CES 2023: Lenovo’s Smart Paper Could Be a Killer for the Kindle Scribe

At CES 2023 this week, Lenovo announced the new Smart Paper tablet. As the name implies, it is an electronic paper tablet designed to replace and “give a smart touch” to the notebook and pen. It will go on sale later this year.

All e-ink devices aim to replicate the feel of glossy paper and a polished calligraphy pen as closely as possible, and Lenovo Smart Paper is no exception. Coming with a 10.3-inch display, the Smart Paper is built much like a laptop. There’s an anti-glare touchscreen, and it comes with a very large aspect ratio that’s different from typical tablets — and it’s all housed in a sleek metal chassis.

Lenovo Paper Smart Contract.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Besides, there’s a differentiator from Scribe: the Smart Paper Pen that has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, 23ms latency, and nine different pen settings to customize.

The screen has a distinctive matte finish, which means you can take notes on a surface that looks more like paper, with something more like a pen. Writing on the screen looks a lot more natural than the stylus on most tablets, because there is very little physical resistance on the tip of the stylus. And in our age of jotting down a few words and doodling, both pen-tip tracing and palm rejection were a thing of the past.

This verification obligation only goes so far, and Lenovo is willing to break with it with the Digital Voice Recorder available as an accompaniment to your notes. The company highlights scenarios like being in a classroom or meeting where you’d like to provide audio context to inform your written notes. It’s easy to play back an audio recording at any time next to your pen selections while taking notes.

Lenovo has equipped this with 50GB of storage, which is enough to store all your laptops and graphics cards. To read, you can get the books from E-books.com (or download DRM-free books from the source of your choice). Since it’s Android, it’s easy to put any file on the Smart Paper and read or annotate it.

Lenovo’s biggest competitor that comes to mind here is kindle writer. Recently released, Scribe combines the appeal of the Kindle ecosystem with e-ink tablets. It’s certainly not as technically advanced as the Lenovo Smart Paper, but it has the brand’s reputation and wide selection of content – two things that more than make up for it.

E-ink devices have never appealed to me. If you want paper, paper is still there. If I want to go digital, I’d rather go the whole hog. Despite all that, it’s clear at this point that they have a niche to match, and most e-ink makers play both sides anyway. In this case, Lenovo competes with the aforementioned Kindle option, as well Android tablet deals. The key here is the extra features the company highlights, as well as its own pricing and availability.

The Lenovo Smart Paper will go on sale sometime in 2023 — the company wasn’t specific other than “later,” so it could be a while. It will cost you $400 at launch; That’s slightly higher than the $340 price of the Kindle Scribe. Lenovo will no doubt point to its smart Paper Pen as a standout, as well as its advanced audio features and 50GB of onboard storage. It is up to you to decide if it is worth the premium.

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