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Kindle Scribe Is More Than an E-Reader. You Can Draw on It, Too

Now you can take notes, mark up documents and doodle all in one place.

The Amazon Kindle Scribe comes with a stylus
You can mark up PDF and Word documents with the Kindle Scribe.
Amazon

When Amazon informed me that it was announcing a new Kindle, the Kindle Scribe wasn't what I expected. But lo and behold, Amazon has released a large-format 10.2-inch E Ink e-reader that includes a stylus. One might say it is the spiritual successor to the defunct Kindle DX, which had a 9.7-inch screen. It's available now for preorder for $340 with a standard stylus or $370 with a premium stylus and will "arrive before the holidays," Amazon says.

A handful of competing stylus-equipped touchscreen E Ink e-readers that double as digital notepads are available from other companies, including Kobo and ReMarkable. But Amazon says the Kindle Scribe is the only front-lit 10.2-inch e-reader with a high-resolution 300 ppi (pixels per inch) E ink display.

Price: $340
Release date: Later in 2022

The latest in the Kindle family is a 10.2-inch E Ink e-reader that uses a batteryless EMR stylus. A premium version of the stylus supports erasing and offers a programmable button for an extra $30.

The device is only 5.8mm thin (0.22 inches) and weighs in at 433 grams. For comparison, the Kindle Paperwhite weighs in at 205 grams and the new upgraded baseline Kindle (2022) is 158 grams. The Kindle Scribe's front-light scheme is composed of 35 LEDs. That compares with 25 LEDs for the Kindle Oasis, 17 LEDs for the Kindle Paperwhite and four LEDs for the 2022 entry-level Kindle.

Kindle Scribe cover options

Amazon is selling a folio cover for the Scribe that converts into a kickstand.

Amazon

I haven't played around with the Kindle Scribe yet, but Kevin Keith, Amazon's VP of devices, demonstrated some of its key features for me in a video call, showing off how little latency there is with the note taking. Both the standard stylus and premium stylus don't require power or Bluetooth connectivity and use electro-magnetic resonance technology. The premium stylus has an erase feature and programmable button for $30 more. Both adhere magnetically to the side of the e-reader.

The Kindle Scribe is constructed from recycled aluminum and charges via USB-C (a cable but no power adapter is included, and using a 9-watt or higher adapter will speed charging). Similar to the Oasis, it can be used left or right-handed -- you simply flip it 180 degrees in one direction or the other  -- and Amazon will sell a few different folio covers for it that convert into a kickstand and allow you to prop up the device.

You can can get up to three months of battery life if you just use the Scribe as an e-reader (based on 30 minutes of reading a day), but note-taking draws more energy and cuts battery life down considerably. However, depending on usage, you can still get weeks of battery life while note-taking and doodling. 

Kindle Scribe has an adjustable warm light like the Kindle Oasis

The Kindle Scribe's adjustable warm light has 35 LEDs.

Amazon

You can import a variety of file formats and documents types to mark up if you so choose. You can import and write directly on-page in PDF documents. You can also import and create handwritten sticky notes in Microsoft Word docs (DOCX, DOC), HTML, EPUB, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP. Like with other recent Kindles, you can also listen to Audible audio format (AAX) or text-to-speech audio with Bluetooth headphones or speakers. Additionally, Amazon says it's working with Microsoft to allow you to export a Word doc directly from a computer to your Kindle Scribe within that Word doc. That feature is coming in 2023, Amazon says. 

The Scribe runs on the same Mediatek system on a chip that runs the Paperwhite. It's capable of running up to 2GHz but only does so for certain applications that require higher performance, according to Amazon. As for storage, the base model has 16GB, but 32GB and 64GB configurations are available for more money. The Scribe is Wi-Fi-only Kindle, with no cellular option. 

Keeping a journal with the Kindle Scribe

You can keep a journal with the Scribe and upload your entries to the cloud (free storage included). 

Amazon

I asked Keith why Amazon decided to do a 10.2-inch e-reader at this moment after moving away from large e-readers several years ago, discontinuing the Kindle DX in 2014. That model had a limited but loyal following who particularly valued having a big screen e-reader that could display type at larger font sizes with enough words per line. Keith said that the technology -- particularly the screen technology -- finally advanced to the point where the user experience lived up to Amazon's high standards. Amazon could have released a similar product a couple of years without a front light, he explained, but that didn't make sense. 

Amazon didn't say exactly when the Kindle Scribe will ship, but the product page says it will be "released" on November 30. We look forward to testing it out and will post a full review shortly before it does ship. 

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