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Amazon's big experiment with the Kindle

Amazon's Kindle e-book reader has been a testament to the company's healthy stubbornness for many years.

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Amazon's big experiment with the Kindle

Amazon's Kindle e-book reader has been a testament to the company's healthy stubbornness for many years. He deliberately dispensed with every extra. Because users should only do one thing with a Kindle: buy and read books. Basta. Everything else is a distraction.

That was true to this day. But now this. The new Kindle Scribe has got a pen. And so the question arises in the test: Do the pen and Kindle really go together?

Let's first answer the question of whether the Kindle is still suitable for reading books. Because that's what he does. And now on a large scale. The display is 10.2 inches (approx. 26 cm) in size and is therefore more powerful than all currently sold Kindle models. It's more like an iPad with a wider bezel strip on the side that's good for holding the device.

Reading with it is a real pleasure, as it still displays the writing as sharply as you are used to – just on a larger surface. Unfortunately, the Kindle has also become heavier.

The device weighs 433 grams, more than twice as much as a small Kindle. With a case it is already well over half a kilogram. You can't hold it with one hand for long.

Otherwise, the Kindle Scribe does exactly what the e-book reader from Amazon does. To scroll, you tap on the display, because there are no separate buttons for turning pages. When it gets dark, the display can be illuminated. The color temperature can also be adjusted to be easy on the eyes.

All of this still works consistently. According to Amazon, the battery lasts for weeks. This of course depends on usage. But we didn't even manage to empty it within a week in the intensive test.

But why do you need a pen on the Kindle? Anyone who sometimes reads a paper book and makes notes in it can guess the answer. Because that is now also possible with the Kindle – unfortunately a bit complicated.

It would have been nice to be able to pick up the pen and just write something on the page. Instead, you have to click on an icon in a tiny menu on the edge and then tap somewhere in the text with the pen.

This opens a note window in which you can now write or draw something by hand or using a displayed keyboard. If the window is closed again, a small symbol at the text passage indicates that a note has been stored here. Our verdict: too complicated.

There is another way, just not in a book. If you open a PDF document on the Kindle Scribe, you can use the pen to write, underline and mark on the page.

Our Kindle came with a premium stylus that's cleverly designed. If you turn the pen over, it is an eraser, which reminds you a little of school days. It also has a shortcut button that turns the pen into a highlighter.

You can also use a small menu to regulate the line width. Of course, everything only happens in black and grayscale because the energy-saving E-Ink display doesn't handle any colors.

Because all this would be a bit small for a pen, the Kindle Scribe still has the notebook function. Here, users can happily start writing, just as they would on a pad of paper. You can choose from a number of templates for blank, lined, squared or dotted paper. The result can be saved or e-mailed as a PDF if you are connected to a WLAN.

One should understand the Kindle Scribe as the first version. The idea of ​​using a pen is a good one. The implementation is not that mature yet. You actually want to write directly on the page of the book - not in some sticky notes, which are then just small symbols on the page.

Writing in a notebook is fun and already feels a lot like pen and paper because the display is a bit rough. The pen itself is well thought out and requires no power.

Unfortunately, the interaction with the display is not yet 100 percent. In the test, he often continued to write when he was no longer touching the display and was held a few millimeters above it. This defaced the tester's already illegible handwriting even more.

An automatic conversion of the handwriting into typescript would also have been desirable. Similar products from competitors are capable of this. The Kindle Scribe costs between 400 and 450 euros with the premium stylus, depending on the memory size.

"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 5 a.m. with the financial journalists from WELT. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.

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