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Freewrite Hipster Typewriter Updated With Frontlight, Larger Battery

I was working on a post this morning on distraction free writing apps when I noticed that the Freewrite, that expensive retro word processor, was updated last fall.

The Freewrite features a mechanical keyboard and 6″ E-ink screen The new model has been upgraded with a frontlight on the E-ink screen, and downgraded with a USB-C port.

Here’s a video showing the second-gen Freewrite in action:

As you can see in the video, the Freewrite is designed to be a modern take on a word processor. It’s meant to be a writing tool only, which is why it doesn’t have a web browser or email app, and why it supports plain text files only..

It can’t even edit existing documents; you’ll need to transfer them before you can do that. It has Wifi for syncing your documents with cloud services, as well as a USB-C port for charging and transferring documents to your PC.

According to the site, the Freewrite’s battery is rated to last up to 4 weeks when typing for 30 minutes per day. Similar promises are made about ereaders, and depending on your writing style that could equate to days or weeks of use.

The Freewrite can be bought from its website or from Amazon. It costs $500, or about twice as much as a good (and much more capable) Chromebook.

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R?zvan T. Coloja May 13, 2018 um 6:03 pm

I’s rather smash an ashtray with a hammer and eat the glass than spend $500 on something that can’t edit mistakes without deleting everything after them.

Pras August 18, 2018 um 5:24 am

I completely agree. One should be able to atleast one or two lines of text without having to delete everything. Without that feature, completely useless piece of junk. If it allowed at least minimal editing, i would buy it .

Allen F May 13, 2018 um 6:46 pm

Only 14 hours of battery life? (4*7*.5) And can’t edit? And only $500?

For idiots only it seems.

Lots of netbooks for less than that.

Or if you wish to roll your own you can pick up one of those Raspberry Pi 3Bs (kit for $60), your favorite wireless keyboard/mouse, any HDMI input TV/monitor and go. (I recall there’s a 7 inch display and case for under $100 if you want/need portable – which leaves you a few hundred left over for whatever battery plan you’d like.)

Nate Hoffelder May 13, 2018 um 7:08 pm

my choice would be an Alphasmart – except it’s really hard to get the files off of one.

Allen F May 14, 2018 um 10:39 am

And hard means people won’t do it often enough and lose data/stories.

I’m all for easy and 'works' (writing can be hard enough at times without throwing other junk in the way). 😉

Name (Required) May 17, 2018 um 2:41 am

I have read about Jonathan Franzen* and how he wrote his … aehm … great novels.

He went to great lengths to remove any and *all* distractions when writing. He even went so far as writing the first draft touch-typing in in total darkness. I think that people like him, and perhaps George R. R. Martin (who still uses a DOS-based non-WYSIWYG editor to avoid distractions) might appreciate the spartan nature of Freewrite. Oh … there is also J. K. Rowling who wrote the majority of her works using pen and paper, and had them typed by somebody, even before she was famous and extremely rich.

* Yes, he is that guy that had his novel put on the Oprah Winfrey’s book club and then publicly disparaged her literary tastes. "Ms. Winfrey did not revoke her selection but politely withdrew the invitation to appear on her show."

DaveMich May 14, 2018 um 1:07 am

For about $30 you can buy a folding bluetooth keyboard and use the memo function on your phone. More portable and more versatile.

OTR Links 05/17/2018 – doug — off the record May 17, 2018 um 1:31 am

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