In 2012, Amazon lastly discontinued the Kindle DX, the primary and final large-screen Kindle. Ten years later, a handful of competitively giant e-reading units exist and are glorious at taking notes, and are clearly consuming Amazon’s lunch.


Amazon is trying a comeback with the Kindle Scribe, a recent 10.2-inch e-reader with a Wacom layer within the show for straightforward note-taking. The Kindle Scribe is the costliest Kindle, beginning at $339. Whereas this can be a aggressive value for an E Ink pill that may take notes, Amazon is enjoying catchup with greater than {hardware} because of underbaked software program that may’t compete with reMarkable or Boox. There’s nonetheless a protracted highway forward for Amazon’s Scribe, and since you need to by no means purchase one thing on its potential however for what it presents, the Kindle Scribe is a blended bag.

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Then again, as an individual who reads manga often, I completely adore the Scribe regardless of its software program shortcomings. Most of my manga is already on Amazon because of the Comixology merger, and at 10.2 inches, all of those e-books look nice with legible textual content (one thing I am unable to say in regards to the Paperwhite or Oasis). On this entrance alone, I am fairly proud of the Scribe, and if you happen to’re into comics, it is the most effective Kindles you may get.

I have been attempting to find the right manga reader for years, and Amazon has gotten a lot nearer than most. Then once more, the Scribe is a note-taking system before everything, and it is not that good at it. With middling firmware, it lacks most of the options competing units supply out of the field. The Kindle Scribe feels rushed, however if you happen to’re keen to look previous the half-baked software program, this new large-screen Kindle is proving to be one in all my most-used E Ink studying units.

The Kindle Scribe is Amazon’s first foray right into a note-taking e-reader, and it is just the second time the corporate has launched a large-screen Kindle. It is a system lengthy within the making that customers have been asking for, however finally the software program is missing. It is nonetheless a wonderful e-reader; it is simply not a aggressive note-taking system.

Specs

  • Display screen: 10.2-inch Carta 1200, 4:3
  • Decision: 2480 (H) × 1860 (V)
  • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, bluetooth
  • Entrance Mild: 35 LEDs, cool and heat
  • Battery: 3000mAh lithium-ion
  • Buttons: Energy button
  • Weight: Machine: 15.3oz, Primary Pen: 0.49oz
  • Dimensions: 196 x 230 x 5.8mm
  • Format Assist: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, DOCX, DOC, HTML, EPUB, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP by way of conversion; Audible audio format (AAX)
  • CPU: MediaTek MT8113
  • RAM: 1GB
Execs

  • Giant 10.2-inch E Ink display
  • Handles manga and comedian books properly
  • Included stylus makes it straightforward to jot down notes whereas studying
Cons

  • Costly, and a greater stylus is an upsell, in addition to the circumstances
  • Software program is limiting, including PDFs that may be edited is an outright chore
  • Large bezel serves no function apart from a grip, and it is an uncomfortable grip

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Amazon Kindle Scribe: Worth and availability

The Kindle Scribe started delivery out to prospects on November thirtieth and has been in inventory beginning at $340 ever since. The merchandise is available for purchase by way of Amazon, and whereas the value is excessive in comparison with all different Kindle units, that is the one E Ink Kindle that gives a big 10.2-inch display. Plus, you need to use that enormous house to jot down notes because of the system’s stylus assist, a primary for Amazon’s Kindle model.

Amazon Kindle Scribe: What’s within the field

Amazon Kindle Scribe review on box pen

Amazon likes to maintain issues minimal concerning the way it ships its merchandise. All packaging is manufactured from recyclable cardboard and straightforward to open with a tear tab. When you pull out the field’s contents, the Scribe is wrapped in a plastic protecting sleeve. Below the e-reader is an instruction booklet, and under the system sits the USB twine and included pen (you possibly can select a primary or premium pen when buying). It is all typical Amazon packaging that forgoes an influence brick, so you may have to produce your personal.

Amazon Kindle Scribe: Design and {hardware}

Amazon Kindle Scribe review calvin christmas

The design of the Kindle Scribe offers me pause. It was instantly obvious the system was rushed. You get a grip on the facet that is mainly an enormous bezel. However the Scribe is totally flat, in contrast to the Kindle Oasis, so there’s nothing to grip within the rear to assist maintain the load in a single hand. Amazon additionally did not trouble including any bodily web page flip buttons, so the massive bezel is functionless.

Amazon did not even trouble including gesture assist to this wasted space, which might have been a suitable compromise to not having buttons. Finally, you’re pressured to the touch the display each time you wish to flip a web page, and you’ve got to take action by reaching over the bezel if you happen to’re holding the system one-handed. That is uncomfortable when mixed with a weight of practically a full pound.

