full access to Connect. If you have a reMarkable account, go to my.reMarkable.com and approve our new terms and conditions to get Connect.

On the "Connect" section of my account:

> As one of our valued early customers, you have full free access to Connect. This is our way to thank you for believing in us from the start. Your free plan includes all launch features, such as Google Drive and Dropbox integration and Screen Share.

I don't use these features right now, but it'll be interesting to see how the plans expand in the future. As a recent-ish owner of the device, the update cadence has felt pretty good and the new features have been relatively impressive, but I hope we don't see more features eventually get locked behind monthly plans.

Not even the 'Google Drive and Dropbox integration' is free, but instead is on the highest plan.

So to make up for the under powering and non-upgradeable storage space on that tiny 8 GB reMarkable 2 tablet, they cleverly introduce a subscription plan only for you to get more storage space.

I had high hopes about Remarkable and hoped it will improve its shortfalls after criticising them [0], but a subscription for even basic 'Google Drive and Dropbox integration' seems like a complete turn off compared with the PineNote.

Not surprising that we now know why the device storage was so low after all. Maybe they don't have any plans of increasing the internal space you will likely be paying for their plan AND potentially the cloud storage of your choice if you run out of space.

No thanks and no deal.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28190987

It’s an interesting device and I am fond of e-paper so I was considering one as well. The expensive pen with an eraser was a strike against it. Requiring a subscription to use someone else’s cloud service and only in the top tier plan, that turns a strike into a complete pass.

Here's a video that brings more perspective from My Deep Guide who reviews quite a whole lot of e-ink devices (timestamped for relevant part): https://youtu.be/K79MPnPq4_M?t=508

The thing that stood out for me is the way they push for a subscription as you purchase your device. The Marker Plus used to be $99, but they inflated the price to be $129 so that if you choose the Connect plan, it "slashes" the price back to $99 - how it originally cost before, according to the video.

IANAL but have been through the material in compliance training: I'm reasonably sure that this would be illegal according to Australian consumer laws.

You can't advertise a price as having a discount if it was never sold at the higher price.

Since you can technically buy it at the higher price now without the sub, perhaps they could argue that they increased the price of the pen, and introduced the discount in the same stroke, and maybe ACCC would let it slide - but they certainly wouldn't be amused.

The pen pricing is even better in AUD, btw.. and that's WITH the "discounts". AUD170 for the eraser one.

For reference: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/pricing-surcharging/display...

Mind you, those rules don’t stop such things from happening, even from purely Australian companies. I’ve tracked a Clevo-ODM laptop seller for years that’s perpetually at 25–40% discounts across all of their products (though they cycle through some of the specific components that are discounted), and I’ve been tracking one manufacturer’s only-sold-by-them 12V/100Ah LiFePO₄ battery for 15 months when they’ve had a $1,299 RRP marked down to $489–$469, with the alleged RRP recently reduced to $899. I’ve never complained to these companies or to the ACCC, but from other vaguely similar things that I have reported a couple of times I don’t expect much to happen.

I was days away from ordering a Remarkable 2, despite the high price.

I could see it being amazing, with screen-share, in diagraming and sharing visually with webex/zoom colleagues.

Now it looks like I'll need to pay them $7.99/month for the privilege ? Instant hell-no.

I bought one a few days ago (yet to be shipped). One of the reasons for buying was their announcements for subscriptions and their promise to keep old accounts under the old plan forever.

According to this comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28847243 if you buy before December 21 you get it free for lifetime

That date could be yesterday assuming it's DD.MM.YY.

> Customers who bought their reMarkable paper tablet and registered a cloud account before 12 October 2021 get a free

Yep. Yesterday.

This is a Swedish company, it's DDMMYY

I think it is Norwegian company.


I understand in theory they may grandfather me in if I act now on this limited-time offer.

But screen-sharing, essentially what's on the table to an app on my Laptop, should not require cloud services nor a recurring monthly subscription.

The coupling reeks and has really turned me off my decision to buy.

It's a great time to get off their cloud using libre third-party tools.


These are great, thanks for sharing!

I don't see an integration into excalidraw yet, maybe that's my next project...

Oh, wow. I had never heard of this device before, and looking at their website was an emotional rollercoaster. I went from “wow, I need this”, to “oh dear lord, absolutely not” several times, the whole connect thing, pricing around accessories, and lack of “formal” support for many cloud storage options leave me unimpressed.

