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Connect Subcription on reMarkable / Related to Nintendo tried to sponsor us...LMG Clips / Wan Show May 20

Connect Subcription on reMarkable  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Will you buy a reMarkable right now ?

    • Yes (and with subcription)
      0
    • No ( if they remove connect and switch to their previous free sync services model)
      5
    • Don't Care about the Subcription
      4


A long-time subscriber and follower of LTT but my first post here...

I recently saw Linus's take on the Nintendo's sponsorship offer/Game save issue on WAN/LMG Clips. On a similar note, I want to bring your attention to a similar problem with reMarkable's connect subscription.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a8QB6Rsrw4&ab_channel=LMGClips

reMarkable is an eInk tablet and had been featured in short-circuit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0R0vu3Ti1w

Compared to its competition, the Linux-based software experience (as compared to ONYX BOOX Nova Air or HUAWEI MatePad Paper's android implementation) made it essential for note-taking and other e-Ink related stuff. It is miles ahead of others.

However, they recently switched to a monthly subscription model (Connect) for all outside communication-based services like cloud sync, hand-writing recognition screen-share, etc., which used to be completely free. Without the subscription, It is basically a very expensive piece of digital paper.

 

Important to note that, it didn't have to be. It is a Linux OS at its core and easily can be ssh-ed into. One can easily set up a VNC server or a sync script over ssh/scp on it and almost every form of hack exists for this device from Third parties. They also recently started removing these access options too!! 

Basically, they want their customer base to switch to their subscription at any cost. This kind of "Apple-like" behavior is certainly not expected from a fresh start-up. I myself and I know a few others who aren't upgrading to their new models just because of this subscription and sticking to the older devices which are grandfathered into the subscription model. 

I would like to know what community members think and see if we can bring it to any of the LTT writers' attention.


 

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How is it being Linux based any relevant? All of these services require servers to run, which cost money, of course. It's not totally unreasonable to require a subscription for that

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33 minutes ago, duncannah said:

How is it being Linux based any relevant? All of these services require servers to run, which cost money, of course. It's not totally unreasonable to require a subscription for that

It's unreasonable to "double-dip" ... you sell a product advertising free cloud abilities, or using your own cloud (google drive, dropbox, whatever) and then removing support for it.  Also unreasonable to remove features, or remove ability to customize the device or add programs to your product, long after the device was sold to you advertising those features or the fact that it's open to modifications.

 

You can hide the cloud cost in the price of the product. 

Let's say you plan to charge 2$ a month from each user, and assume a product life of 5 years .... hide these $70 in the price of the product. 

They charge a lot for the pens, for folios, everything... the profits are big.

 

From what reviews I saw about Remarkable, they use a sort of cumbersome method of transferring data - to OCR the text you write, they send the stuff to the cloud and then you get an email with the text, or something like that. 

 

Could have easily added a SD card slot or ability to dump data on usb stick or make it available in a "shared folder" when the device is connected to the network.

 

And it's not like they need to have hundreds of servers, it's an ebook reader with maybe once in the afternoon a user connects to cloud for a few minutes. They most likely use services like AWS where they can just spawn instances as needed and shut them down so they won't pay to rent the servers monthly. 

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Hi!  with the declaration that I am not a net admin, It doesn't have to be. let's dissect it...

1) Relevance of Linux-based OS back-end: reMarkable is kind of a Linux headless server to which you have root access. With this, you can do practically anything with it with minimal tech knowledge. reMarkable hacks is a community that is recently growing. Compared that to Android.. communicating with android outside an app isn't everybody's game and the app market for e-Ink, is a niche segment. With Linux and ssh, you can just go to stack-exchange and set up a VNC to showcase your remarkable on your computer screen (regardless of which OS you use on the computer)....try doing that to an android eINK without a dedicated app for it. 

