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Tested: Kindle Scribe | Big screen, big qualities, big flaws



With its 10.2-inch screen, its stylus that allows you to annotate books, its unbeatable speed and its warm light, the all-new Kindle Scribe from Amazon should seduce us. But there is so much to refine that we hesitate.

WE love

Nearly a year and a half after the Kobo Elipsa, Amazon’s turn to launch an e-reader, the Scribe, which competes with tablets with its large screen and compatibility with a stylus. Its 10.2-inch screen gives it a total weight of 433 grams, almost double that of a small e-reader, with a resolution of 300 ppi which makes it a champion in this category.

What is obvious is the agility of this e-reader, much more powerful and sensitive than the Kobos, which reacts quickly when you want to navigate the menus or the current book. Its autonomy is really calculated in months: we barely used up 15% of its battery in two weeks despite our numerous manipulations. The secret: Kindle Scribe shuts down completely when not in use, saving battery life better than sleep mode. But as it is fast, relighting it requires only 2 seconds of waiting, against thirty in the case of Kobo.

To its 16 levels of gray, we finally added the soft orange light so restful. No mechanical keys here, everything is done on the touch screen, which has only one configuration for controls.


The Kindle Scribe comes with a stylus that attaches magnetically to the side.

The other great novelty is the stylus, included with purchase, which attaches magnetically to the side of the Kindle Scribe and recharges at the same time. It can be used to create handwritten notes that are compiled in a notebook or add annotations in books. The annotation then appears as a small icon on the page that must be tapped to open and edit it. This feature, however, is only possible with books from the Kindle Store.

This store offers millions of books for $9.99 per month, with a maximum of 20 at a time, including some 50,000 in French. This is obviously the formula that Amazon foams for its readers, which are not compatible with digital books protected in EPUB format from libraries.

To send a book to the reader, you always have a personalized email address, to which you can now send EPUB books, the most popular format. One can also use software like Caliber to perform the transfer from a computer, after conversion. But the management of accepted formats is so nebulous that we will come back to it later.

There is a Bluetooth function called VoiceView, offered only in English: connected to Bluetooth headphones, the device reads what appears on the screen.

We love less

We spent two weeks testing the infamous EPUB emailing feature, and railing against it. Note that many readers are quite satisfied with this novelty. In our case, sometimes EPUB files would not transfer to the eReader at all. Other times, they landed in the reader in another format, KFX, which converts accented characters very poorly. Judge for yourself in the following example.


The KFX format (right) converts accented characters very poorly.

When you email a book in .mobi format, you receive a response from Amazon indicating that this format is no longer accepted since August 22. However, it is the one that works best, in our experience, and that can be transferred with software like Calibre.

We never managed to activate the VoiceView function. Our headphones did connect to the eReader, but the confirmation requested by the eReader (“Press two fingers on the screen”) never worked.

One buys ?

We can draw up a fairly precise profile of the e-reader user who will be happy with the Kindle Scribe: Kindle Unlimited subscriber, used to taking notes on his books or in a notebook, who likes to read on a 10.2 inches. For this user, he will have in his hands an e-reader of unbeatable power and screen resolution.

For the reader who just wants to have their dozens or hundreds of e-books on hand, in a small reading-only device not intended for work, reading emails and other digital activities , and who is indifferent to the possibilities of a stylus, the Kindle Scribe is not a good choice.

Kindle Scribe

Maker : Amazon

Price : from $429 (16GB storage, basic stylus)

Note : 6 out of 10

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