However worst of all, Amazon someway determined to position each the ability button (made out of inflexible materials, an terrible alternative) and the USB port alongside the facet of the grip, the very space you may at all times contact. You will really feel the USB-C port and the exhausting edges of the ability button each time you grip the system. Seeing that there are three extra edges the place this port and button might have gone, the design feels rushed and lazy. There’s nothing elegant or helpful in regards to the bezel’s design, which seems like an entire waste of house, to not point out a missed alternative to enchantment to hardcore readers and their love for page-turn buttons. You recognize, the kind of those that spend giant sums of cash on first-gen tools.

Internally, a MediaTek MT8113 is powering the system with a paltry 1GB of RAM. Fortunately the bare-bones firmware is not all that demanding, so every little thing runs easily. Then again, maybe this explains why we nonetheless have not seen Amazon introduce extra options, like the flexibility to stream music. It is possible 1GB of RAM most likely could not stream and preserve the navigation expertise clean.

Nonetheless, there’s loads of room to have shoved in a speaker or two, contemplating how giant the system is. After experiencing what it is wish to stream Spotify on competing E Ink units whereas studying comfortably in my mattress, I’ve realized that that is an space Amazon comes up quick repeatedly. Regardless that Amazon owns Audible and desires to promote audiobooks, you continue to need to resort to Bluetooth to pay attention.

Amazon Kindle Scribe review bright light full

The star of the present is the brand-new E Ink display used within the Scribe. It is a 10.2-inch Carta 1200, and it is the one E Ink display at this dimension that gives 300 pixels per inch, made solely for Amazon. That is the place Amazon reveals its dominance within the area; the display itself is attractive (properly, as attractive as E Ink can get). It is a 4:3 display that is 2480×1860, and I discover it suits most content material fairly properly.

Manga can be barely pillarboxed, and US comics extra so (extra comedian formatting within the software program part), however 4:3 is a positive center floor for many comics, together with Calvin and Hobbes collections that look nice displayed in panorama. The system acknowledges this and adjustments to panorama mechanically, one thing I might wish to see extra of.

The Scribe’s display is the spotlight, and it actually shines with 35 LEDs, and heat lighting is supported so that everybody can comfortably learn at night time. With this many LEDs, even at 10.2 inches, I am not seeing any uneven entrance lighting. There’s additionally a WACOM layer for pen assist, however distinction is unaffected regardless of an additional layer between you and the display.

Amazon Kindle Scribe review pen and tab

You’ve gotten two pen decisions when buying the Scribe: the essential or the premium. I’ve the premium pen that comes with a devoted shortcut button (helpful for altering from highlighter to pen). There isn’t any must cost this pen, nevertheless it does connect to the facet of the Scribe, because of the magic of magnets.

The official case additionally has a spot to position the pen, whether or not you go for the material case at $60 or the leather-based folio at $100. On the very least, Amazon has moved again to utilizing magnets for an official Kindle case, which implies you possibly can simply pop the Kindle out and in with ease; you do not have to learn with the case on if you happen to do not wish to.

Amazon Kindle Scribe review rear and case dimples

The pen would not really feel particularly low-cost, nevertheless it would not really feel very premium both because it’s only a bunch of plastic. Nevertheless it works and works properly, and that is what issues. There isn’t any discernable delay when writing, as much as par with competing Boox units that run Android and rather more highly effective processors, so relaxation assured drawing and taking notes feels good whereas utilizing the pen.

Amazon Kindle Scribe: Software program and efficiency

Amazon Kindle Scribe review stump angle

Amazon didn’t put within the work to enhance the bare-bones firmware of the Kindle line. Some additional settings and options are particular to the Scribe, like the brand new Notebooks part the place you possibly can doodle and take notes. However there are actually no handwriting-to-text choices, which is extremely odd for a tool designed to take handwritten notes.

It is virtually like note-taking talents have been an afterthought when the one approach to edit your private PDFs and different information are to electronic mail them to your Kindle account; something you sideload over USB would not supply enhancing choices. That is each cumbersome and annoying. Whereas I am happy I can jot down just a few notes and draw just a few diagrams or sketches within the new Notebooks part, in case you are planning to make use of the Scribe on the workplace or college, there are significantly better units on the market for enhancing PDFs in knowledgeable capability that do not require you to continually electronic mail information to your self.

Amazon Kindle Scribe review drawing with pen

One function I admire in regards to the new Notebooks part is that no matter you create is synced to the cloud (plus you possibly can share these notes to any electronic mail), so you possibly can see these notes within the Kindle app on Android, and but you possibly can’t edit them; you possibly can solely learn them. Stranger nonetheless, any annotations you permit within the e-books in your Scribe don’t sync to your telephone or different apps. So the sync state of affairs leaves lots to be desired; this function would not really feel adequately fleshed out.

