As a hardware startup, Astrohaus stands aside due to its distinctive choices targeted particularly on writers and writing. Its debut product, the Freewrite, regarded like an old-school journey typewriter with an e-ink display screen. Now, it’s again with a brand new system it’s been engaged on for the previous couple of years: The Freewrite Traveler. This extra moveable e-ink typewriter has a clamshell design and isn’t a lot bigger than a Nintendo Swap, making it a versatile, go-anwyhere writing companion.

The fundamentals

Astrohaus started teasing the Traveler just a few years in the past, earlier than finally launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding marketing campaign in November 2018 to get it made. The crowdfunding was very profitable, elevating over $600,000 on the platform earlier than the marketing campaign ended, after which one other $200,000+ in pre-orders after that. Like many hardware efforts, it encountered just a few delays relative to its unique supply timeline, however now the Freewrite Traveler is delivery out to pre-order prospects.

Picture Credit: Darrell Etherington

When it comes to specs, it has as much as 4 weeks of battery life with common utilization, and weighs underneath two kilos, with a folding design that’s roughly half the floor space of most laptops. The display screen on the highest half is an e-ink show, and there’s a sub-screen for offering information like community standing. The underside half homes the keyboard, which boasts over 2mm of journey for an incredible keypress really feel.

The case is plastic, as are a lot of the elements, and the outside is a shiny black. The Traveler connects by way of wifi, like the unique Freewrite, and permits you to register an account to sync to as much as three separate folders of paperwork. When out of wifi vary, your work is saved regionally, and it will possibly sync to the cloud service of your selection by way of Freewrite’s integrations everytime you’re linked.

Design and options

The Traveler’s design is all about portability and comfort, whereas retaining the core usability options that make the unique Freewrite such a really perfect system for targeted writing. The clamshell design is deliberately massive sufficient to suit that full-sized keyboard comfortably, however retains the display screen small like with the unique, which makes it extra moveable and ensures that distractions are stored to a minimal – aided by the truth that all you are able to do on it’s kind textual content, since there aren’t any apps, browser or different capabilities.

Astrohaus has stayed very near their unique imaginative and prescient for the Traveler, with some minor tweaks together with the hinge design. The top result’s a light-weight and durable-feeling moveable digital typewriter, with a keyboard that feels glorious to kind on – higher than any laptop computer in my expertise. The keyboard is de facto the star of the present right here, since this can be a purpose-built system created for typing. The journey feels ample, particularly for a notebook-style system, and the raised, rounded keycap wells make it simple to the touch kind comfortably all day if you need.

Picture Credit: Darrell Etherington

The show, whereas small, offers glorious legibility and distinction, although it’s value noting that you simply’ll have to provide your individual gentle supply, as a result of as with the unique Freewrite, there’s no backlight or frontlight in-built, and e-ink doesn’t present its personal gentle like LED.

E-ink is extremely energy environment friendly, nevertheless, which is why you’ll get a lot helpful life out of the Traveler. In my testing, it’s been working on its unique cost for practically two weeks now, which is in step with the Astrohaus estimates.

The Traveler’s case encompasses a piano black shiny exterior, which appears to be like nice, however rapidly picks up fingerprints. And current Freewrite customers may discover that the show has a barely shiny sheen as nicely, the place the unique was totally matte. That’s due to a skinny piece of optically clear plastic that goes throughout your entire width of the clamshell to guard the e-ink show in opposition to the keyboard, based on Astrohaus. To me, it hasn’t been a difficulty when it comes to usability or high quality, simply one thing to notice when it comes to variations.

Picture Credit: Darrell Etherington

Astrohaus has created a design that stands out, no matter what you consider the piano black end. The distinction of the black with the white inside offers it a singular, quirky and enticing design that helps make sure you’ll by no means confuse the Traveler with every other gadget. And the supplies maintain it light-weight and sturdy for simply taking it with you wherever you may need to go.

The Traveler’s hinge permits it it to speak in confidence to roughly 135 levels, which is an effective place for laptop computer typing. It can be positioned at any angle lower than that for when you might have it elevated at a desk or desk.

Backside line

The Freewrite Traveler is a singular system, with a particular enchantment for people who find themselves hyper-focused on a writing instrument that gives all the advantages of cloud-connectivity with not one of the downsides of a multipurpose instrument like a laptop computer or pc. It could sync to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive so as to simply create a cross-device workflow for ending up manuscripts and drafts, however by itself, the Traveler will make sure you stay targeted on the duty at hand – and revel in your self whereas doing so.

A transportable, digital writing system like this one isn’t distinctive on the earth – many distraction-free writing fans use the Pomera line of merchandise from Japan for this function. However Astrohaus is exclusive in offering hardware tailored for North American and European markets, and so they’ve achieved an incredible job at delivering on the potential of this system even in a area of comparatively few rivals.

The Traveler is pretty costly at $599, however there’s actually nothing else prefer it, if what you need is a laser-focused writing system that mixes portability with nice ergonomics, long-lasting battery and cloud storage comfort.

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