2) requirement of a server and thus a maintenance cost: First it used to be free. Connect Subscription is imposed very suddenly on the entire product range. It was put on all the devices that are bought after a certain date. I wouldn't have any problem if they would have added new features on top of existing free ones with a subscription. Just putting everything behind a paywall one fine day, out of the blue, on all devices after a certain date isn't how a subscription model should be done. 

Regarding the Cost: yes the servers do cost something. But the features they provide with the Connect are provided by all reMarkable hacks are free of cost and open-source. Screen-share is VNC and They could just be easily allowed us to store my files to my cloud account instead of theirs. They do offer Dropbox/OneDrive/GDrive integration but you can only copy the documents back and forth. Can't store anything that is being synced/annotated. Connect allows documents to be added from an app or desktop application (Yes I can transfer through scp but why I can have an official app to do it for free?). That wouldn't have been needed if we can just sync it over from my cloud service. Connect also doesn't provide GBs or TBs of storage (much smaller than what comes for free with Google or one Drive) 
So, I hope I made my point. We start as a start-up and offer basic free services to build your community and user-base then instead of adding, you put your entire service behind a paywall is questionable. It is as unreasonable as asking to save game-saves only on Cloud for Nintendo as Linus mentioned. Hand Writing recognization, add tat to premium-tier fine! Adding the ability to send documents to your device from an app to a premium segment, is just unacceptable. 

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Lucky us in EU - if manufacturer takes some features back after some time, during 2 year period you are able to return device. 

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I would never buy a remarkable anyway, I have a onyx boox note air which was significantly cheaper than the remarkable anyway. There is nothing the remarkable offers that would justify their asking price. 

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Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

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1 hour ago, Arika S said:

I would never buy a remarkable anyway, I have a onyx boox note air which was significantly cheaper than the remarkable anyway. There is nothing the remarkable offers that would justify their asking price. 

I had tried a Onyx Boox note air at a computer shop and in genral, my experience was that the note taking was laggy compared to even remarkable 1. Have you ever tried any reMarkable and compared it to your Onyx? 

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10 minutes ago, Sapta 117 said:

I had tried a Onyx Boox note air at a computer shop and in genral, my experience was that the note taking was laggy compared to even remarkable 1. Have you ever tried any reMarkable and compared it to your Onyx? 

I've compared it to a friend's remarkable 1 and I couldn't even tell a difference in the handwriting lag. The feel of the glass was different, but otherwise I didn't notice any real difference.

🌲🌲🌲

Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

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I have extreme difficulty justifying a purchase to replace my pen and paper when you could just use pen and paper. This is my biggest hiccup and I have difficulty justifying $500 for it. But what really gets me is that on top of that ReMarkable charges $8 to store the data on a cloud storage platform you don't own. This subscription model is a little odd but I know why you did it, and it's a little disingenuous and anti-consumer.

 

You need to pay for your own cloud platform but if you enabled third party storage like google cloud then very few people would use it because they'd already use the one they prefer. On the surface by a business decision it makes sense while customers begrudgingly give up $8/month to access their own data, but deeper it really doesn't. You're charging $500 for a product that presumably has at least a 30% profit margin (and probably more), meaning 19 months of subscription payments is equivalent to one device sold in profit (assuming generously that the $8 is all profit, which it isn't).

 

The question, then, is how many people saw the subscription service and passed up the product because of it? I know for me, who is on the fence about it, that it was a complete and total deal breaker. You may have convinced me with solid hardware and an interface but now I don't want anything to do with it. What's more, is now I'm forced to consider the Netflix effect of you raising subscription prices as soon as you realize this business model is having trouble because it's difficult for it to turn a profit with it due to a dearth of subscribers.

 

I can imagine the board room meeting solution to this was the introductory trial period of 100 days, deceptively marketed to seem like more time than it is (convenient 3 digit number eh?) and the whole cancel anytime you want to hook people in.

 

So yeah, I don't think so now that I've really had time to sit down and think about it.

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