Amazon Kindle Scribe review annotations

Fortunately, the studying expertise is as nice as ever. All of my bought e-books and manga look nice, for essentially the most half. There are nonetheless some stragglers from the Comixology merger that comprise odd formatting, and this appears to be a problem with most US comedian books, the place the web page is shifted to the left of the display with a black bar alongside the precise facet.

Unpleasant stuff attributable to the Comixology merger that is nonetheless unaddressed, however so long as you stick with manga to your media, the expertise is fairly good. What I particularly love about studying manga on an E Ink display is that it is much less noticeable when a ebook presents low-res artwork.

What could be instantly obvious on one thing just like the Tab S8, like blurry pixilated textual content, is way much less noticeable on an E Ink display, because of the inherent softness of the display. It is virtually like manga is anti-aliased on E Ink, which is completely positive with me to maintain the pixilated textual content to a minimal, one thing I am unable to stand on my high-res Android tablets.

Shifting on to precise text-based e-books, you possibly can simply match a ton of textual content on the ten.2-inch display. Consider it like studying a big hardback in comparison with a small paperback; the bigger footprint permits extra room for textual content. Whereas I would not say the Scribe is a good bedtime studying system because of its weight (one thing nonetheless reserved for my base Kindle, the Scribe is near 1lb), for daytime actions once you’d like a bit extra room in your display, the Scribe is a good alternative.

I typically attain for the system whereas sitting on the sofa, very similar to a pill. Plus, it is very nice to not have to show pages as typically as you’d on a smaller system. The much less I’ve to the touch the display, the happier I’m (which is the place bodily web page flip buttons would have actually helped, Amazon).

Amazon Kindle Scribe: Battery life and charging

The Kindle Scribe comes with a 3000mAh lithium-ion battery. That is giant for a non-demanding e-reader operating bare-bones firmware. For the reason that system would not need to push a heavy OS, say like Android, battery life is phenomenal. I charged the system upon receiving it and am at the moment at 81% battery after two weeks, and that is two weeks of testing whereas downloading all method of manga and e-books.

The default battery mode sees the Scribe go right into a deep sleep that conserves energy, which is exactly why I am solely at 81% after two weeks; the standby time is nice. However this mode does delay how shortly the display wakes once you energy it on. In order for you a snappier wake, you possibly can change this within the settings, although you may get much less standby time. Amazon claims you may get 12 weeks of use with a half-hour studying every day, which seems to line up with my use thus far. Suffice it to say, 3000mAh is a lot for a Kindle system, even when it sports activities a big front-lit display.​​​​​​​

Amazon Kindle Scribe: The competitors

There are lots of choices with regards to competitors for the Kindle Scribe, and Amazon itself presents the stiffest competitors with the bottom Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite. For starters, if you happen to do not require a big display and easily wish to learn text-based books with out dropping tons of money, the brand new base Kindle (2022) is just $100, and because of latest enhancements, all textual content is clear and legible, excellent for a pocketable reader.

Then once more, if you happen to favor bigger screens, then the bigger Kindle Paperwhite is likely to be the step-up you are searching for with its 6.8-inch display, which is rather more preferable if you happen to wish to learn manga together with text-based books. For the reason that Paperwhite is consistently on sale, you possibly can snag one for less expensive than the Scribe. You will miss out on the Scribe’s note-taking options, however seeing how poorly these are fleshed out, dropping right down to a extra conventional Kindle permits you to save an excellent bit of cash.​​​​​​​

Amazon Kindle Scribe: Do you have to purchase it?

Amazon Kindle Scribe review kindle family

Whether or not you may benefit from the Kindle Scribe depends upon what you wish to do with it. I’ve actually had fun with it; ever since I acquired the Scribe, I have been studying manga nonstop. It is a pleasure to learn on the system, even the lower-res books. However the note-taking talents of the Scribe depart lots to be desired. Positive, you possibly can jot down just a few notes, and if you happen to’re decided, you possibly can continually electronic mail PDFs to the system for hand annotations such as you would something sideloaded on the competitors.

However with out the flexibility to transform handwritten notes to textual content or a straightforward avenue to make use of your information how you want, the Scribe’s note-taking expertise feels hobbled. As of now, I might say the Scribe is an ideal giant Kindle for studying and nothing extra. If that sounds good to you, then I say go for it. The $340 value would possibly sound excessive at first, however there are far dearer e-readers at this dimension; Amazon is definitely doing an excellent job conserving prices down.