The Kindle Scribe is cool but it’s not the Kindle I’d buy

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is much cheaper, more practical and still has lots of the same features

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon’s line of Kindles is growing, every year they’re adding shiny new devices with a fresh set of features. Earlier in 2022, they launched the Kindle Scribe, a big-screened e-reader that doubles up as an e-writer - it comes with a stylus in the box so you can jot down notes in black e-ink and annotate books as you read them. 

While the Kindle Scribe is a really interesting bit of kit, it’s not the best Kindle there is and personally, it’s not the Kindle I would buy for myself. 

Given the fact that I test out tech for a living, I love the array of features on offer but actually, it’s the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition that catches my eye, and there are a few reasons for that. 

It all starts with the price, you can buy the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition for $190 in the US, £180 in the UK and AU$290 in Australia, and because it’s just over a year old, there are often deals on it which bring the price down. That’s a huge drop from the Scribe which is the most expensive Kindle yet, its prices start from £329.99 in the UK, $339.99 in the US and $549 in Australia. 

Despite the price difference, you do actually get a lot of the same in both slates, one is just bigger and the e-writing functionality is what makes it so much costlier. But I don’t think that many people will actually make enough use of it to warrant the extra hundreds. And you can still highlight pages and make notes on the other Kindles, you’ll just have to type them out instead of writing them by hand. 

Because the Kindle Scribe has a 10.2-inch screen, it’s not the most compact or bag-friendly device either. Some might enjoy the big display while others might find it a little impractical. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition however has a more reasonable 6.8-inch display that's about the size of a page in an actual book, so it fits very easily in just about any bag. 

Just like the Scribe, the front is flush and has a 300ppi display with a matte coating that makes it look just like paper. You get the same auto-adjusting light sensors that automatically tweak the screen settings according to the time of day, and it has a warm light which makes it easier on the eyes at night. The Scribe has 35 LED backlights whereas the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition only has 17 but that makes sense given the smaller size. 

Both offer weeks of battery life, both use the same Kindle Store layout and both let you listen to audiobooks on Audible using a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

While it may not double up as an e-writer, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition still manages to pack in loads of features as well, even one or two that the Kindle Scribe doesn’t have, like an IPX8 waterproof rating and wireless charging - both of which are incredibly handy to have. 

In terms of bang for your buck, I think the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is the better choice. But on the flip side, if you are desperate to jot down notes then of course the Kindle Scribe is the better option, but have you maybe considered one of the best tablets? You would get a truckload more features with one of those! 

Yasmine Crossland
Freelance Tech Expert

Yasmine is the former Reviews Writer for T3, so she's been knee-deep in the latest tech products for reviewing and curating into the best buying guides since she started in 2019. She keeps a finger on the pulse when it comes to the most exciting and innovative tech and is happy to tell you exactly what she thinks about it too. In her free time, you'll catch her travelling the globe – the perks of being a freelance tech expert – tending to her plants when at home and, but of course, planning her next big trip.