Freewrite Alpha – Spiritual Successor to AlphaSmart Neo Word Processor

The Astrohaus Freewrite Alpha is a spiritual successor to the AlphaSmart Neo word processor that offers a mobile and distraction-free writing experience.

Astrohaus Freewrite

Astrohaus has recently announced funding and release date for a new product in their word processor line called  Freewrite Alpha. The Alpha is priced at $349 ($299 preorder at the time of writing this). That may seem kind of expensive for a word processor, but it’s actually one of the most affordable products like this on the market. The Alpha from Freewrite is a compact device that weighs two pounds and features a pop-out kickstand. It’s not as portable as the Traveler, it is still easy to bring along on the go. Despite its compact size, the Alpha boasts a full-sized mechanical keyboard equipped with Kailh Choc V2 low-profile switches.

Why do you need a word processor?

If you are a writer you may have run into this dilemma: you open your computer to start a writing project and the internet happens. Or software updates. Or games. In my case all of the above because I’m easily distracted and not built for modern computer multitasking. A few years ago I started to look for traditional word processors to help me focus on writing. I had read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield and On Writing by Stephen King. I was ready to put my ass in the chair and work. But finding a device other than a typewriter was difficult. I do love a typewriter and own a couple. But there’s a process of getting that copy into a digital format that is still a bit cumbersome.

Alphasmart Neo / Neo 2

A few years back in an effort to streamline my writing process, I found (and fell in love with) the AlphaSmart Neo2 word processor. It’s a beautifully simple machine. More clunky than elegant but ergonomic. And it does only one thing – receives text input and saves it. Runs forever on some double A batteries. It’s a glorious device but it’s getting old and I worry about finding a replacement (they are getting expensive). Some Neo units have gone dead due to a small internal battery that keeps data saved. In a concern for saving my data, I started to look for more modern alternatives.

Freewrite alpha word processor

Freewrite Alpha

I’ve wanted to own a Freewrite device for a while now. But the price of $499 for the Traveller always put me back into a Chromebook. I was excited to hear that the Alpha would feature a lower price ($299 preorder currently) and offer cloud sync over WiFi. This device has the right form factor, feature set, and price point for me to get interested.

From Freewrite: Alpha is a dedicated drafting device for anyone who writes without the distraction – or temptation – of browsers, email, or notifications. Get in writing flow and develop more prolific writing sessions by separating the drafting and editing processes. When it is time to edit, your drafts wirelessly sync to the cloud for export into your software of choice. 

Alpha Features

  • Instant On. Alpha is ready in an instant. No booting up or loading software; you’re instantly met with a writing canvas.
  • Continuous Saving. Alpha is constantly saving the active document to the device. Documents are always saved locally and synced to the cloud when there is a Wi-Fi connection. Alpha can store at least one million pages to its internal memory.
  • Wi-Fi & Cloud Syncing. All documents are automatically backed up to the cloud once connected to Wi-Fi and accessible in Freewrite’s web application, Postbox. Documents can also be synced to Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote.
  • Comfortable Control. Integrated palm rest and optional kickstand for long sessions and optimal viewing angle.
  • Full-size Keyboard. Mechanical keyboard featuring Kailh Choc V2 low profile switches for quiet and satisfying typing and reduced finger fatigue.
  • Long Battery Life. Alpha uses an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The internal battery is recharged via USB Type C port located in the rear of the device. The battery life is projected to last approximately 100 hours.
  • Fast Display. Alpha has a reflective FSTN LCD display that refreshes quickly and uses ambient light. It can be used indoors or in direct light without getting washed out.
  • Ultra-Portable. Less than 2 lbs. and ready to go on the train, across the country, to the park, or wherever.
  • Offline Document Transfer. Transfer documents while offline by plugging Alpha into a computer via the included USB cable.
  • Basic Editing Capability. Alpha will have the ability to move the cursor within a document via WASD arrow keys. It will also have backspace; however, there will not be spell check, copy & paste, or text formatting; it’s optimized for uninterrupted writing

Freewrite alpha word processor

About AlphaSmart

AlphaSmart was known for its innovative approach to portable computing and a commitment to providing low-cost yet powerful solutions for students and educators. The company’s devices were designed to be simple, durable, and easy to use. They focused on providing students with a reliable and effective tool for writing and editing documents. The AlphaSmart devices were equipped with a full-sized keyboard, making it easy for students to type and complete assignments, even on the go.

One of the key features of the AlphaSmart devices was their long battery life. The devices were designed to run for several days on a single set of batteries, making them ideal for use in classrooms where electrical outlets might not be readily available. Additionally, the AlphaSmart devices were equipped with a memory that could store hundreds of pages of text so students could take their work with them and continue working on it at a later time. The devices were significantly less expensive than traditional laptops, making them accessible to schools and individuals who might not have been able to afford more expensive computing solutions. This helped AlphaSmart to gain a strong reputation as a company that was committed to providing high-quality educational technology solutions at a reasonable cost.

About Astrohaus

Astrohaus is a technology company that creates productivity tools and software. It is best known for its flagship product, the Freewrite, a smart typewriter that combines the simplicity and durability of a traditional typewriter with the power and versatility of a modern computer. The Freewrite was designed as a tool to help writers and creatives stay focused and avoid distractions while working on their projects.

Pre-order the Astrohaus Freewrite Alpha at this link.


3 thoughts on “Freewrite Alpha – Spiritual Successor to AlphaSmart Neo Word Processor”

  1. Pingback: Freewrite Smart Typewriter, Hemingwrite, Traveler Firmware Update 1.6

  2. Pingback: Alphasmart Neo and Neo2: A Blast from the Past for Today's Writers

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