The latest Alpha Freewrite is a device that is something in between a typewriter and a laptop and is making its way with a shrink in hardware, screen, and price.
Astrohaus’s Freewrite is a device designed for a writer’s clear flow of thought, a distraction-free writing instrument. The Freewrite lineup features QWERTY mechanical keyboards paired with a single-color electronic paper display for only one job, which is to write, up until now.
Even though these devices have WiFi connectivity for syncing records to other devices, it is distraction-free. You can not access social networking platforms or emails and browse. The Freewrite Traveler is the most compact model with a folding screen in the lid, which is like a laptop, but it costs $500. You can as well buy a Chromebook at this price.
The Freewrite Traveler is a product specifically designed for writers as it is challenging to stay focused on a laptop. However, the new Alpha attracts a larger crowd. It can be easily slipped into a compartment of a laptop bag as it weighs roughly two pounds and is slimmer than the earlier version, Smart Typewriter.
The Smart Typewriter’s switches have been replaced with Kailh’s choc v2 switches in the keyboard, similar to a laptop keyboard. The keycaps can be rearranged if you want to type on something flat.
The giant E Ink screens are replaced with reflective monochromatic FSTN LCD, which is long and narrow for a long-lasting battery. However, you may have issues with the glare, which depends on where you use the Alpha. You can adjust the feet of the device at the bottom to change the angle.
There is a limitation of showing only six lines of text with 15pt font and four lines at 26pt font size. A 4200 mAh and USB-C rechargeable battery assures 100-hour usage with a single charge. The memory can hold one million text pages; the Freewrite Alpha supports WiFi for sending documents to other devices with storage services like Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Freewrite Traveler was the cheapest, priced at $500, but now the Freewrite Alpha comes at $349, possibly because of the primary display. Unfortunately, it is not yet ready for purchase, but you can pre-book at $1 in the crowdfunding campaign.