Amazon’s Kindle Scribe is pen-centric hardware let down by book-centric software

Enlarge / Amazon’s Kindle Scribe e-reader.

Andrew Cunningham

Amazon’s Kindle e-readers were round for 15 years, and they have got remained steadfastly enthusiastic about exhibiting books for studying (and, to a lesser extent, audiobooks). Enter hasn’t ever been one thing they have got been specifically concerned about. The units’ poky processors and laggy touchscreen keyboards are perfect suited to brief annotations or having a look up the title of a ebook or creator—no longer for writing anything else longer than a sentence or two, and on no account for taking notes or jotting down idle ideas.

That is the major exchange to the Kindle Scribe, the most recent and costliest member of the e-reader circle of relatives. It is the first Kindle with its personal purpose-built pen accent and a ten.2-inch display screen that is extra appropriate for enter than the 6-to-7-inch displays on different Kindles. It does not come affordable—it begins at $340 and is going up temporarily from there. It is over thrice as dear because the Kindle Paperwhite and no longer a lot less expensive than a baseline iPad and Apple Pencil combo. However it is also seeking to perform a little new issues that older Kindles are not constructed for.

The issue for the Scribe is that the Kindle’s tool, likewise laser-focused at the studying enjoy and no longer the enter enjoy, does not really feel tough sufficient to ship at the pen’s promise. The true handwriting enjoy is superb, which supplies us some hope that additional updates may make this instrument extra helpful. However as it’s, lots of the issues it is seeking to do are issues that an iPad is best at, and so they come at the price of one of the crucial common Kindle’s perfect options.

Feel and look

The Kindle Scribe (right) next to the current-gen Paperwhite (left).
Enlarge / The Kindle Scribe (correct) subsequent to the current-gen Paperwhite (left).

Andrew Cunningham

The Scribe takes its design cues from the Kindle Oasis, prior to now the top-tier Kindle. Its show sits flush with its asymmetrical bezel, which is thicker on one aspect to provide other people preserving the instrument with one hand extra space. As with the Oasis, the Scribe can be utilized both left- or right-handed, and the display screen’s contents will turn 180 levels in accordance with how you are preserving it.

The again of the Scribe is a huge, flat slab of aluminum, and if you are preserving it with no case on it, the larger dimension and weight unquestionably make it extra harking back to an iPad than the opposite Kindles. The larger dimension additionally makes one-handed operation much less comfy than it’s with smaller Kindles—it is comfy for brief stretches for the reason that aspect bezel is big sufficient that you’ll be able to actually get a excellent grip on it, but it surely turns into fatiguing after a couple of mins.

The Scribe is lacking two Oasis options of observe. One is waterproofing, so do not drop the Scribe within the bathtub, pool, or ocean. The second one is bodily web page flip buttons, leaving the Scribe with the similar touch-only navigation as lots of the different Kindles. It is been years since touchscreens turned into the default solution to have interaction with Kindles, and I will’t say the absence of buttons bothers me, however the small-but-vocal contingent that continues to call for them shall be disenchanted.

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