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10 Reasons to Avoid the Kindle Scribe Today

Reasons to avoid Kindle Scribe

10 Reasons to Avoid the Kindle Scribe Today

Key Points

  • The Kindle Scribe lacks the ability to write directly on content pages, requiring users to open sticky notes instead.
  • The user interface of the Kindle Scribe is slow and lacks helpful features like color highlighting and cut/copy/paste functionality.
  • Amazon connections are required for the best functionality of the Kindle Scribe, limiting access to certain features and content.
  • The pen tips of the Kindle Scribe wear out quickly, requiring frequent replacement.
  • The Kindle Scribe is not waterproof and lacks wireless charging, making it less convenient for users.
  • The power button and charging port are awkwardly placed and can be in the way when using the device. 
  • The Kindle Scribe weighs almost one pound, making it cumbersome to use for longer periods. 
  • The magnetic pen attachment on the side of the device is weak, and the pen can be easily stripped off. 
  • The Kindle Scribe is expensive considering what you get and what you do not. 

Since the advent of ENIAC in 1946, we entered the electronic age. From the 1970s onward, the digital age transformed how we live, work, learn, and more. Small wonder that digital tools to electronically annotate print media are so popular. Kindle has long been the leader in e-reader tablets and software, but we have ten reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe today that may steer you elsewhere. 

Productivity goes beyond simple reading; users want to make notes, highlight, jot down ideas, and otherwise interact with informational text to increase comprehension. Writing tablets, or E Ink tablets, are the latest tools to help us interact with select texts free from cumbersome pencils and paper. Keeping all our resources on electronic media should make our study or work faster, leaner, more convenient, and more intuitive. 

Sadly, we’ve found at least 10 reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe that demonstrate just how much it lacks in helping us reach these goals. 

Background on the Amazon Scribe E Ink Tablet

Kindle released the Scribe in November 2022 to hopeful users expecting more. E Ink tablets are not new, and one would expect an e-reader tablet mega-leader like Kindle to produce a stand-apart productivity product. Measuring 7.7 x 9.0 x 0.22 inches and weighing just under one pound with a 10.2-inch, 300 ppi screen, the Scribe is two times the screen size of the Paperwhite. Advertising boasts that the Scribe is Kindle’s first e-reader you can write on, but this is somewhat misleading. 

The device is available with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage and comes with a metal pen with replaceable tips for annotating on-screen. It is extremely bright with a 35-LED front-light display and built-in backlighting. Like all Kindle products, it requires to connection to a computer or smartphone for updating, downloading content, or setup; it has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. It is completely compatible with other Kindle devices and other aspects of the Amazon ecosystem. 

Reasons to Avoid the Kindle Scribe 

We scoured the Internet for pros and cons of this new E Ink tablet and discovered just as many (if not more) reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe as there are benefits. Our list grew surprisingly large, but we’ve distilled it down to only ten. 

You Don’t Actually Write on Book Pages

The absolute top of our leading reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe is that users don’t actually write on content pages. While you may initially be pleased with the large screen and text for easy reading, annotating or making markups will be a nasty surprise. Making a note on your text requires you to open a sticky note label, enter your thoughts into that, and then save it for later use. You do not actually make notes directly onto the page of your text. 

This is problematic because referring back to your note requires you to remember where you saved your note. Productivity is actually slowed, not made faster. There is no highlighting text, circling words, underlining, or adding arrows or color. So, what do you want an E Ink tablet for? Just reading and making paper notes is cheaper with an e-reader, or just buy the book and mark it accordingly. 

Now Kindle recently updated the Scribe software to allow writing on some content, namely, a handful of puzzles available in the Kindle store and a few journals. Marking up PDFs is also supported, but this is really no benefit. Few users read and annotate PDF files, and not all of them support annotations anyway.  

Woman reading a book outside
You cannot actually write on the pages of the Scribe, so it may be best to just buy the book and mark it accordingly. 

The User Interface (UI) is Slow and Lacks Helpful Features

Among the top reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe shared by online reviewers are all the most-desired features it lacks. While it is a good e-reader with a large display, things go downhill from there. The stylus-based features are reportedly slow or hit-and-miss, making confusing mistakes more frequent. Only black-and-white content is supported, and there is no color-highlighting feature. Users cannot cut or copy and paste words, lines, or sections on a page. There is no support for adding tabs, pins, or other ways to categorize pages. 

The list goes on: there are no buttons to easily turn pages, no options for syncing written notes, and no way to share files or documents with a computer or cloud storage. The screen doesn’t scroll, so get ready for jerky and jumpy transitions between pages or sections. Students or professionals looking for a speedy and convenient productivity tool may find these deficits significant. 

Amazon Connections Are Required for the Best Functionality

For those consumers already connected with the Amazon ecosystem, this may not be an issue. New users will discover the best efficiencies of the Scribe can only be accessed when you have Amazon accounts, like Prime, Audible, or Kindle Unlimited. Without them, your content downloads are severely limited, and some features are locked. Documents and PDFs are sharable to your Kindle library and can be transferred to your device, but large files can lag or get stuck in downloading. Non-Kindle content requires back-door modifications before the Kindle reader recognizes and operates it. 

