Review: Freewrite Traveler 

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do you ever Long for the days of manual typewriters? We do. We prefer a single-use product here, like the Kindle. It’s an e-reader, and that’s all. You can’t scroll through TikTok, check work slack, or get pinged by chat notifications. That’s why we liked Freewrite in 2016. It’s a typewriter, but unlike a real typewriter, you can take it to a coffee shop and put your pages in a Google Document later.

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so we decided to try freeright traveler, which is a slightly more capable tool. Unlike the original Freewrite, this version is hinged for easy carrying and comes with arrow keys to edit your mistakes. This is the place to write anywhere without focusing too much on editing. And its e-ink screen is enjoyable to watch and doesn’t hurt your eyes.

writing partner
Photograph: Astrohaus
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I dream of writing novels from a home in a New England seaside town (I am No watching you, provincetown), and I can feel all the stories bubbling up inside me. But when it’s time to actually put it out on the page, it’s so easy to just check Twitter instead. After working on my computer all day, the last thing I want to do is stare at my computer for a few more hours at night. This little traveler really got me to put those damn words on the page. I didn’t finish a book, but by god, I started it!

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I said above that Freewrite products are made for writing and not for editing. It’s best that you type and edit yourself later. The older model accomplished this without any arrow keys, which was a deliberate design choice to prevent you from selecting your text or rearranging paragraphs, but the Traveler has loosened up a bit since then.

this time, there Huh arrow keys, but you’ll have to employ the WASD keys as well as the “New” and Shift keys to move the cursor through each character to backspace. If you want to jump between whole words release the shift key. It makes it possible, but not easy, and that’s on purpose.

Screen size keeps writing to you too. While typing on my large computer monitor, I can see my last several paragraphs. It’s hard to go back and edit while I’m done. On Passenger, I only see a few lines of text at a time. You can’t fix your lead when you can’t see it. Traveler also won’t check your spelling for you, but you can do so later after you send your draft to Google Docs.

Photograph: Astrohaus

wired
Light. easy to use. It can backspace! gets smaller. without distraction.

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