Amazon is turning the page and taking notes with its new large-screen e-reader

Amazon is turning the page and taking notes with its new large-screen e-reader

Amazon’s Kindle family is growing. Literally and figuratively. newcomer, the Kindle Scribe and its screen e-ink of 10.2 inches allow, in addition to reading digital books, taking notes and drawing with a pen. This land, already marked by Koboor even ReMarkable, can it succeed with a web giant? 20 minutes took the pen and tested the Scribe for a few days.

Manga screen

Impressive with its screen of 10.2 inches or a diagonal of almost 26 cm, the Kindle Scribe is the largest among Amazon’s e-readers, whose offer now includes five models, which are sold from 99 euros to 369 euros. This last tariff is that of the scribe. For this price, not a day, Amazon offers a very large screen, specially cut for comics and manga, but also a pen for notes and drawing. A pen that is passive (not Bluetooth).

Reading with one hand: difficult…

Quick to configure, Scribe can be learned in ten minutes using small pop-ups that open on the screen explaining its various functions. But anyone who’s ever had a Kindle in their hands will find it a snap, with instant access to any digital book library already built up in their Amazon account.

With its large 10.2-inch screen, the Kindle Scribe offers an almost optimal level of reading comfort. -Amazon

Digital reading opens a new chapter here with large pages where you can modulate the characters’ bodies with a simple two-finger zoom or even adjust the brightness and temperature of the lighting. The resolution (300 dpi/pixels per inch) of the screen offers real comfort of use. Despite everything, the size of the reader and its weight very quickly overwhelmed our attempt to read with one hand. Quickly, the 433 grams of the device imposes its limit, so the Scribe is more convenient to use placed on a support or on the knees. The absence of a button to turn pages is done in favor of a simple finger movement, with flawless responsiveness.

Notes in windows

With a pen in hand, it becomes possible to mark the pages of a book or document. Simply select a word, sentence or paragraph with the tip of the small pen to open a window jump out inviting us to mark the selected text, but also to mark it. This last selected option then opens a large window where you can type text from the virtual keyboard or simply write it with a pen. The finished note can then be closed and automatically saved or even sent to the correspondent e-mail (will be converted into a PDF file).

Limited notes

The existence of page notes on the eReader screen is materialized by an icon at the end of the selected text, but the note does not appear as such. And it’s really a shame! We would like to be able to use the famous Scribe pen so that we can make notes on the side of the page, circle words, in short, scribble as much as necessary, as can be done on a paper book. .

In its press release, Amazon boasts “automatically organized notes so they don’t clutter pages.” Safe. But that means calling each note or note folder to access it. On the other hand, .DOC and .DOCX documents that can be sent to the tablet (using the address e-mail insured for any Kindle account*) suffer from the same ailments. As for .PAGES documents from Mac, they are automatically restored. The notes offered by Kindle Scribe therefore have their limitations.

Drawing board

The device is more satisfying if, in addition to reading, you also want to use it for text writing and creation make lists, and even compose music: 18 sheet music models are offered, from a simple blank page to a score. And this is where Scribe is really very pleasant to use, it offers almost natural writing, with five possible sizes of pen lines, which slide across the screen like a sheet of paper. We, who never draw, even made a few doodles with real pleasure! Attention, direct printing from Scribe is not possible. Immortalizing your masterpiece on paper must first go through sending a file (PDF) on a computer or via the Kindle app on a smartphone or tablet (which automatically syncs with Scribe).

Amazon Kindle Scribe lets you take notes and draw.
Amazon Kindle Scribe lets you take notes and draw. -Amazon

Judgment? This Kindle Scribe has all the advantages of a great reader and, with the help of the format, has a good chance of being appreciated by manga readers. Please note: open format e-Pub** is not considered as usual (unless painstaking conversion is done). Constructable notes have, as we have seen, their limitations and deserve to be optimized in their approach. The functions of Scribe’s digital notebook are completely satisfactory, even if you can only work in black and white.

The autonomy of the new Kindle (from 10 to 12 weeks with 30 min of reading per day, and from 2 to 3 weeks with note-taking) remains a great advantage compared to a tablet. It is sold from 369 euros (with a pen and 16 GB of memory, but without cover protection), the Kindle Scribe remains expensive for an Amazon product.

Bitter Bookeen’s notehis real rival, Kobo’s ellipseallows for real observation e-books (with handwriting recognition and conversion to typed text). In the same size (but with a resolution of 227 dpi), it offers 32 GB and comes with a protective sleeve. For 20 euros more.

* “Send to Kindle” emails support the following document formats: Adobe PDF (.pdf); Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx); Rich text format (.rtf); HTML (.htm, .html); Text documents (.txt); Archived documents (zip, x-zip) and archived and compressed documents; MOBI (.azw, .mobi) (does not support newer Kindle features for documents).

** Supported formats: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3); Kindle (AZW); TXT; PDF; unprotected MOBI and PRC (native formats); HTML; DOC, DOCX; JPEG; GIFs; PDF; TXT; PNG; PMP and EPUB (via conversion).

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