With the Kindle Scribe, Amazon has presented the largest and most versatile of its successful e-readers to date. The most important thing about Scribe is the pen, with which you can work in your documents by hand. But does the Kindle need that? After several months with the Scribe, I can now answer the question clearly for myself.
16 weeks with the Kindle Scribe: The giant among e-readers
Amazon’s Kindle Scribe has been on the market since the end of last year: On the one hand, it’s a Kindle like any other, you can use it to store and read e-books and documents in abundance. This is ensured by memory variants with 16, 32 or 64 GB. On the other hand, the Scribe through the handwritten input and set his size apart from the series. In my experience report, I’ll tell you how Amazon’s new e-reader is doing in everyday life.
The first impression of the Kindle Sribe is positive and significant out of. In contrast to some of the much smaller versions, you immediately have the feeling of holding a quality product in your hands. But that also comes with a small disadvantage: For a mobile device, the Scribe has a impressive weight of 433 grams. Not a problem as a work device, but for reading on the go, the large Kindle can become heavy over time.
Of course, this only applies in comparison to other e-readers: At 158 grams, the 2022 Kindle is not even half as heavy. A current iPad Pro, on the other hand, weighs almost the same – but it can also do a lot more, but we’ll get to that later. Compared to many a bound tome, the larger Kindle also does well on the scales.
Finally, size also has undeniable advantages. For example, you can work with documents in A4 format without having to constantly bother with the zoom. Who the Kindle Scribe mainly used as a tool will be happy about this size. But also as a private reader fits much more text on one page – or you can choose larger fonts without having to keep scrolling.
Speaking of browsing: The touch function is compared to my several year old Kindle much more precise become. The modern 10.2-inch paper white panel pays off here. The controls are more responsive, making the Kindle Scribe just more fun to use than any model I’ve used before.
Writing on the Kindle: Amazon’s biggest selling point, a nice touch
On the one hand, this is just a nice bonus and feels good. On the other hand, the Scribe’s display has to react well to inputs. Otherwise the main feature of the e-reader is passé: The writing function.
Because the name says it all with the Kindle Scribe: You can use the included pen, which does not require electricity, Mark text passages and highlight what is important. Or you create handwritten notes, both in books or other documents and in the additional notes area:
Anyone who has ever tried another Kindle version than implement to use, this will appreciate new freedoms. I used to have it every now and then during my university days PDF files dragged to the Kindle to read about and save printer paper. But then I always had to have my notepad with me, otherwise I could save myself the trouble right away. The Kindle Scribe actually fixes this problem. But I doubt that this will affect many customers.
Shopping lists, to-dos or whatever you want to write down, can also be saved as a PDF and export, so that you can continue to work seamlessly with it on your other devices – to some extent. Amazon also offers a premium stylus for the Kinde Scribe that comes with a programmable function button. However, I could not test it.
With Kindle Unlimited you have access to a lot of e-books:
With the latest update, Amazon has now delivered more variants for the write function. In addition to ballpoint pens and highlighters, you can now also choose between fountain pens and pencils. The latter reacts to pressure and the angle at which you place the pen. This results in a lot again more usage scenarios: For example, you could create beautiful handwritten letters digitally and then send them as PDFs. Or use the Kindle Sribe for your sketches on the go if you artistic ambitions tracked.
Battery and price: Amazon keeps its promises – and it costs a lot
However, as already mentioned above, the use on the road is somewhat limited in my opinion on the one hand by the high weight and the larger dimensions. The battery gives you a lot of usage time without you having to worry about the nearest socket. After a good 16 weeks with the Kindle Scribe I still had to don’t charge a second time. Amazon’s specification of at least 12 weeks of running time, depending on the daily use, is therefore correct.
For an e-book reader, the Kindle Scribe offers a lot of different functions and practical extensions – a unique selling proposition within its class. But you also have to dig deeper into your pocket than with other Kindle versions. With 16 GB memory and standard pen you get the Kindle for 369.99 euros (view at Amazon). For the full equipment, Amazon even calls for a proud 449.99 euros RRP – you have to want that. Prices have already fallen significantly since the market launch.
Conclusion: Scribe remains a Kindle, with all the advantages – but also disadvantages
But myself next to a cheap entry-level tablet, the Scribe lags behind. You will find a web browser that you can use to quickly check something on Google. But to check e-mails, to shop online away from Amazon’s range of books or to watch a video – the Kindle is not designed for any of that. Consciously, of course.
Amazon wants to present the Scribe as a work tool. So everything the Kindle can’t do can also be packaged in a positive way: “Read or work without distractions – email, text messages or social media are not available on Kindle Scribe,” according to Amazon.
For me, the Kindle fulfills only one extremely limited purpose. Although the e-reader pushes the limits of its device class, it still remains an e-reader. If you want more or simply – like me – don’t see a real purpose for the Kindle Scribe, you are better off with a tablet.