There’s a new Kindle to talk about, called the Kindle Scribe. It’s Amazon’s first in years to go beyond seven inches, stretching all the way to 10.2-inches to increase the amount of room you have to jot down notes with the bundled Wacom stylus. It’s priced at $339.99 and will go on sale by the holidays, according to the company. Preorders open today.
Yeah, this Kindle is a lot different than anything Amazon’s shipped before. The big 10.2-inch E Ink display is designed for two purposes: reading content (books, magazines, comics) and writing content (notes, document annotation, doodles). The Scribe boasts the same 300ppi as smaller Kindles, such as the Oasis which this new Kindle looks a lot like. It also has an adjustable warm light and the same pin-sharp contrast as other Kindles, making this the most advanced Kindle display ever.
The device is 5.8mm thick which is just over a millimeter thicker than the 4.6mm Oasis, and it weighs 430 grams sho it should be pretty manageable. Amazon says the new Scribe will last up to 12 weeks on a full charge with 30 minutes of reading each day, or three weeks with 30 minutes of drawing each day. The reason for the significant decrease in endurance is due to the display’s refresh rate cranking up to make sketching feel as responsive as possible.
On the stylus, Amazon says it works using Wacom technology and doesn’t need to be charged. It connects magnetically to the side of the Scribe, and you can use it for just about anything you want, whether that means jotting down a note on a chapter in a book or composing an entire drawing of a character in your head. Amazon seems to want to combine the best of its traditional Kindle experience with the interactivity E Ink tablets like the reMarkable 2 affords you. That’s at least the case pricing wise, as the Scribe is one of the more expensive E Ink drawing surfaces you can buy. Still, anyone who’s been interested in having an E Ink surface where they can take notes or doodle on the go will want to check this device out.
If you do decide to pick it up, you’ll have the choice of a basic pen or a “Premium” version. Costing $30 more, the Premium variant adds a shortcut button and an eraser at the top.
Beyond some extra software on top of the typical Kindle UI to support note-taking, Amazon isn’t integrating any additional services at launch. Next year, the company says you’ll be able to send Microsoft Word documents to the device for reading and writing on, but that’s about it. Hopefully, down the road, more services are added to the device’s arsenal.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Scribe fairs in Amazon’s lineup of Kindles. It’s by far the biggest shakeup to the company’s e-book portfolio in years, and it comes at a time when E Ink tablets are really starting to gain momentum. I’ll do my best to get my hands on a review sample to see if it’s worth picking up.
The Kindle Scribe will be offered with a four-month trial to Amazon Kindle Unlimited, which gives you complimentary access to hundreds of thousands of books to add to your library. In addition, Amazon will offer fabric cases for the device to add some protection.
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