Monday, October 3, 2022

Kindle Scribe

David Pierce (via Hacker News):

The newest Kindle is the first truly new Kindle in years. It’s called the Kindle Scribe, and it’s both a reading device and a writing one. With a 10.2-inch E Ink screen, a stylus that attaches to the side of the device, and a bunch of new software, the $339.99 Scribe is trying to be as much a tablet as an ebook reader. It’s available for preorder today, and Amazon promises it’ll be out before the holidays.


Ultimately, how the Scribe’s writing experience works and feels is the biggest question about this device. You can buy it with one of two stylus options: a “Basic Pen” or a “Premium Pen” for $30 more that also includes a customizable shortcut button and an eraser sensor on the top. Both use the same Wacom EMR technology and magnetically attach to the side of the Scribe but don’t have batteries or need to be charged.


Amazon built new note-taking capabilities into its reader so you can tap on a passage and scribble a note, similar to the way you’d highlight or type a note on the on-screen keyboard.

I’m not really interested in handwritten notes (without handwriting recognition), and I wish it had page-turn buttons, but the large display is interesting. It also looks surprisingly responsive in the video.


Update (2023-01-05): Scott McNulty:

I have to say the note-taking aspect of the Kindle Scribe is the least interesting thing about it to me. And yet I bought one immediately.

Why? That glorious screen. This is the best Kindle screen I’ve ever read on—I’ve read four books on it so far—and I’ve used a few Kindle screens in my day. I could list all the tech specs, but I’m not going to because they don’t matter to me. I’ll just say that the crispness combined with the even lighting and size make it a joy to read on.


The one thing (or, technically, two things) missing from the Scribe are its page-turn buttons. Even the flippin’ DX(s) had them, so I am slightly perplexed by their absence. It doesn’t keep me from loving the Scribe, but it keeps me from truly madly loving it.


I’m very impressed with how much writing on the Scribe feels like jotting a note on a piece of paper. Every stroke from the pen pretty much appeared on the screen in real-time.

Update (2023-02-14): Parker Ortolani:

After using the Kindle Scribe I can no longer enjoyably write on an iPad with the Apple Pencil, it just feels wrong… maybe a paper like screen protector would help but I don’t want to hurt the quality of the display…

Update (2023-05-03): Frank Reiff:

Listening to the e-reader debate on @atpfm this week: the Kindle Scribe is by far the most responsive Kindle ever.

Really makes a huge difference.

The pen and paper feel is second to none; there is no lag and crosshatching on a screen is uncanny.

Update (2023-05-25): Sheena Vasani:

Starting today, you can now actually convert handwriting to typed text on your Kindle Scribe and write on pages.

Kirk McElhearn:

I very much like the Kindle Oasis, but it always felt a bit small to me. I like to read with fonts larger than in most print books, and this means that I have to switch pages very often. With the Kindle Scribe, I can have fonts the same size, yet the pages look more like real pages; the width of the lines and the number of lines is closer to what I see in a paperback book.


Perhaps Amazon made a mistake: there are probably people like me who want a Kindle with a larger screen, but who don’t want to take notes, and don’t want to pay a premium for a feature they won’t use. After all, what made the Kindle successful was the fact that it was a single task device, for reading and nothing else. At the discounted price, it makes sense as a larger Kindle; at full price, it’s just too expensive.

I think the ideal Kindle would be somewhere between the size of the Oasis and the Scribe. While you get more portability with the Oasis, it feels cramped with larger fonts, because the line lengths are too short.

Update (2023-09-04): Kyle Hughes:

I have every Kindle. The Scribe is the most luxurious reading experience for sure. Same PPI as the Oasis but perceptibly clearer with better contrast. Feels as solid. Obviously heavier, not one-handable, and no hardware page-turn buttons; all overwhelmed by how nice it is to fit that much text on the screen. Also much faster than the Oasis.

If you want the most deluxe reading experience and understand the two-handed size then it’s a winner.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

16GB Scribe with basic pen and fabric cover: $380

reMarkable 2 with Marker and Folio: $457

If I were reMarkable, I'd be worried.

I got a ReMarkable 2 a while back thinking I would do a lot of handwritten stuff. Mostly though I use it for sketching diagrams, filling out PDFs, reading large PDFs, etc.

I think most of us now have a few decades of note taking on keyboards and I find that handwritten note taking is less efficient.

Kirk McElhearn

I bought silicon tips to put on my Apple Pencil. It makes it feel almost like writing on paper.

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