With a 10.2-inch display, the Kindle Scribe is the largest e-reader Amazon has released in over a decade. It doesn't deliver the strong collaborative features of a ReMarkable 2 or tablet device, but with up to 12 weeks' reading on a single charge, it's a solid e-reading option for those who feel the standard 6-inch display is too small and want to do the occasional bit of note-taking and document mark-ups.
Amazon first introduced the Kindle back in 2007 and to this day its 6-inch display remains the most common screen size for e-readers. You can comfortably hold the device in one hand and read one of thousands of titles in the park, on the train, at the beach – just about anywhere.
The latest and most expensive e-reader from Amazon, the Kindle Scribe, has a large 10.2-inch screen and stylus that deliver some of the functionality of a tablet through the ability to import Microsoft Word and PDF documents and mark up basic notes and highlights.
The obvious comparison to the Kindle Scribe is the ReMarkable 2 and while the two devices look very similar, they provide completely different reading and writing experiences. The ReMarkable 2 is a productivity tool that happens to allow you to read documents in an e-reader format. The Kindle Scribe, on the other hand, is first and foremost a (very large) e-reader with the ability to write notes and perform some limited mark-ups and highlights.
A more accurate name for this device would be the Kindle 'Scribble' – it's handy for making notes and reminders or sticky notes about passages in an ebook, but don't expect it to replace your tablet or laptop when it comes to any meaningful creative or collaborative work.
The stylus included in the standard package is easy to use and the accuracy and overall feel of the nib when scribbling and drawing is both comfortable and balanced. To create sticky notes and comments within an existing ebook, simply tap the pen on the document and a note will be collected and marked up for later reference. You can also export the notes if need be. A premium pen is available, adding an eraser and a macro button, but the basic pen provides all you need to work with this device.
It's handy for making notes in an ebook, but don't expect it to replace your tablet or laptop when it comes to any meaningful collaborative work
The stylus has a magnetic strip on one side so you can fix it to the side of the display when not in use, but this can be irritating when you're using it as an e-reader so make sure you have a safe place to put the stylus when you're not using it or keep it secure in the saddle in the optional protective cover ($99). The cover provides a level of protection for your display as well as a fold-out stand option in either landscape or portrait mode.
The supplied stylus is simple to use and doesn't require charging but the options available for mark-ups and collaboration are limited.
The resolution is sharp, the page processing is smooth and fast, and there's no denying the attraction of being able to see an A4-sized display of text, allowing you to bump up the font size if required. Access to the menu to select ebooks or alter the screen layout is quick and intuitive, with a finger tap on the top of the screen bringing up the appropriate menu controls.
While the device looks similar to the Kindle Oasis with a wide border on one side to aid single-handed holding, it feels precarious to hold the Scribe in anything other than two sturdy hands. Also, unlike the Oasis, there's no physical page turning button on the edge of the screen so if you prefer button presses to swiping left or right, you might need a little time to adjust.
The resolution is sharp, the page processing is smooth and fast, and there's no denying the attraction of being able to see an A4-sized display of text
The online dictionary is useful and the ability to 'Send to Kindle' is a very handy feature when you're working on documents created on a laptop or downloaded to your phone and want to finish reading them on the Scribe. While you don't have online library support like you do with a Kobo e-reader, anyone with an Amazon account will be familiar with the store's simple and efficient book previewing and purchasing process.
While you should think of the Kindle Scribe as an e-reader with some additional productivity features (rather than a tablet loaded with bells and whistles), there are several documents and templates available to take advantage of the stylus, such as lined paper, blank paper, to-do lists and even music sheets. Once you've marked up the selected template, you can export the document as a PDF.
You can share documents on your Apple iOS or Android device fairly easily, and the ability to send Microsoft Word documents to the Kindle Scribe directly from Word has been promised in the next software update.
Ease of use, display quality and office collaboration are all important factors when choosing an e-reader, but so is finding out what it's like to use in bed.
The hefty screen size and almost half-kilo weight of the Scribe may be an issue when attempting single-handed reading, but this isn't really a problem when lying in bed as most people tend to use two hands and doing this is quite comfortable over a reasonable period of time.
But with this added weight, it's worth keeping in mind that if you tend to nod off while reading, the inevitable drop onto your face may lead to more than a startled awareness that it's time to turn off the light (ouch!).
The Kindle Scribe dwarfs the standard 6-inch Kindle and can be a sleeping hazard if you have a habit of dozing off while reading in bed.
- Screen: 10.2 inch Paperwhite display.
- Resolution: 300ppi.
- Dimensions: 196 x 230 x 5.8mm.
- Weight: 433 grams (stylus weight is an additional 14 grams).
- Storage: 16GB (32GB and 64GB options available).
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 ac/b/g/n supports 2.4 GHz and 5.0GHz. Security support for WEP, WPA, WPA2 and 3 using password authentication. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or Peer to Peer) Wi-Fi Networks. USB-C.
- Button: Power on/off.
- Type: 12 fonts and 50 font sizes.
- Processor: 1GHz MediaTek MT8113
- Battery performance: Up to 12 weeks' reading on a single charge, with a full charge taking approximately seven hours when connected to a laptop and less than three hours when connected to a 9W USB-C power adapter.
- Supported file formats: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, DOCX, DOC, HTML, EPUB, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
- Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Turkish, Japanese, Traditional Chinese.
- Content: Instant, 24/7 access to Amazon's eBookstore with millions of titles.
- Warranty: One-year limited warranty and guaranteed software security updates until at least four years after the device is last available for purchase.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.