Kindle Scribe review: has Amazon managed to make a real digital notebook?

Kindle Scribe review: has Amazon managed to make a real digital notebook?

E-readers have been a part of my life for 15 years. So I was understandably intrigued when my colleague bought a ReMarkable tablet and showed me the note-taking capabilities this tablet offered. But just as I was about to pay, Amazon unveiled the Kindle Scribe, the first Kindle to support handwriting and offer a 10.2-inch screen.

For the past 10 days, I’ve been able to test Kindle Scribe, and while it’s still not perfect, it has made paper notes obsolete for me.

The tablet embeds a stylus and 16 GB of storage as standard and costs 369 euros. When you buy it in the 32 or 64 GB version (419 or 449 euros), Amazon gives a “premium stylus”.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

Amazon Kindle Scribe – Best Prices:

  • Amazon

    369.99

Functions

  • Screen: Paper white 10.2 inch, 300 ppi, 16 levels of grayscale
  • Storage: 16, 32 or 64 GB
  • Front lighting: 35 LEDs
  • Autonomy: read up to 12 weeks, write up to 3 weeks
  • Connection: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Supported formats: Kindle, TXT, PDF, DOCX, DOC, HTML, EPUB, RTF, JPEG, GIF PNG, BMP, Audible
  • Drums: 577 mAh
  • Dimensions: 196 x 230 x 5.8 mm
  • Weight : 433 g

Still a good Kindle for reading

Kindle Scribe is Amazon’s largest e-reader. It represents the culmination of 15 years of development of the Kindle series. It allows, like all devices before it, to read digital books purchased on the platform or to access the Kindle subscription, which allows you to easily browse more than a million titles.

Kindle Scribe also supports Audible, provided you’re connected to a Bluetooth headset. Autonomy will of course be more limited with this use than with simple reading, but it’s nice to be able to take advantage of Amazon’s audiobook service.

Kindle Scribe next to Kindle Oasis.

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET.

The screen without reflections, the good brightness and the control of the different white temperatures mean that the screen can offer impeccable user comfort. My only regret is that there are no physical buttons to easily turn the pages. Still, it’s an essential feature to have, especially when dealing with a tablet of this size. The left side edge is a little wide, but it makes it easy to hold the tablet with one hand and write with the other.

It’s worth noting that the Scribe doesn’t have a waterproof certification unlike other Kindle devices.

A real replacement for your notebooks

I admit it: I have drawers full of notebooks filled with my doodles and sketches. As each notebook fills up, I put them in one of my drawers and end up throwing them away. My longing for something that didn’t waste paper and also kept and shared my notes was fulfilled by Amazon’s Kindle Scribe.

There are plenty of ways to transfer content to Kindle Scribe, create notes, or share content with others. One of the key features is the ability to quickly and easily erase my handwritten notes by touching them with the eraser part of the “premium” pen. It’s an optional accessory for Scribe, but I highly recommend purchasing it if you want the full note-taking experience.

If you order the Kindle Scribe without a case, you’ll find that the pen attaches magnetically, and quite securely, to the side with the narrow edge. I hung the pen in this position 90% of the time with no problems. The Scribe is also quite thin (5.8 mm) and benefits from a good grip.

Kindle Scribe with the pen on top.

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET.

I also love that I can highlight text, take notes and even sign documents. Amazon specifies that it will soon be possible to send documents to the Printer directly from Microsoft Word. For now, you can only view your notebooks created with Scribe on other tablets, smartphones, and computers through the Amazon Kindle app. However, they cannot be changed.

Although I have other tablets, I have never folded or found the right occasion to use the included stylus. The Scribe makes this use much more natural and easy.

Should you buy the case?

The folio case that Amazon provides for the Scribe protects the front and back of the tablet while putting it to sleep when the cover is closed. If you are not comfortable with the idea of ​​attaching your stylus magnetically, the case comes with a loop to secure it and I must say this definitely reduces the risk of losing the accessory.

Overall, I would recommend the case if you want to protect Scribe’s screen and have a safer place for your stylus. Otherwise, I’d wait for other third party cases to hit the market so you can find the shoe that’s right for you.

Using Kindle Scribe with the folio cover.

Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNET.

What Kindle Scribe Still Misses

Amazon Kindle Scribe makes it easy to replace pen and paper, but Amazon could go one step further. Some of the suggestions below may become a reality with software updates to the existing Kindle Scribe, while others will require a new version, but here are the improvements I’d like to see on this tablet.

  • Quickly switch between reading books and taking notes: It’s quick and easy to add notes to the books you’re reading, but sometimes a thought just pops into my head and I want to jot it down in one of my notebooks. Currently, switching between the two modes requires you to exit the Reading app and open the Notebooks section to write something down. With a simple shortcut, it would be more convenient to switch between the two modes.
  • Finer File Management: Unfortunately, you can’t currently reorganize notes on Scribe, which is useful if you accumulate documents over time. It would also be nice to be able to cut and paste, insert pages, and share chunks of your notes with other people.
  • Export notes to other formats: now you can quickly and easily send your handwritten notes as PDF in an email. I would like to be able to send them as a text file, a OneNote file or a Word document so that I can better use my notes.
  • Handwriting for text: ReMarkable 2 supports converting your handwriting to text, making notes easily searchable. This feature is not available on Scribe.
  • Import content into Notes: it would be nice to be able to import other text, images and content into a note. Currently, the notes only allow writing with the pen.
  • Forms: Although graph paper is one of the provided note templates, it is still difficult to draw straight lines with the pen. Being able to insert basic geometric shapes would be interesting for quickly creating sketches.
  • Colored pens: Although color ink is not displayed on the screen, it would be nice to have access to different highlight colors so that the recipient can better visualize your data when the notes are exported.

Conclusion

When I considered buying the ReMarkable 2, I wasn’t looking for a tablet for media consumption, I just wanted a good tablet that could copy notes on paper.

With Amazon Kindle Scribe, I get the best features of ReMarkable 2 while taking advantage of Amazon’s ecosystem of digital services. It is a very successful first product from Amazon, which is also more convenient than the notes function on some smartphones.

In its current form, Scribe meets my need for a digital notebook, but hopefully future iterations will bring some of the improvements listed above.

Alternatives

Source: ZDNet.com

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