Amazon Kindle Scribe review: Better for reading than writing

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I don’t remember anything unless I write it down. Some of you might know the feeling.

That’s why gadgets like the new Kindle Scribe are so interesting: Beyond serving up books, it doubles as a digital journal. With an included stylus, you can scribble notes in that new novel, mark up documents that need work and, yes, jot down reminders throughout the day.

But Amazon is a little late to the party. In the years since it last developed a big-screen Kindle, companies like reMarkable and Onyx have dabbled in digital notebooks — and some of them have gotten so good that Amazon’s work can sometimes feel a little lacking by comparison.

I’ve spent the last few weeks testing the Kindle Scribe and trying it out against some of its most interesting competition. Here’s what you should know.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, but at the Help Desk, we reviews all products and services with the same critical eye.)

At $339 (or more, if you opt for a nicer pen and add a case), the Scribe is Amazon’s biggest, most expensive Kindle in years. In testing it alongside rival devices like the $299 reMarkable 2 and the $599 Onyx Boox Tab Ultra, it didn’t take long to discover that the Scribe isn’t equally good for reading and writing.

The Scribe has perhaps the most polished software of the three, and thanks to barely there weight and great screen lighting, it’s the one that I’d most like to power through a novel on. But if you’re interested in doing some serious writing on a device like this, you may want to consider something like the reMarkable instead.

I’m not saying taking notes or crossing items off a to-do list was at all unpleasant. Writing on the Scribe with the included stylus screen felt smooth and satisfying, and it comes with a handful of notebook templates for people who need to jump between wide-ruled, grid and even sheet music “paper.”

What really gets me is that the Scribe’s writing features feel a…

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