Their website makes a real spammy impression, and really doesn’t inspire confidence. I need to keep paying their subscription to have handwriting conversion - one of the key reasons I would buy this? What if they go out of business? I lose device functionality? What about iCloud or OneDrive integration? I need to use Chrome for some functionality?

Nothing about this leaves a good taste in my mouth. It’s a real shame since I had my wallet ready, the device as such looks awesome, but the only hardware I want on a subscription is a new car.

There are alternative devices ( although the remarkables are considered to be among the best for note taking), each with their own drawbacks and advantages. For instance the Onyx Booxes come in different sizes, are full fledged Androids so you can install anything you want( so great for reading whatever), note taking is pretty good, but the company violates the GPL. The PineNote is open source and will run Linux, but development versions should come out later this year, so it's not exactly close to being ready.

So if you look around you'll probably find a similar device with the tradeoffs you're willing to make.

This is extremely disappointing. I've just left a complaint on this issue. They've clearly taken steps to avoid pulling the rug out from under preexisting users, but this practice is overall so scummy for such an expensive, single-purpose product that it is converting me from an evangelist of the product to a protester. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this product to anyone anymore. I should've listened to my instincts about lock-in when I saw that everything passed through a proprietary cloud.

> They've clearly taken steps to avoid pulling the rug out from under preexisting users, but this practice is overall so scummy

Why is the practice scummy then? If they did a bait and switch for existing customers, I get that would be scummy. But what’s scummy about raising prices for future customers (who have a free and informed choice whether to actually become customers)? Genuine question, I might be missing what you’re getting at here.

This is disappointing. My wife has one and loves it, and I was about to buy one my own. Now I don't know if I want to, knowing I'll get one intentionally crippled in comparison.

The price hike on the Marker Plus to incentivize the subscription is a nasty choice too.

It's a great device (for certain use-cases). My advice would be to just avoid the cloud features anyway if you can. If some of them are important to you, and can't be replaced by third-party tools (many can), yeah maybe a different device is better for you.

I never even created a cloud account, partly for privacy, partly to avoid crap like this.

It's the double hit though... they're also jacking the Marker Plus price to try to force a subscription.

Yeah that's a kick in the pants. Maybe just buy second-hand? Not sure.

The cloud features were never promised, your wife is getting an early adopter bonus.

It also doesn't preclude devs from developing 3rd party sync solutions.

Comment aside, I'd love to buy a Remarkable, but I'm not going to do so. The reason is that: "by default remarkable doesn't come with a marker". How can that even be possible? And I'm not sure if it's possible to use something else as a marker. The marker is just 59 euros. Of course I'd also like the cover, such an expensive device without a minimum protection is not a good idea. The cover costs 119 euros. That's a total of 178 euros for a device that costs 399. So that almost amounts to 45% of the cost of the device. Can anyone explain me why such a rip off? Even if I had a ton of money I wouldn't buy...

People who really want it will pay for it, I know a few. There isn't really any competition.

I never considered the cost of the device to be 400 euros. The price is around 600 euros all in. If I ever need to buy seperate accessories I can do so for 120 euro or 60 (for the pen).

I wish the Google drive integration was available in the lite plan.

The jump in features between lite and is huge: Handwriting (yeah good luck with mein), screen share, are all advanced features.

I am too cheap to pay $8 per month for it.

As more, and more and more software / products moves to the subscription model I have become extremely selective. $5 here $3 there $15 for that one etc it all ads up quick

This feels like a huge boon for the PineNote team, given that their launch is just around the corner.

their launch is not just around the corner -- unless you count a barely-functional developer device as launching, and a suitable replacement for the Remarkable 2.

The PineNote in 2021 will NOT be a consumer device, it may or may never end up being one depending on what the community of developers manage to develop in the next few years...

If you are as upset as I am, I recommend you hit 'contact us' and voice your opinion. Let the company know they are making a mistake: https://support.remarkable.com/hc/en-us?return_to=%2Fhc%2Fre...

what's remarkable (sorry) is that I'm a customer but heard about this only here on HN...

Likewise - incredibly disappointed. I don't even want to use their cloud storage; I'd much rather be syncing to a server I control. With the current pricing and the fact that I passed on my old rM1 to my wife when I got an rM2, we'd be looking at 2 subscriptions when we next upgrade devices - which pretty much rules it out.