Pen Tips Wear Out Quickly

The Kindle Scribe includes a metallic pen for writing on the screen. The 16GB product includes a basic pen that only facilitates writing. The 32GB and 64GB editions include the Premium Pen with eraser functionality and a shortcut button for additional features. Both pens use the same replaceable tip that, unfortunately, wears out rather quickly. According to several online reviewers of the actual product, some reported blunted, bent, or frayed tips, uneven lines, rough screen contact, and other writing difficulties after only three to four weeks. A few claimed problems after only one or two weeks of regular use. While replacement tips are not expensive, replacing them frequently only adds to your overall costs and slows productivity. 

No Wireless Charging 

Everyone loves wireless technology and charging without plugging into a cable is the latest modern convenience. Imagine laying your tablet on a charging surface or just keeping it near a wireless charging device while you work. Unfortunately, the Kindle Scribe skips over wireless charging. Users charge the device by plugging up a USB-C cable to a computer or using a 9W USB-C power adapter. Computer charging takes about seven hours to complete, while the wall charger reduces that time to two-and-a-half hours. Like all Kindle readers, the Scribe stays charged for several days. Sadly, you must remember to pack along the cable for extended trips and stay close to your computer or a wall outlet when your battery runs low. 

Not Waterproof

Another of our top reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe is its aversion to moisture. It is not waterproof, unlike the newest Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis. This may not be a big deal to some casual users, but the Scribe is supposed to be all about increasing productivity. No more working or studying as you bathe or lounge by the pool. In fact, wise students or professionals should avoid working outside if there is a chance of rain. 

Best Waterproof Design
Kindle Paperwhite
$139.99
  • 6.8-inch 300 PPI glare-free display
  • Up to 10 weeks of battery life
  • Available in three different colors
  • Now includes 20% faster page turns
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/24/2024 08:47 pm GMT
Best for Avid Readers on the Go
Kindle Oasis
  • 7-inch, 300 PPI flush-front display
  • Waterproof (IPX8)
  • Ergonomic design with page-turn buttons
  • E Ink technology
  • 64GB storage
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Awkward Placement for the Power Button and Charging Port 

This may seem a bit far-fetched to some for top reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe but design and build matter to many users. The larger screen on the Scribe is a plus for many reasons, but there is little frame surrounding it for handling. The power button and USB-C charging port are on the larger side bezel meant for holding the device. This is awkward when trying to use the Scribe while charging (did we say we missed wireless charging?) and their middle placement puts them right under your hand. The wrong movement could turn off the device. Small oversights like these matter when you use a device routinely for school or work. 

Cumbersome Weight 

The Kindle Scribe weighs just under a pound (0.947 pounds or 430 grams) so it’s hard on the hand for carrying or one-handed operation for long periods of time. Given that it is an E Ink tablet where users are expected to hold the pen in one hand and the device in the other, longer stretches of use will become uncomfortable, if not downright difficult. Combine this with the thin design (not quite a quarter of an inch thick) which requires more effort to grip it securely, and as a result, prolonged use causes notable fatigue in the hand, wrist, and arm. 

Weak Magnetic Pen Attachment 

An E Ink tablet uses a pen for writing on the device, and the Kindle Scribe comes with a basic or premium pen of the same size. This pen attaches to a magnet on the center of the smaller bezel side of the device for convenience when not using it. The magnet is small and weak, allowing the pen to rotate and twist. Plus, pulling it out of a backpack or satchel easily strips the pen away, necessitating a deep dive to fish it out from the bottom of your preferred carryall. 

It Is Expensive for What You Get

The final, but not the least important, of our reasons to avoid the Kindle Scribe today is its cost. The Scribe electronic writing tablet comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB configurations. The 16GB with the basic pen and no cover is currently $339.99 (a premium pen boosts that to $369.99). The 32GB model is $389.99 (including the premium pen), and the 64GB model is $419.99 (including the premium pen). Compare this with the 32GB Kindle Oasis for $279.00 or the 10th Generation 64GB Apple iPad compatible with the Apple stylus for $399. 

Best Budget Apple Tablet
Apple iPad 2022 (10th Generation)
$429.00
  • Striking 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone
  • A14 Bionic chip with 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU
  • 12MP Wide back camera
  • Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
  • Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/25/2024 07:37 am GMT

Alternatives to the Kindle Scribe

Smart buyers always compare products, features, and prices to get the best deal that meets their needs. In addition to the products previously mentioned, here are a few alternative recommendations similar in function to the Kindle Scribe e Ink tablet. 

reMarkable 2

The reMarkable 2 is the best digital writing tablet available today. Draw, journal, sketch, make notes, and more with this versatile E Ink tablet. Convert your handwriting into sharable text. Easily sync the device to mobile and desktop apps and cloud applications like Google Drive and Dropbox for exceptional sharing capabilities. Extensions are even available for reading Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files. 

