From Hemingwrite to Freewrite

From Hemingwrite to Freewrite (A Kickstarter Journey)

A long time ago, I wrote about a device called the Hemingwrite. It was billed as a digital typewriter designed for distraction-free writing. It launched, of course, on Kickstarter in 2014. For some reason, that device now bears the name of the Freewrite.

I was mildly interested, but not enough to actually plunk down $400. But many other people did. After earning $342K over a goal of $250K, the project successfully funded on January 23, 2015. Now the first units have started to ship eight-plus months late (which isn’t that bad for Kickstarter projects).

A Farewell to Hemingway: What’s In a Name, Anyway?

Freewrite: Hemingwrite No More

The device, now called the Freewrite (it was changed in June 2015), bills itself as world’s first smart typewriter. It looks pretty fancy with a slick aluminum body, an e-ink screen (like a Kindle), a full-size mechanical keyboard, and two fancy toggle switches — one for wi-fi and one to switch between three different active documents.

It boasts a storage capacity of one million plain text pages. I’m not exactly sure what constitutes a page in plain text format, but this baby can hold a million of ’em. It has a four-week battery life, chargeable via the new USB hotness, USB-C.

To get your documents off of the Freewrite, it looks like you’re going to need to set up a special Postbox account handled by Astrohaus (the device’s manufacturer). There’s a way to transfer documents by manually connecting the Freewrite to a computer, but even Astrohaus calls that process “clumsy.” Also, through your Postbox account, you can sync your documents to Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote.

All that distraction-free, cloud-connected goodness comes at the steep price of $549. But if you act fast you pre-order a Freewrite for only $499.

I’ll think I’ll stick with my old-fashioned computer for now.

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