Amazon’s Kindle line is a foregone conclusion in the world of e-readers, and it seems almost unusual that the company has waited this long to release its first E Ink note-taking device, the Kindle Scribe. .
Kindle Scribe harks back to the early days of Amazon’s first large-format e-reader, the Kindle DX, with hardware tastes of Kindle Oasis’ metal and asymmetric bezel. As a late arrival to the E Ink note-taking tablet party, there is hope that Amazon will offer the most sophisticated version of the note-taking/e-reader combo available. The answer to the world’s Kobo Elipsas, reMarkable 2, and Onyx Boox Nova Air. The reality, as it often happens, is more complicated.
The Kindle Scribe starts at $340, but the value varies greatly depending on the level of features you want from your note-taking device and how much you invest in Amazon’s ecosystem. Amazon’s writing process is unlike our competitors and not necessarily the way avid note-makers appreciate it.
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big screen for graffiti
The Kindle Scribe is mostly a screen, wide with bezels on all sides except the left side, and serves as a place to hold the device without touching the E Ink. The left side of the Kindle Scribe houses the e-reader’s only USB-C port and the only button to lock and unlock the screen and turn the device on and off.
The Kindle Scribe’s 10.2-inch, 300 PPI display is the star. It’s hard to argue with Amazon’s choice of an E Ink screen, and you get all of the company’s best features, like automatic brightness adjustment, screen warmth settings, and a Wacom layer that supports stylus input. The Kindle Scribe itself is light and a little slippery with its metal back (it has his four rubber “feet” on the back to keep it from sliding on flat surfaces), but otherwise comfortable to hold. (The Kindle Scribe is also the only Amazon e-reader that doesn’t have the obnoxiously large “Amazon” or “Kindle” logo printed on the back, instead the company prints it on the shipping box for much more. We use the elegant “smile” logo.)
As you’d expect from an E Ink device, battery life is pretty solid.Amazon says the reading time is 12 weeks when you’re reading for only 30 minutes a day with wireless off and the brightness set to 13. , or writing for 30 minutes a day with wireless turned off and brightness set to 13, we estimate 3 weeks of writing time. In normal, human, mixed-use scenarios, we got almost two weeks of battery life, but with the wireless on and the brightness turned up, we wrote and read longer than Amazon imagines. did.
Amazon offers several options for customizing your Kindle Scribe at the time of purchase, with pricing categorized based on storage (16GB, 32GB, or 64GB) or the stylus you need. Basic Pen is just a stylus. The premium pen is a little more interesting, with an eraser on the back and shortcut buttons that can be held down to activate a few different options. For example, automatically switch to highlighter, write sticky notes in a book, eraser. When the pen is not in use (whether Premium or Basic), it magnetically attaches to the right side of the Kindle Scribe with a satisfying snap.
Not a full-featured digital notebook
If you’ve used one Kindle, you’ve used them all. Kindle Scribe software variations are minimal. The e-reader’s default home screen includes your recently opened books, comics, audiobooks, and now Notes, and offers recommendations for other Kindle content you might find interesting, as well as some books you probably don’t want to touch. A carousel is also displayed. all. Next to it is the library that houses all the books I currently own. Next, I created folders in Kindle Scribe and a note-only notebook. Finally, “More,” which includes forgotten e-reader features such as a web browser and his Goodreads.
The biggest criticism I can make about Kindle Scribe is how poor the actual burning software is.
The biggest criticism I can make about Kindle Scribe is how poor the actual burning software is. On Amazon, you can create notebooks (and templates that mimic notebook paper, planners, etc.) or folders for notebooks. Unlike reMarkable 2, tags for sorting your notes, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for converting handwritten notes to text, or direct access to files on cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive There is no system for File transfers are currently limited to those that can be uploaded to Kindle Scribe over a wired connection, shared via the Kindle app, or sent to Kindle email and waited for Amazon to enter them on the device. It has been. At some point in 2023, Amazon and Microsoft claim there will be a way to send documents directly from Microsoft Word, but it’s unclear when that will be available.
One welcome change Amazon have Make your Kindle Scribe notes available in the Kindle app for iOS or Android. It’s a bit of a convenience that we hope will be reflected in the rest of the e-reader at launch.
“Pen on paper” experience
It’s a shame that these power-user features are missing, as Amazon has pretty much all the other basic features. The premium pen included in my review unit is comfortable to hold and write, and the satisfying scratching from the Kindle Scribe’s slightly grainy screen has a pleasant sound reminiscent of writing on real paper. and created friction.
For discerning writers, there is a slight, barely perceptible delay in writing on the Kindle Scribe screen compared to writing with reMarkable 2. 2. It wasn’t so much that it bothered me while writing. If you’ve never used reMarkable, you probably won’t notice all of it, but it’s something you should be very careful and careful about. Honestly, having a brightly lit display that can be used in the dark is a fair tradeoff.
The main drawback to writing with Kindle Scribe is the very limited selection of digital pen styles. Amazon has a single pen of varying thickness, a highlighter that highlights in several different shades, and an eraser. Combined with the complete lack of and paste functionality, it can be too similar to writing with real pen and paper.
Amazon says new writing tools and copy and paste will be added in software updates over the next few months, but given how standard these features are with other E Ink note-taking devices, the Kindle You can see the company’s different priorities for Scribe. At least for me, it’s more like a testbed for the potential of new Kindle features than a confident view that people might first become interested in writing with E Ink. It seems.
Serious note-takers, look elsewhere
The Kindle Scribe is fine, and sometimes really good, but it’s not a panacea for those looking to combine a note-taking gadget with an e-reader. Probably the highest quality and most affordable option for beginners, or those who don’t need a complicated folder system to complete their handwritten work. This feels like the perfect device for college students who mostly buy ebook versions of textbooks and are looking to digitize the entire note-taking process.
Remember, just like I’m promoting the reMarkable 2, you’ll need a monthly subscription and a minimum purchase of $378 to get the most out of your tablet and stylus. Despite being the premium end of Amazon’s e-reader lineup, the Kindle Scribe ends up being cheaper and doesn’t charge a separate fee for the stylus. Also, there are no ads on the lock screen, but suggestions on the home screen that could be ads with a different name.
Kindle Scribe treats it more like an add-on rather than the primary reason to enable burning.
Amazon has the most units and the lowest hardware costs, so it feels like less is more, but the company already seems keen to at least bring its latest devices up to par. The product page for Kindle Scribe lists upcoming software features. Assuming there is widespread interest in Kindle Scribe, hopefully these updates will continue. Until then, despite the prominent name “Scribble”, Kindle Scribe treats it as an additional feature rather than the main reason for enabling it.