Meet the Freewrite, by Astrohaus

freewriteGuess what, guys? Right now, I’m sitting outside in a hammock, typing on my brand new, Kickstarter-backed distraction-free digital typewriter. Don’t believe me? Here, let me take a picture. It will be all the more meta that way.

meta freewriteHah. Told ya so.

This thing is schmancy, guys. I mean, unapologetically so. Which means that I do feel a little ridiculous having it, but it really is distraction-free! And I really am a writer! I deserve it!

Wow it’s tough to write blog posts on the fly.

What I mean to do is review this thing. Seeing as I skipped out entirely on a blog post yesterday, this is my make-up post. Hollaaaaa.

So the Freewrite. It was originally called the Hemingwrite, which I personally think is a cooler name, because what’s going to come up when you hashtag freewrite? That’s right–a lot of pictures of folks writing. Usually in notebooks. Which is not a bad thing, but when you’re anticipating the shipment of your unit that was originally projected to arrive in September, then, generically, in “winter”, then after the Chinese New Year…well, you want your hashtag to be a bit more specific so you can stalk the thing. But it’s here now, and it’s the Freewrite, so we can all go home now.

Just Give Me The Review Already

Okay, fine. So the Freewrite is a slick little monster of a device. I say monster, because it’s actually a bit bigger than I expected, which is totally fine–heft is good, in this case. It feels very solid and sturdy. The case is made out of a shiny, shiny black metal (anodized aluminum? something?) and it has some sort of fancy keys that used to come standard on keyboards, but don’t really anymore. They lend themselves to a more satisfying key press, apparently. (I’m so good at this, no?) Really though, like all new keyboards, typing on this bad boy does take some getting used to. The keys feel…a little over-responsive, if that makes sense? Soft? And the text takes a split second to catch up to the typing, which is a little jarring at first. It’s similar to reading on a Kindle. Not bad, necessarily. Just different.

But now I feel like I’m being a little too negative. I really do love my Freewrite, and look forward to using it to compose drafts in the coming days, months, and years. I say drafts, because this thing ain’t for editing. There are pg up and pg down keys, but they’re just for reviewing your work–the cursor doesn’t move at all. You can backspace, but you can’t *seriously edit*. Which is, honestly, a good feature: the thing is exactly what the founders of Astrohaus advertised it as on Kickstarter. A distraction-free digital typewriter. And not being able to edit is included in that, because to get to that flow state of just typing, you need to not be able to edit much.

What About the Techie Stuff I See?

Well, the Frewrite is really quite simple. You take it out of the box, press the self-explanatory red power key, and boom, you’re in business. You can see from the photo that there are two toggle switches on either side of the screen. The first switches between folders. A, B, and C. Simple. (I’m not sure yet whether you can have multiple documents in one folder–otherwise, how would you switch between them? Hang on, I’m going to just…nope, it looks like just one doc per folder.)

On the other side is the wifi switch, and here’s where the magic comes in. You can connect your Freewrite to wifi, and everything you write will be backed up in the cloud. Hurrah!

And don’t forget that fancy-looking mini-screen below the typing area. That might be my favorite part about the Freewrite. You can toggle between different views for it–an analog clock, a digital clock, a word/character count, a timer, and a blank screen. Fun, if you’re going for time or numbers, or need to keep track of what time it is without constantly checking your phone!

And that’s basically it–write, sync, edit on a home computer. Also, did I mention it comes with a slick handle for carrying?

In Summation

Here’s what I’ve realized abou tthe Freewrite in the short time I’ve had it: this isn’t going to be something you want to take with you on trips. At least, not on trips where you’re already taking your laptop.

That said, if you’re planning a solitary weekend camping and working on that novel idea you’ve had bouncing around for ages, or if you’re spending a month treking around India and want to write your memoirs along the way, go right ahead and pack the Freewrite. The battery life and storage on this thing is kill-ar.

Another great place I anticipate taking this thing is to my local coffeeshop. Because first of all, coffeeshop wifi is distracting, no? And second of all, how hipster will you look, toting this thing in with you? And hipsterdom is what we all strive for in the long run anyway. I haven’t taken it out for a spin yet, but I will soon.

The Freewrite by Astrohaus: Bringing you one step closer to Max Hipster.

P.S. Sorry if this seemed longer/wordier than my normal blog posts. I guess there’s something about composing on the Freewrite that keeps things from being short ‘n’ snappy.

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