What if your Kindle could also be your diary? That’s the idea behind the new Kindle Scribe – the first Amazon e-reader that lets you both read and write. With an included stylus and a 10.2-inch screen, the latest Kindle is designed for people who want to easily take notes while reading their favorite books, as well as create to-do lists, sketches and journal entries without the distractions of a typical tablet or telephone.
The Kindle Scribe’s combination of reading and writing functionality is compelling – and makes it a direct competitor to similar tablets like the reMarkable – but will it be the right Kindle for you? Here’s what you need to know.
The Kindle Scribe is up for pre-order now for $339 and is set to ship in time for the holidays this year. The e-reader is available with your choice of 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB of storage. It comes standard with Amazon’s Basic Pen, but those who want a sturdier stylus with an eraser and shortcut button can upgrade to a $369 model with the Premium Pen.
There are leather, premium leather and fabric covers available for purchase for the Scribe, all of which come at a discount if you pick them up with the tablet.
A Kindle that combines reading and writing
The Kindle Scribe looks like a standard Kindle at first glance, but there are some key features that set it apart from the pack. To begin with, it is big, packing what Amazon calls the world’s first 10.2-inch, 300-pixel-per-inch Paperwhite display (the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite have 6-inch and 6.8-inch displays, respectively). The larger size makes sense as this is the first Kindle that you can actually write on using an included stylus.
Using this pen, you can create digital sticky notes while reading books on your Kindle, something that seems ideal for highlighting your favorite sections of a novel or jotting down key information while studying a science book. Amazon says Scribe automatically organizes these notes in a way that keeps your pages clutter-free. When you’re not reading, you can also use Scribe to create to-do lists or jot down basic notes during a meeting, all of which can be backed up to the cloud at no extra cost (you’ll also be able to access your notes via Kindle app from 2023).
Scribe also supports Amazon’s Send-to-Kindle function, so you can e.g. can import a PDF or Microsoft Word document from your computer and mark it up on Scribe. Whatever you’re writing down, Amazon says the experience “feels like real paper,” which is something we’re eager to try.
Aside from handwriting capabilities, Scribe packs a number of standard features you’ll find on most Kindles, including access to more than 13 million books that can be purchased individually, as well as an optional Kindle Unlimited subscription that gives you more than 3 million titles. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you have access to a rotating selection of thousands of books.
Amazon says to expect up to 12 weeks of battery life with daily use. When you run out of juice, the device can be fully charged in 2.5 hours using a 9W USB-C charger, or in 7 hours when connected to your computer with a standard USB-C cable.
If you’ve ever wished you could take notes while reading on your Kindle—or just want a distraction-free device for keeping to-do lists and journals—the Kindle Scribe might be the device for you. Amazon’s Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite have long been our picks for best e-reader thanks to their immersive reading experience, large book library, and comfortable design, and Scribe looks to retain those great features while also letting you bookmark your favorite titles and keep to-do lists and personal notes.
The question is, should you pay $339 for the perk? E-readers like the reMarkable 2 have similar writing capabilities for a cheaper $279, and those who just need a note-taking device can always grab a cheap tablet like the $59 Amazon Fire 7. But the Kindle’s best screen and library paired with rugged writing capabilities are a compelling combination – one that we look forward to testing in our full review later this year.