We’ve reviewed dozens and dozens of digital handwriting units through the years, together with Apple iPads and Samsung tablets and even the Kobo Elipsa (from which Amazon has clearly stolen the thought), and the Kindle Scribe has by far the very best, most human handwriting expertise of all of them.
Because the title suggests, it’s primarily a Kindle e-book reader, that means it has a type of e-paper screens that appears so much like actual paper (albeit barely gray), is simple on the attention, works as properly in vibrant daylight because it does indoors, and has a battery life that’s measured in weeks and months somewhat than in hours and minutes.
(Amazon says the battery lasts weeks for handwriting and months for studying. We haven’t had our Scribe within the labs for wherever close to lengthy sufficient to check both of these claims, however based mostly on how little battery we’ve used up to now – round 10 per cent per day of average to heavy utilization – the claims sound about proper.)
The display is definitely massive for a Kindle. It’s 10.2 inches diagonally, which supplies it a sense of being for non-fiction somewhat than fiction studying. But it surely must be giant to be helpful as a writing/drawing pill. It’s the proper dimension for writing in and, in any occasion, I’ve been utilizing it to learn fiction and the pages aren’t so massive that they’re overwhelming. I’d want one thing somewhat smaller, however I’ll take this for the additional options.
Whereas I’m on the subject of studying books, it’s price noting that, as of 2022, you’ll be able to lastly learn books within the ePub format on Kindles, which is large information for the kleptomaniacs amongst us, but in addition essential for Kindle Scribe customers who would possibly need to examine and annotate technical manuals which might be usually solely obtainable as ePubs.
I really feel compelled to say, although, that neither the Scribe nor every other Kindle really reads the ePub format. Amazon converts ePubs to its personal format whereas they’re on path to the Kindle, and it does are likely to mangle them within the course of.
Certainly, ePubs can come out so mangled on the Kindle – apostrophes usually seem as “â€™“, as an example, and dashes as “â€“” – that it’s arduous to not consider Amazon has executed it intentionally, as a type of fâ€okay you for not having bought the e-book from the Amazon Kindle bookstore.
I ought to most likely additionally point out that annotating textual content is the opposite space the place the Amazon Scribe falls dramatically in need of its potential, in a manner that’s so loopy it’s arduous to consider it gained’t be rapidly fastened in 2023.
You possibly can’t use the Scribe’s pen to focus on textual content, for starters. Is Amazon mad? Isn’t that the very first characteristic you’d add, even earlier than you added handwriting that may’t be listed and searched as a result of it doesn’t convert to textual content?
And you’ll’t write marginalia with the pen, both, which I acknowledge is a more durable characteristic so as to add than pen highlighting and might be inconceivable so as to add with out breaking the Kindle file format.
You’d suppose Amazon, of all firms, ought to have the ability to pull it off, although. What’s the purpose of shopping for stuff from the world’s richest man* if it’s not going to have some extravagant options in it?
I would like marginalia! It’s such an apparent, cool characteristic that might fully humanise the e-reading expertise.
Higher smoothing and anti-aliasing algorithms on the pen enter can be good, too. While you export handwritten notes to a PC for transcription, as I’ll do/have simply executed for this overview, they’ll/do look somewhat jagged on the pc display.
Having written all this, the essential factor to notice concerning the Kindle Scribe is that the bones are there for it to be a superb gadget. The processor is quick sufficient to provide a fluid handwriting expertise. The Kindle bookstore is huge. The display is nice for studying and writing on. The texture of the pen on the display is excellent.
All the things is prepared. We simply want the calendar to click on over to 2023, and for Amazon to complete what it began this 12 months/final 12 months.
*Give or take a month.
Amazon Kindle Scribe
- Likes | Lovely ergonomics. Nice display and battery life.
- Dislikes | Apparent and important options are merely lacking.
- Worth | From $549 to $679, relying on storage and pen model.