We love the idea behind the Freewrite Smart Typewriter, a distraction-free dedicated typewriter that first came out in 2016. From the mechanical keys and small screen to the touch controls, it’s something people spend a lot time writing will probably appreciate . The problem is that it’s thick, so much so that it’s actually more practical to carry around a laptop than to lug around the single-function device. That’s why, for the Freewrite Alpha, they streamline it into a device barely larger than a PC keyboard.
Similar to their original device, it combines a keyboard with a small monochrome screen, allowing you to type without the distractions of laptops, tablets and smartphones. In this case, however, it takes on a slim profile which makes it much more portable, as the whole thing can easily slip into a regular laptop sleeve, making it a really viable alternative for those who only use a laptop to write.
The Freewrite Alpha ditches the E-ink screen that the outfit used in its smart typewriters in favor of a large monochrome LCD screen. This should remove any latency between keyboard and screen for more intuitive writing, while also extending battery life as the monochrome panel is actually even easier on the battery than the e-paper display. Of course, LCDs don’t exactly perform well outdoors, so hopefully they’ve worked some magic to make it viable for use in direct sunlight.
Depending on the outfit, the small screen can display six lines of text using a 15-point font, which we assume is enough to give you context on what you’ve already written at a glance. If that’s too small, however, you can go up to a 26 point font, although that still reduces the visible lines to just four.
The Freewrite Alpha also opts for a low-profile mechanical keyboard this time around, so it actually resembles modern laptop keyboards. Specifically, they went with the Kailh Choc v2 mechanical switch, which they paired with Chiclet-style flat keys. Yes, the keys are replaceable, so you can swap out larger keys if you prefer. They’ve also added a built-in palm rest to give your wrists a more comfortable moment while you type, as well as a flip-up kickstand to keep everything at a 15 degree angle, in case you don’t want the whole thing to be flat on the desk. Depending on the outfit, the built-in storage can hold a million pages of your writing at any one time.
It comes with a built-in timer, word count feature, and reading time metrics, so working writers get the basic tools they’re likely to need to meet their editor’s demands. The built-in 4200mAh battery should be good for 100 hours of typing, allowing you to write for four straight days and still have juice. Admittedly, we don’t know if your brain is charged enough for that, but your writing device definitely has it.
The Freewrite Alpha is also the most affordable writing device on the outfit’s list, as it’s expected to cost $349 when released later this year.