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Amazon’s Kindle Scribe Wants to Make Reading and Writing Hot Again

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with Kindle ScribeAmazon wants the device launched during the George W. Bush administration to be the next big thing again.

Amazon doesn’t shy away from flashy ideas. delivery drone, robot dog Conversation with or virtual assistant alexaBut this week, Amazon started selling the Kindle Scribe. This is an updated version of the E Ink reader that was first launched before Amazon offered a mobile app.

Kindle Scribe is not futuristic. It’s not semi-intuitive. Not even color. Big update: Now you can write as well as read.

read more: Amazon Kindle Scribe review: This note-taking E Ink tablet strikes a nice balance

But by bringing back the no-frills Kindle, Amazon hopes to give you another reason to experience centuries of reading pleasure. The first Kindle came out the same year as the first iPhone. In the decade and a half since then, our personal devices have gotten smarter, faster, and flashier. Swimming against this tide, Kindle Scribe’s mission is irresistible. It’s designed to give you a deep understanding of tasks that most internet-enabled devices undermine: careful reading and note-taking.

“We’ve expanded the world of what customers can do, but we’ve also created a sanctuary where people can immerse themselves in content and not be distracted,” Kevin Keith, vice president of product management and marketing at Amazon, said in an interview. I keep my thoughts.

Scribe’s real breakthrough may be that Amazon, the world’s fourth largest company by market capitalization, is doing just that.

Smaller manufacturers Kobo, reMarkable, and Boox E Ink tablets already offer writing as a feature, and some have large formats with screen quality almost as good as Scribe. However, none can mark up Kindle books, and some do not support Kindle apps. With Scribe, Amazon has opened up its vast and popular library to user scribbles.

It makes sense to add a new sparkle to the Kindle experience. Amazon says customers buy Kindle books more often than paper books. And given that the Kindle app has been downloaded more than 326 million times worldwide on Apple and Android devices in place of Kindles since 2012, according to data.ai, Amazon’s e-reader app has already taken over. There is a large potential base of future Kindle users using it. A market analytics company that tracks mobile apps.

According to Chris LaBrutto, principal product manager at Amazon, Kindle users have already created a “Cliff Notes” version that includes highlights and typed notes from Kindle books. Adding a stylus and he writing in Scribe would improve that experience and make readers more engaged, LaBrutto said.

The question is, after 15 years of increasing smartphone addiction, are gadget buyers like you yearning to get back to reading and writing in shades of grey?

E Ink fans love its limits

First marketed as part of an e-reader in the mid-2000s, E Ink screens have garnered loyal fans from readers of all genres. Displays display text and graphics in grayscale using tiny charged capsules that turn black or white in response to negative or positive electrical signals. It draws far less power than traditional tablets, so battery life is weeks instead of hours.

The E Ink display also has no backlight, so you can read it in direct sunlight and avoid blue light in your eyes. Nick Price, an engineer at Security in Portland, Oregon, was immediately attracted to anyone who had used his E Ink-equipped Kindle and his Boox e-reader.

“It was much easier on my eyes in the evening when I was trying to sleep,” Price said of his first Kindle screen.

Look at this:

Kindle Scribe: Details on Amazon’s Newest E-Reader


For enthusiasts, the simplicity of the device is the point. In addition to eliminating the bright colors that shine from the screen, E Ink devices typically don’t offer the entire internet which is a huge distraction from intensive reading. That’s the appeal of the reMarkable 2, an E Ink tablet with a stylus that came out in 2020, says Andrew Loeb, an English professor at the University of Trent in Ontario, Canada, who wants to help you focus on reading and taking notes. I was thinking. take.

“You can get an iPad for the same price,” he said, but that would defeat the purpose.

Writing on e-books is the logical next step when trying to capture the experience of reading from paper. Solved the problem I faced when it was done with He also uses it for reading articles and taking notes at meetings and conferences. He said the tactile sensation of writing on a tablet adds to the experience.

read more: Best E Ink Tablets of 2022: Amazon’s Kindle Scribe and More

E ink that stimulates the five senses

By competing with devices like reMarkable, Amazon aimed to make Kindle Scribe a high-end writing experience.

Scribe’s hallmark is its combination of premium features. That realistic writing experience, coupled with his 10.2-inch screen with sharp 300 ppi image quality, brings together aspects of the popular e-reader.

Amazon sent me a test unit so I could get a feel for it myself. I found that the stylus captures the joy of writing like paper and draws sharp lines in no time. The screen has just enough texture to elicit satisfying scratching sounds while writing.

According to LaBrutto and Tim Wall, principal industrial designer at Amazon, the experience was the result of hard work. I had to tweak the texture of the screen, the sharpness of the image, and the immediacy of the writing experience.

With an E Ink display, “you’re not actually writing on the surface you’re writing on,” Wall said. “That lens, everything under that surface is additive.”

The team focused on the micron distance between the top layer of the display and all the components that need to be sandwiched with the E Ink underneath. We also noted microsecond latency, the time between the stylus touching the screen and the line appearing.

Amazon says Kindle Scribe is particularly good for reading non-fiction. The large display clearly shows charts and graphs in grayscale and fits more text on each page. In addition to adding notes to Kindle books, you can also mark up PDFs and Microsoft Word documents.to add Handwriting has meaning even in non-fictionstudies have shown, improve learning over typing notes.

Doodle with Kindle Scribe

Scribe Notes lets you draw, take notes, and create lists using your stylus.

David Carnoy/CNET

For example, highlighting and marking directly on the PDF helped absorb information from dense legal briefs. I was reading a non-fiction book on the Kindle app, highlighted important names and dates, and created commentary using handwriting and text-based sticky notes.

(After this article is published, I will return the Kindle Scribe test unit. At that point, I will be back in the Kindle app on my phone, but I will not be able to access my handwritten notes. You can download them as a PDF. Created separately, but highlights and text-based notes created in Scribe remain available for viewing in the Kindle Phone app.)

Writing to a Kindle book required more steps than writing directly to a PDF. A CNET reviewer found it unfortunate and awkwardAccording to Keith, the Kindle team chose this design to keep the pages organized. It also means readers can adjust the font without disturbing the position of the notation on the page, he added.

“One of the things our customers love about the Kindle is the lack of distractions,” he said.

If Scribe succeeds, this simplicity allows it to stay within Amazon’s universe without requiring a dash of color in its gadget. Not to mention the ability to fly like a camera drone or roll and dance like a home robot.

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