I'm not opposed to subscriptions but the terms here feel draconian. If you lose your reMarkable, your cloud backups give you access only to the files you used in the last 50 days? Am I reading this right?

If I'm reading it right, if you subscribe, you get unlimited storage for cloud backups of your content.

If you don't subscribe, you still get cloud backup, but it's limited to files you've used in the last 50 days (files will no longer sync if left unopened for 50 days).

Wow...I hope the hacking community can re-implement some of these features.

I really can't believe they're doing this, the writing recognition sucks already, now they want new users to pay for it?

I am speechless.

I am not happy with this move. Before this step the Remarkable was an easy recommendation, but syncing a few gigabytes of files for every customer that paid you $600 dollars without an extra subscription seems reasonable. Hell, have me pay for the S3 storage I’m using, anything. But to start paying $8 per month just to access basic functionality feels silly to me.

I love the device, but recommending it without the grandfathered benefits feels like a ripoff to me (even if I never use them).

A bit annoying given that it's a pretty pricey device, but I only use the cloud stuff for transferring pdfs from my computer to the tablet, and I guess as some nominal backup of my notes on the device. There are other ways to achieve both. I'd still strongly recommend the tablet, it's amazing as a paper replacement.

I always enjoy seeing Norwegian companies making headlines on HN.

I have a remarkable (1) tablet. It sits on my shelf, Haven’t even charged it in over a year.

On the other hand, my iPad and Apple Pencil get used constantly. I run “write” by stylus labs. That combo of hardware and software provides the workflow I hoped the remarkable would (but didn’t). — True the remarkable is “more open” than the iPad… but not open enough to let me install software that matters to me.

So it’s just more ewaste.

Not to be blithe, but this sounds like a you problem.

Plenty of people have and use a Remarkable. You prefer something else? Fine. It doesn't have to sit on your shelf until you get around to throwing it away.

Resell it. Give it to a friend. Donate it. You have many options besides your shelf.

Damn. Was on the fence about this tablet for my masters. But I guess they took away any reservations I have. Anyone know any reasonable alternative?

If you do not absolutely need an eink tablet, iPad Air with apple pencil is arguably a much more versatile alternative for a similar price.

Every time I use an eInk device the novelty wears off quickly and I wish I just had an ipad.

I love my RM2. I don't have a problem w Remarkable wanting to charge for opt-in, value-add services. TLDR the hardware's great, the software's mediocre but steadily improving -- and extremely hackable -- and I'll continue to use and recommend it.

But these aren't additional services, they were services already provided. Screen sharing is not a cloud-based service. 8GB of cloud storage is not something I would expect to have to pay for.

Fair point. (I remember playing w screensharing a few months ago but haven't needed it.)

Screen share requires you to share everything you write with Remarkable? I'd expect to be able to do that over USB, and all the data stays local

Thankfully since the device is hackable you can do that easily with third-party tools.

But yeah it's lame that that's tied to the cloud account for the official stuff.

Easily is an overstatement, given number of changes they did recently. I'm trying for over a year to find stable replacement for remarkable desktop app (which syncs all my data without my control) on a company computer for screen sharing. And have only just now found a way to do that in a stable way with the new "share" from RM and rmview 3 opensource app. Before that more things didn't work then did (various issues, crashes, incorrect screen sizes, all soft of things).

But I'm certain this idiotic step by remarkable will push more and more devs and hackers to polish their tools create more and more full/complex environment without their cloud.

Having a subscription is fine.

Having a garbage free tier is not.

Basic things you can't do in free tier: - export your documents (email is the only high quality export, today, going through the app exports PNGs at half resolution) - have a warranty on your device (the ToS was changed to give warranty only to Connect customers)

Sure. Let's say you can sell handwriting conversion and screenshare. Maybe. But ugh, they combined so many dick moves in 1... I doubt they'll get enough new customers anytime soon.

I no longer recommend the platform, have told everyone considering to get one the news and my thoughts. They agree and immediately started looking at competitors.

> the ToS was changed to give warranty only to Connect customers

Is this even legal anywhere?

No idea. And I'm basing that claim on a youtube review of the recent changes, so I may be wrong...

I understand the need to increase revenue, but to have basic functionally behind a paywall… no thanks. I will stick to standard tablets.

remarkable tactics, instantly a premium device becomes more premium

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