In an increasingly connected world, writing without distractions is a constant challenge. There are apps like Freedom that block distracting apps and the internet so you can write, and there’s always the classic standby of a notebook. Of course if you have $500 burning a hole in your pocket there is another solution, Freewrite, a Wi-Fi-connected, cloud-enabled typewriter keyboard that shows you your text via an e-ink screen and does literally nothing but write and upload your work.
Want to edit? You’ll have to grab your text out of the cloud and edit it on your computer. The Freewrite is designed to encourage stream of consciousness writing and nothing more. No editing. No formatting. Just write, type, and upload. Weighing just 4 pounds, it can be carried everywhere.
The company says you can double your word count by using the Freewrite, presumably because it frees you of the standard distractions of modern writing. There are no tabs, no flashing notifications for typos. Just the rhythmic clack of its comfortable typewriter-style keyboard and a screen that tells you what you’ve just typed.
Freewrite’s battery lasts for weeks on a single charge, and it features enough storage space for a million pages of text. Built with a solid but lightweight aluminum frame, you can feel comfortable lugging this oddball writing device anywhere you go.
There’s honestly just one problem with it: It’s $499, and that’s on sale from its normal price of $549. Compare that to a full-featured Chromebook, which can be found for $200. Granted, the scale of production is dramatically smaller, but it seems like a lot of money to ask for this product. It’s more than an Xbox, and that has a supercomputer in it.
Still if you’ve ever written with a typewriter, you’ll understand the appeal of the Freewrite. There’s a rhythm that you get writing with a mechanical keyboard that makes writing flow a little easier. Not seeing your errors splayed out in front of you is just one of the ways it helps you focus. Plus, with the Freewrite you don’t have to worry about ink ribbon or changing sheets of paper. It’s worth money, but is it worth $500? We’ll have to just cross our fingers for a budget-brand version to hit the market.