Amazon recently announced its newest e-reader: the Kindle Scribe. This 10.2-inch tablet has all the same features the best Kindles are known for, including easy access to one’s Kindle library — and Amazon's giant online store of books and magazines and audio books. But the new tablet takes things further by including a writable screen. Yes, you’ll be able to write directly on the Kindle Scribe using an included digital pen.
My initial reaction to the Kindle Scribe was: “Why would anyone want a writable e-reader?” I know writable e-readers like the reMarkable 2 and Kobo Nia exist, but I always saw these as a novelty. At least for myself. I own the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite, and only need it for reading books. I’ve never once had a desire to write on it. I don’t jot down notes on physical books, so why would I want to do that on a reading device?
However, the more I think about it, the more open I’m becoming to the idea of getting a Kindle Scribe. So, allow me to explain why this device may be the latest gadget I didn't know I needed in my life.
Taking notes in a book could be useful
As I said, I’ve never been one of those folks who jot down notes in the novels they read. I want to keep my books as pristine as possible. That means I don’t fold pages or bend the spine too much. Heck, I even make sure to place bookmarks in the center of the page rather than near the spine. I'm kind of obsessive, you could say.
This is where the Kindle Scribe comes in. With the device, I’ll be able to write notes "in" a book without fear of damaging it... because it's digital. Check out this product preview trailer from Amazon to see it in action, where you'll see that you don't write in the margins, but in sticky-note like fields 'attached' to the book.
This could get me into the habit of leaving notes about specific passages I find interesting in a book. Millions of book readers already do this with their physical books, but it would be a first for me.
The other reason taking notes on the Scribe seems appealing is because of the large 10.2-inch screen. Though I have no issue with my Kindle’s 6-inch display, that's too small of a surface for writing. At 10.2-inches, the Kindle Scribe has the same display size as my iPad 2020 — and a large enough digital canvas for me to warm up to the idea of writing on an e-reader.
A more “book-like” experience
Beyond the possibilities offered by a writable tablet, the aforementioned large display is a (pun intended) big selling point for me.
Though I’m content with reading on a 6-inch screen, I’d prefer reading on a large display. I used to read books from the Kindle app on my iPad before switching to a Kindle proper. Staring at backlit displays is already an occupational hazard of sorts in my field of work, so I didn't need to volunteer my eyes for more of that sort of screen time. The Scribe borrow the Paperwhite's glare-free display with the added benefit of a super-sized surface for fitting more on a single 'page.'
The 10.2-inch screen would also be closer to the page size of a standard hardcover novel (only far more slimmer and portable). This would allow me to reach the size similarity I've enjoyed on iPad, but in the made-for-reading Kindle Scribe.
I’m always open to new experiences and having an e-reader that I can write on will certainly provide that. In fact, it could be something I didn’t realize I needed! And while its asking price of $339 is a little steep, the benefits it provides (note taking and large screen) should justify the cost.
Though I was initially skeptical about the Kindle Scribe, the moments since have found me more than likely going to end up getting one. I’m in the market for a new Kindle anyway, so it might be better to get the Scribe instead of waiting for a new Paperwhite model to get released. Tom's Guide will be testing it out soon, so I'm looking forward to seeing our verdict or, possibly, writing it myself.