Sunday, 2 October 2022

Scribe, elipsa and remarkable


Back at the end of July, I blogged that I suspected that there would soon be some competition for the Remarkable 2.

Well I’ve been proven right by the announcement of both

·       Amazon Kindle Scribe
·       Kobo Elipsa

I’ll be clear here. I havn’t played with any of the devices, I’ve only read the reviews, and this is all second hand. But as an inveterate note taker I’m interested in the devices and their capabilities.

Both cost around the same, and are at something close to the same price point as the Remarkable 2 (ignoring any ongoing subscription costs). Both are essentially e-readers that allow annotation and which have the capability of allowing you to not only annotate existing documents but to create collections of your own hand written notes.

Of the two, on paper at least, the Kindle scribe is the device that seems to give the remarkable a run for its money – essentially the Scribe lets you work with more formats (good) but locks you into only being able to use Amazon storage. The Remarkable is currently limited to pdf and epub, but allows you to work with OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox.

The elipsa seems to sit somewhere in between, not as many formats but more open than the Scribe.

But all have a drawback – no OneNote or Evernote integration.

If you work with a lot of material, such as family history, you probably already have a lot of information like birth certificates, church registers etc stored and filed away (shades of Nennius and his great heap ). 

I do, and I have even more in connection with the Dow’s documentation project, not to mention various little side projects of my own.

And I use Evernote and OneNote. Why I use both is a valid question – basically Dow’s is Microsoft only, hence OneNote.

I used only to use Evernote, but I must admit I have warmed to OneNote over the years, and it's possibly slightly better as a research tool.

So what one would really like would be the capability to both extract and save notes to both.

Neither seem to do this. OneNote is notoriously uncommunicative, Evernote lets you save notes and documents via email and email notes to co-workers, meaning that you could at least use this feature to send notes to the Scribe via ‘send to Kindle’.

With the Remarkable and the Elipsa you are probably looking with saving a copy to a supported file service such as Dropbox or OneDrive, and saving your back to the file service and then manually back into Evernote or OneDrive. Clumsy, but doable.

The Scribe seems to lock you into Amazon which is going to make life problematic, which is a pity as it seems to be potentially a very useful device.

So, if I was buying one tomorrow it would be a toss up between the Elipsa and the Remarkable.

However, I’m not buying one tomorrow and things will change and we might see an improvement in integration capabilities ..

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