Scribe faces a strong Chinese rival able to turn handwritten notes into searchable text

Could this be one reason why the Kindle Scribe has gone on sale? For $400, Lenovo later this year is to sell a Scribe rival able to record lectures with two built-in mikes and turn handwritten notes into searchable text. Handily, you can sync the audio recordings with notes. Perhaps a tool for journalists, too, not just students?

Engadget reports that the Smart Paper can also let you “delete and reorganize notes, and place them into folders. You’ll be able to access millions of ebooks and search saved books and articles that are on your Smart Paper. If you leave the notepad at home, you’ll still be able to access all your stuff, thanks to the Smart Paper mobile and Windows PC app, which supports cloud sync. The app can translate text and audio recordings onto other languages as well.” Storage is a roomy 64GB, and Smart Paper works with Google Drive. It’s so much more a part of the world than the Amazon-limited Scribe.

I don’t know if Smart Paper can read Kindle books, but possibly you can, with Android 11 as the operating system. That assumes that sideloaded apps are permitted; we don’t know—a domestic version reportedly prohibits sideloading. If so, no Kindle app. No matter what, you’ll be able to download from‘s good-sized inventory, as well as use public domain sources. With Android as the OS, I wonder if I could enjoy voice recognition out of the box for note-taking or add it via the dictation-capable Gboard.

More on note-taking. Remember my complaint that the Scribe’s screen was too slick for me to write naturally? Well, here’s what DigitalTrends says about Smart Paper: “The display has a distinct matte coating to it, which means you can take notes on a surface that feels very much like paper, with something that feels very much like a pen. Writing on the display feels much more natural than a stylus on most tablets, because there’s a bit of physical resistance on the pen tip. And in our time jotting down some words and scribbling, the pen tip tracking and palm rejection were both great.”

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