Review Of Amazon’s Kindle Scribe
Writing is a new feature that the Amazon Kindle Scribe (which starts at $339.99) brings to the king of e-readers. I, for one, hadn’t really expected to see it anytime soon. Now, you can make notes in ebooks just as easily (okay, more or less) as you read them. You can elaborate on points you might want to remember or draw pictures to help explain a key idea. You can even make notebooks filled with e-paper that you can then fill with lists, doodles, or anything else you can think of. And using the provided pen is all that is necessary.
With a solid design aesthetic, a fantastic and roomy screen, and the kind of fine-tuned usability you’d expect from Amazon, the Scribe represents the state of the art in e-readers in every other respect. It’s a fun addition. The device had better be airtight and the writing capabilities must be something you can’t live without, but neither is really the case given the price. The most people would probably be better served by one of Amazon’s other less expensive Kindles, several of which made our list of the best Kindles available, which are still amazing but are perfect for a very niche audience.
Review of the specifications and cost of the Amazon Kindle Scribe
The Scribe’s cheapest model, which costs $339.99, comes with the Basic Pen and 16GB of storage. You can upgrade to the Premium Pen for an extra $30, which also includes the 32GB and 64GB capacities as standard features and adds a few new writing tools to your toolbox (and are discussed below).
Review of the Amazon Kindle Scribe: Design
The Scribe is the largest Kindle currently on the market, measuring 9.0 x 7.7 x 0.22 inches and weighing 15.3 ounces, but unlike the previous champion (the Kindle DX from 2009), it feels in no way cumbersome. The last bezel, which measures around 1.13 inches and may be on either the left or the right depending on how the Scribe is held, includes 0.38-inch bezels on the top, bottom, and one side. (When you turn the device, the screen will automatically rotate.) The Scribe’s only physical control is the Power button; unlike the Kindle Oasis, there are no page-turn buttons. The USB Type-C connector is situated close to the center of the side with the broadest bezel.
The bezels and the entire metal back are a dark gray shade that Amazon refers to as “Tungsten.” The only other accents are four tiny rubber feet and a black Amazon logo. It’s relatively unremarkable but more fashionable than the two Paperwhites and the currently available base Kindle model’s plain black colors.
The Premium Pen, which is the same Tungsten color and is approximately 6.38 inches from tip to eraser (and approximately 0.8 inches wide), was included with our review unit. It is easy to grip and won’t roll very far if you set it down on a table because it has a single flat edge. Given how I hold writing implements, the Shortcut button is situated around 1.5 inches from the tip, which is very much the perfect location. The Premium Pen may be attached to the side of the Scribe (without a button) using an embedded magnet, but I noticed that the magnet was not very strong, and the Pen would quickly come off even when I was just reading normally.
Choose one of the various folio covers as a better storage option for it and the Scribe. Prices for these are different and range from $59.99 for the Fabric Folio Cover to $99.99 for the swanky premium leather version (like the one our review unit shipped with). The cover firmly secures the Scribe and features a built-in loop for the Pen, preventing it from falling off at the wrong time. Another compelling argument is that the Scribe lacks waterproofing, unlike the Oasis and the two Paperwhite variants.
Review of the Amazon Kindle Scribe Display
The Scribe’s Kindle screen measures 10.2 inches diagonally and 8.2 by 6.1 inches (HW), which is half an inch bigger than the DX’s. Kindle screens have never been particularly small. This provides you nearly as much page space as a full-size hardcover, which is a development I adore because it lacks the heft and weight of big physical books.
Compared to traditional Kindles, the 300ppi touch screen’s usage of Amazon’s Paperwhite technology creates ultracrisp text and more realistic contrast, making reading on it a much more enjoyable experience (which were and are, it should be said, totally fine for reading). You can also adjust the brightness manually using a slider in the drop-down menu at the top of the screen or use the advanced backlighting technology, which uses 35 LEDs to ensure uniformity across the entire screen and features automatic brightness adjustment. You can also change the screen’s warmth to make the display appear more amber.
