Vergecast: Kindle Scribe feelings, printer problems, and earbuds on a bike

An Epson 2720 printer printing a sad emoji
Image by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

Every Wednesday and Friday, The Verge publishes our flagship podcast, The Vergecast, where our editors make sense of the week’s most important technology news. On Wednesdays, editor-at-large David Pierce leads a selection of The Verge’s expert staffers in an exploration of how gadgets and software affect our lives — and which ones you should bring into your home.

Today’s episode is a true variety show: from a chat with Dave Limp, SVP of devices and services at Amazon, to an investigation into why printers make you feel bad and a field test of the latest wireless earbuds.

David kicks off the show with managing editor Alex Cranz to chat about the new Kindle Scribe, an E Ink tablet with a stylus that you can write with. This is a first for Amazon, so David and Alex ask Dave Limp about the decisions behind making the device.

Here’s an excerpt from that conversation.

Dave Limp: It’s the Kindle I think the team wanted to build for a long time, too. But sometimes you have to wait for the technology to catch up to the vision. And I think there are two things that converged to make this possible.

The first is the display technology and our ability to build a display stackup that made sense. We could have built a writing-only device years ago, but you can’t put Kindle on that. It has to be a world-class reading experience, so you don’t get to use the name Kindle. It would have to be some new name. There’s some things that we have to have in a Paperwhite display. These days, if you’re not 300ppi, it’s a nonstarter. If you can’t do a front light that is really uniform and beautiful — people have just come to expect that from Kindle now. So that display stackup took a little bit longer than I think we would’ve thought.

And then, secondarily, you have to build a writing experience — I would call it a whole experience — that is up to what people expect from writing. The state of the art of writing on things has moved forward a long way. You have to have the latency, and it has to feel like writing. So, you get to play with various waveforms on the Ink display. And once those converged, then we felt like we could build something we loved. And here it is.

A man holding an Amazon Kindle Scribe in a coffee shop. Image: Amazon

In segment two (around 24 minutes into the show), David responds to a listener’s question from our Vergecast Hotline about why printers always seem to break and why there has not been any new technology to disrupt the printer space. To try to answer this, David talks with Diana Sroka, the global head of HP’s consumer printing services, and Cory Doctorow, an author, blogger, and fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Sroka offers the HP smart app and an ink subscription service as examples of innovation in the industry, while Doctorow, who is very mad about printers, explains that laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 are restricting innovation for printers and third-party ink. Keep listening for some tips from David for buying a new printer.

In segment three (around 40 minutes into the show), David hops on a call with senior video producer Becca Farsace, who tests out wireless earbuds from Apple, Google, and Bose so we can hear how the microphones sound while she is riding a bike in Brooklyn.

Overall, Apple’s AirPods Pro (second-generation), Google’s Pixel Buds Pro, and Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II did pretty well in the test; however, we were able to stress-test the AirPods Pro to the maximum threshold while Becca zoomed down a hill while on the call.

Here is an audio clip:

This was a fun show to make, so I hope you enjoy it! You can listen to the full episode here or in your preferred podcast player.



Source: The Verge

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