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Amazon has dominated the eBook reader space for years, not necessarily because the company has the best hardware or software, but because its Kindle products are fairly cheap, good enough for most people, and tightly integrated with what’s probably the world’s best-known eBook store.

So when Amazon introduced the Kindle Scribe this year, it turned a lot of heads. It has the biggest screen of any Kindle to date, and it’s the first to support pen input for note-taking. It’s also Amazon’s most expensive current-gen Kindle, with prices starting at $340. So is it any good? Early reviews are in and it seems like the Kindle Scribe is… probably fine. But it might not be the best option for everyone itching to get their hands on an E Ink writing tablet.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

One thing to keep in mind is that the pen Amazon provides isn’t pressure-sensitive. To change the thickness of your pen stroke, you’ll need to choose from a handful of pre-set styles. That’s probably good enough for writing notes, underlining text, or making other annotations. But it might not be great for drawing pictures.

But a bigger issue is that all the reviews I’ve seen so far describe the note-taking and synchronization software as wonky compared to what you’d get from a competing device like the reMarkable 2 or an Onyx BOOX Note device.

That might not really matter for folks who’d rather buy a product from Amazon than from a less well-known Chinese company like Onyx. And the Kindle Scribe is priced competitively. I just hope that Amazon sells enough of them to justify spending time and effort on software updates that could make the device more useful.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

Amazon Kindle Scribe review: absolutely adequate [The Verge]

The first reviews for Amazon’s Kindle Scribe 10.3 inch E Ink slate ($340 and up) for reading and writing are in, and they’re… meh. It’s Amazon’s best device for taking notes, but the software and sync features leave a lot of room for improvement.

First look: NUC 13 Pro redesign [FanlessTech]

The design of Intel’s NUC Pro line of mini desktop PCs hasn’t changed much in years. It looks like that could change in 2023 with a new design featuring additional ventilation and new color options.

Google is working to make OTA updates faster [Mishaal Rahman]

Android Open Soruce Code patches show that devices using virtual A/B partitions could see the total time it takes to install an OTA update decrease from 23 minutes to 13.

Google is bringing digital IDs and drivers licenses to google Wallet [Mishaal Rahman]

The latest Google System Update for Android phones brings bug fixes and a few performance enhancements. There’s also beta support for digitizing your driver’s license or state ID… in select US states only for now.

Here’s what’s in the now available Chrome 108 Release [About Chromebooks]

Among other things, the browser update brings improved memory usage, an energy saver mode that limits background activities, and personal notes for items in your password manager.

Plasma Mobile Gear 22.11 is Out [Plasma Mobile]

KDE Plasma Mobile Gear 22.11 is out, with support for tapping the media player from the audio drawer to open the source app window, Weather, Dialer, and Recorder app improvements, bug fixes, and performance improvements and more. Starting next April, Plasma Mobile apps will be updated in sync with KDE desktop apps.

Steam Deck is now available in more countries [@OnDeck]

The Steam Deck and Steam Deck docking station will begin shipping in South Korean, Hong Kong, and Taiwan starting December 17th.

Tales of the M1 GPU [Asahi Linux]

The Asahi team has been porting Linux to run on Macs with Apple Silicon. In this article, we learn about the work they’ve done to reverse engineer support for hardware-accelerated graphics.

VLC 3.0.18 release notes [VideoLAN]

The latest version of the free and open source VLC media player application is the first to support RISC-V architecture. It also brings improvements and bug fixes for SMBv1 and V2 behavior, FTP compatibility, and HEVC, FLAC, and OGG playback.

Keep up on the latest headlines by following @[email protected] on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook, and keep up with the latest open source mobile news by following LinuxSmartphones on Twitter and Facebook.

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