Freewrite products come in two different keyboard varieties to accommodate users from all around the world.
Both layouts are based on modified versions defined by two of the world's standards organizations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You will find the two layouts are quite similar however there are some small but important differences.
Generally speaking, the ANSI layout is used predominantly in the United States and the ISO layout is used in the rest of the world. Look at the layouts below and match one to the keyboard you are currently using.
NOTE: This article is discussing mechanical differences, not how each key is defined in software. To see all available keyboard mappings and languages supported, the full list of supported layouts is here: Freewrite Keyboard Layouts. You will see that most of the alternative layouts are for the ISO keyboard because languages other than English typically require an [Alt Gr] key. Once you receive your Freewrite, you will be able to add these alternative mappings to your device through Postbox. If you only write in English, you can use either ANSI or ISO, however, if you usually write on an ANSI keyboard and you choose ISO for your Freewrite, the shorter left [shift] key and upside-down L [return] key will take some getting used to.
Confused? Don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure you get the right keyboard for your needs.
I went back-and-forth on whether to purchase this. It seemed like such an extravagant purchase for someone who is not a professional writer. But, I’ve been enamored with this product since it was first introduced. There were some initial issues with my Freewrite and a frozen screen. But return and repair were fairly painless, and now that it’s back in my possession, I am loving it!
I write nautical fiction, so the Limited 'Sea' Edition of the Freewrite immediately caught my interest, but for a long time, I dismissed it as one of those whims that crosses the minds of all frustrated writers at one time or another: "If I just buy this one thing, it'll make me a better / more focused / prolific writer." So I kept ignoring my fascination with it. However, with news that they were close to running out, I finally jumped on one, thanks to a simple financing option that Ashwin at Astrohaus helped me find, and it was THE BEST DECISION.
Every time I sit down to the Freewrite, I get more (and better) writing done than at almost any other time in my life. Some people lament the lack of editing features, but let me tell you, that is part of its utter brilliance. The Freewrite helps me get out of my own way and let the words flow from my subconscious. The keys feel incredible under my fingertips, and even the shortest writing sessions turn out so much more fruitful than when I would sit down at the computer.
Nothing can make you overcome the need to force yourself to sit down and write, but once you are sitting there, let me tell you, working at a Freewrite is going to make that time much more enjoyable and productive. If you are like me — someone whose habit has always been to edit and correct as you write — you will have to fight that impulse at first, but once you give yourself over to the Freewrite's forced methodology of write now, edit later, you will find yourself a far more contented writer.
As Ray Bradbury, the man who made me the person I am today, was fond of saying, "Throw it up in the morning and clean it up in the afternoon!" I'm very thankful to the folks at Astrohaus for creating something that finally allows me to follow the advice of my beloved friend and hero — and to do it in absolute (nautical) style.
I really, really wanted to love this, and the concept still very much appeals to me - a distraction-free writing environment is 100% positive. However, the lag on the typing really gets me down, as does the overall slowness of the machine. Maybe just another sign *I* need to slow down, but when I'm drafting, the experience could be smoother. That said, I get the limitations of e-ink displays and I'm going to try to give it a longer trial when I'm not so pressed for time (finishing a graduate program in June). Color is amazing, and the machine is solid, which is fabulous.
life changing, music to my ears. Everyone should get this throwback to real writing, but with the safety of easy corrections in edit. Any worry or question you have the answer, is it’s perfect !!!
The operating instructions are more than poor. Even I, who would consider myself a technophile, couldn't get anywhere without YouTube tutorials.
The connection with the WLAN already caused me the first problems. After I tried it five times in a row without changes, it finally worked. No idea what the problem was. All I got was the hint (without error message) that I should try again later. So I don't know where the problem was.
Switching the keys to the German keyboard was relatively easy, only changing the keyboard layout cost me the last nerves. After I also managed this with Google's help, it could start.
The device does what it should. I created a direct link to my dropbox, where Word files are automatically created, which are completed with every further editing of the document. It's a pity that there are no arrow keys for quick error correction, but that seems to be the intention. After all, one should write and not correct. That comes much, much later.
The display reacts with a small delay, you can live with that. You should only take care that the file doesn't get too big, otherwise you'll notice the delay. I recommend one extra file per chapter.
I have decided to use the limited edition "Sea". Since I needed the German keyboard, I ordered the keys for it. Unfortunately they were not available in light blue, but only in white. Now the keyboard looks a bit strange. My inner Monk is rebelling ... I already asked the guys to see if it would be possible to get the complete keyboard layout in white. We'll see...
My first book is just in the making, I still have to do research on my PC, I can't avoid that. But I'm really positively surprised how much more productive you are when you only focus on writing. Sure, half of it gets deleted when I'm editing, but that would also be the case on the PC, where I'm constantly distracted by news, related links, social networks, etc.