Best e-Paper Drawing Tablet
reMarkable 2 Notetaking Tablet Bundle
$449.00
  • Includes Marker Plus
  • Converts handwriting to text
  • Access cloud services including Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive right from your tablet
  • 12 months Connect subscription
  • 9 marker tips
  • USB-A to C cable
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/24/2024 09:03 pm GMT

Kobo Elipsa

The Kobo Elipsa is more akin to the Scribe in that it is primarily an e-reader with a writing pen. However, the Elipsa has more note-taking and annotation capabilities, converts handwriting to text, and uploads directly to Dropbox. Write directly on your eBooks and PDF files and save them for later use or sharing. 

Write Directly on e-Books and Documents
Kobo Elipsa 2E eReader with Kobo Stylus 2
$399.99
  • 10.3-inch anti-glare touchscreen with ComfortLight PRO
  • Adjustable brightness and color temperature
  • Easily connect to Wi-Fi
  • Carta E Ink technology
  • 32GB of storage
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/24/2024 09:08 pm GMT

Onyx BOOX Note Air2

The Onyx BOOX Note Air2 is an easy-to-use E Ink tablet with similar functions to the Kindle Scribe and Kobo Elipsa. Packed with productivity features like highlighting, annotating, and underlining, it also includes document scanning capabilities via a camera and operates on Android 11 software. Access the full Google Play Store for ebooks and apps for other readers like Kindle, Kobo, and Scribd. 

Best Large Screen
BOOX Note Air2 Plus
  • Large 10.3-inch e-ink screen
  • Take notes or make sketches with digital tools
  • Choose from a basic or premium pen
  • 64GB storage
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Wrapping Up

Take the best Kindle reader available and bolt on some handwriting functionality and you have the Kindle Scribe. Its best feature is still buying and reading books. Avid note-takers may enjoy the note-making and -saving interface, but serious students or professionals who need to mark up actual pages will be disappointed. Readers with vision problems can benefit from the huge, well-lit screen and font-sizing options. Otherwise, you may need to save your money and buy the books and pencils for old-fashioned page-on annotations and markups. 

Best Alternative E Ink Tablets to the Kindle Scribe

1. The reMarkable 2
2. The Kobo Elipsa
3. The Onyx BOOX Note Air2
  1. reMarkable 2 Notetaking Tablet Bundle
    $449.00
    • Includes Marker Plus
    • Converts handwriting to text
    • Access cloud services including Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive right from your tablet
    • 12 months Connect subscription
    • 9 marker tips
    • USB-A to C cable
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/24/2024 09:03 pm GMT
  2. Kobo Elipsa 2E eReader with Kobo Stylus 2
    $399.99
    • 10.3-inch anti-glare touchscreen with ComfortLight PRO
    • Adjustable brightness and color temperature
    • Easily connect to Wi-Fi
    • Carta E Ink technology
    • 32GB of storage
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/24/2024 09:08 pm GMT
  3. BOOX Note Air2 Plus
    • Large 10.3-inch e-ink screen
    • Take notes or make sketches with digital tools
    • Choose from a basic or premium pen
    • 64GB storage
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  4. Kindle Paperwhite
    $139.99
    • 6.8-inch 300 PPI glare-free display
    • Up to 10 weeks of battery life
    • Available in three different colors
    • Now includes 20% faster page turns
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/24/2024 08:47 pm GMT
  5. Kindle Oasis
    • 7-inch, 300 PPI flush-front display
    • Waterproof (IPX8)
    • Ergonomic design with page-turn buttons
    • E Ink technology
    • 64GB storage
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  6. Apple iPad 2022 (10th Generation)
    $429.00
    • Striking 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone
    • A14 Bionic chip with 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU
    • 12MP Wide back camera
    • Landscape 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
    • Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/25/2024 07:37 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I write in my books with a Kindle Scribe?

Actually, no. The Kindle Scribe only allows you to create notes connected to your ebooks and write on those notes. You do not actually make notes directly on the page. New upgrades allow you to actually make notes on a severely limited number of Kindle products like puzzle pages or journals.

Can I charge my Kindle Scribe with a wireless charging system?

No. The Kindle Scribe does not support wireless charging. Users must connect the USB-C cable to a computer or wall plug adapter for charging.

Is the Kindle Scribe waterproof like other popular Kindle Products?

No. The Kindle Scribe is not waterproof, unlike the newest Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis.

Can I replace the pen tips for my Kindle Scribe?

Yes. The basic and premium pens use the same replaceable tips. Many online reviewers claim these tips can wear out quickly, some in as little as 1-2 weeks.

Is the Kindle Scribe expensive?

Expensive is a relative term. A better question would be, “Is the Kindle Scribe worth the price?” Other E Ink devices are similarly priced but have better features. As a real alternative, a 10th Generation 64GB Apple iPad compatible with the Apple stylus is $399, only about $60 more than a Kindle Scribe with fewer features.

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