A lot of my planning, script reading, journaling and client meetings happen on a fancy e-ink tablet I love called the Remarkable 2. I love the battery life, the size, the lack of light, and the distraction-free environment. It’s such a boring device that I forget it’s there, and what I’m actually working on takes focus. It’s magical and definitely overpriced. And, it turns out, a little flimsy.
Last month during a snowstorm, the Remarkable 2’s power button got stuck. This is a known issue, if Reddit is any indication, so I emailed Remarkable to find out my out-of-warranty options. They asked some questions: did I drop it? was I using their Folio cover? (“Yes,” “No.” Had I answered differently, I suspect they might have done an out-of-warranty trade.) Their offer to me was a ~$160 refurbished trade-in.
Because Remarkable is currently advertising on Twitter and I didn’t want to indirectly subsidize Elon Musk’s transphobia, I looked into repairing it myself.
The videos made it seem more complicated than it ended up being. If you try this at home, it’ll definitely void your warranty, could surely brick your device, and might end in injury or death. This is shared for those who feel comfortable with this kind of surgery, and with no guarantee of success.
Here’s what I used:
• Very sharp knife or razor (I used an Opinel pocket knife)
• A spudger, credit card, or something else plastic, rigid and flat
• A blow dryer
• Glasses screwdriver (Philips)
First, I watched a repair video to see what I was getting myself into.
Starting on the back, I carefully wedged the knife under the top right corner of the light gray plastic backing, just barely enough to then wedge in the spudger or credit card. Warning: as pointed out by Alcane on YouTube, the lighter-gray rubber feet can be chopped in half, so pry around them.
With brief bursts of the hair dryer and the spudger, I loosed the top portion of the sheeting and pulled it about a fifth of the way down (leaving it mostly attached still along the left side), just enough to reveal the screw that holds in the dark-grey sidebar piece (where the aforementioned stuck button is housed).
There are two screws near a notch along the right side (pointed at again by Alcane), about a fifth of the way down, one in plain sight (black), and another deep inside the notch (silver). I pulled the plastic backing up enough to get the screwdriver into the notch. The screwdriver ends up laying parallel to the tablet; I wasn’t targeting the small black screw holding in the metal backing. I removed the screw inside the notch and carefully set it aside. (Just kidding. I set it on a tissue and lost it with the blow dryer and took most of the repair time looking for it.)
I repeated the process for the second notch (which is about a fifth of the way from the bottom right). At this point, the dark gray sidebar slips right off, and the button can be popped back into place.
If the button is jammed because the device is bent, damaged, one might need to use a nail file or something to even it out. And one might need to use some silicone or something if the button is missing its rubber backing. There are more detailed instructions in this post.
After replacing the screws (and making sure the metal backing goes under the sidebar), I used the hair dryer to re-seal the plastic backing.
For the most part, it looks good as new aside from a scratch where the knife went in. The backing glued itself back nice and flat, the device works well, and the self-esteem from a successful DIY repair was priceless.
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