I am, in no way, a handwriting guy. My scribblings look like the cramped efforts of a delirious Tasmanian Devil and my script is unreadable. That said, I’ve been drawn to the idea of a good, usable e-ink tablet for a long time and I’ve only been put off by SuperNote and Remarkable’s relatively high price. Now there’s a new entrant in that race, the Amazon Kindle Scribe, and I finally pulled the trigger and picked one of these up simply to see if I can use it for everyday writing.
The tablet features a 10.2” 300 ppi e-ink screen for reading and writing. It includes a “premium” pen with an eraser tip that allows you to annotate and write on the screen in a high-contrast e-ink. There’s not clear how performant the whole thing is yet but if it’s an Amazon product you can be certain the software and hardware will be solid and well-made.
The 16GB version with premium pen costs $369, on par with SuperNote’s $343.00 USD price tag for a tablet and pen and Remarkable’s $462 (plus $2.99 a month subscription) for the Remarkable 2. This price is no accident as Amazon wants to sit firmly in the pen and e-ink market while gutting competitors with lower prices. It’s a sad but true habit when it comes to Kindle products.
I’m not going to say that this will be the best e-ink product out there nor will I assume I’ll actually use the thing – it’s hard to break the typing habit and my handwriting is awful – but it’s bold of Amazon to put this into a fairly underdeveloped market with the assumption that all we needed to adopt pen and e-ink devices was a lower price and a little of that Bezos magic. The product ships November 30, so we’ll see how it works then.