Review of the Amazon Kindle Scribe’s battery life
Amazon claims that the Scribe will have a long battery life, at least in some circumstances. The business claims 12 weeks for reading-only use, which puts it in front of the competition at the moment. When writing is involved, the situation becomes a little murkier and the reported duration decreases to “merely” three weeks. In both instances, the wireless is turned off, and the light is set to 13. (a touch above medium brightness). We estimate those statistics to be about accurate based on our daily anecdotal observations utilizing Amazon’s criteria.
Battery life decreased more quickly throughout our mixed-use testing period (with wireless networking enabled, as that’s how we anticipate most users will use the Scribe). Yet even then, considering the size and make up of the screen, we think the battery would last the majority of average readers six to eight weeks on a single charge. (The Pen and the Premium Pen don’t need to be charged.)
The accompanying USB (Type-A-to-Type-C) cable can be used to charge the Scribe when the time comes by connecting it to a computer or power outlet. No specialized charger is included with the Scribe, as is the current fashion.
Review of the Amazon Kindle Scribe: the reading experience
It should come as no surprise that the Scribe is the best e-reader available for reading as Amazon has been doing it for a very long time and at a high level. It’s completely fluid to swipe between pages. Flipping between chapters, using the highlights feature, or looking up new words in a dictionary are all seamless interactions with the book. You always have complete control over the font and page layout, allowing you to read in a way that is most comfortable for your eyes. Your library is arranged neatly, thoughtfully, and is simple to access. In addition to ordinary books and journals (see below), it also contains Audible audiobooks that you can listen to simply linking a Bluetooth audio device.
The Scribe’s size and absence of buttons prevent one-handed reading, which is the one potential drawback. Because of my larger-than-average hands, I found it difficult to hold it and regularly flip the pages. Other than that, the Scribe is an almost unrivaled e-reader.
Review of the Amazon Kindle Scribe: a writing tool
One would anticipate that the Scribe’s note-taking capabilities within ebook pages would be of the highest caliber given that the Scribe’s own existence depends on them. Sadly, no, it is not.
You can add a “sticky” note to the page of any ebook by tapping the Page icon in the toolbar of the margin. This opens a window that takes up more than a third of the screen and allows you to type or handwrite the contents of the note. The on-screen keyboard also takes up more screen real estate. If you select the latter, you can tap on a Pen symbol to draw lines or a Highlighter icon to draw larger swathes of light gray (through which pen text can be seen); an Eraser button, as its name suggests, lets you remove any writing or drawing you’ve previously done. You may adjust the line thickness and, in the case of the Eraser, pick whether to erase only a selection or the entire note page by tapping the chosen icon once again.
One last word regarding the Premium Pen. Your finger won’t do for writing handwritten notes, so you’ll need this. It’s also comfortable enough to use for long durations of time. Throughout our testing, the tip showed noticeable, albeit not excessive, wear. The Scribe comes with five replacement tips and a removal tool, but unless you write frequently, you probably won’t need to worry about changing the tip more frequently than every six to eight weeks. The shortcut button, which, depending on the settings, allows you to switch between a Highlighter, Pen, or Eraser, or add a note, is functional enough, but I discovered that tapping the icon on the toolbar is just as simple. The eraser, however, did not much appeal to me. As you push it down, it instantly activates, but you have to hold it there while you erase. This requires an unusually high level of force, and the sound the eraser produces as it is dragged over the screen is unpleasant. It seems sense that a lighter touch could not be technically possible for writing and erasing, but any kind of more natural-feeling quality would be better.
Review of the Amazon Kindle Scribe: Findings
The Amazon Kindle Scribe is a superb device in many respects. It gives one of the greatest raw reading experiences I’ve ever had on a Kindle (and I’ve used every major edition), building on the features and usability that Amazon has spent a decade and a half perfecting. The combination of the larger screen size, the higher screen quality, and the overall layout is just what I would like when reading.
If the price were cheaper, especially for avid readers, the concessions might be easier to accept. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition and the Kindle Oasis, which start at $199.99 and have a genuinely pleasing 7-inch screen, are two of Amazon’s higher-end, no-writing e-readers. Moreover, the new entry-level Kindle is excellent if you don’t mind going the minimalist path and is roughly a quarter the price of the Scribe.