Traveler is the ultimate *portable* distraction-free writing tool and the latest addition to the Freewrite family.
Turn off distractions. Focus your thoughts. Simply write wherever you go.
It really is nice to have a simple word processing system in such a compact computer. I really love using the Traveler for writing both novels and letters. The reassurance that my documents are backed up in a cloud is also a big win for me!
This is my ideal writing machine. It won’t be for everyone, but for me it solved two big problems: there is no way to get any distractions onto it, ever, and it’s e-ink and has helped my dry eyes tremendously. The keyboard is great, and it does everything I need it to do. It does lag a little if a document gets over 2000 words. No problem, just start a new one! The only thing I can’t vouch for is how well the keyboard will stand up to heavy use over time.
The idea is as advertised. I hoped that my girls (9 & 11) would be more interested in journaling on a device without all the distractions. Sadly they have not been convinced. The brilliance of a 30 day battery life is negated for me due to the e-ink lag in typing. Alas, I feel like I shouldn’t complain because all of that goes hand in hand. It has not changed my life as I dreamed. (I am sick of these emails, but I credit the persistence even after I unsubscribed. — I get it that a review is different, but here it is.) -- I would be happy to get $200 for my device after one use.
This tool is aimed at one purpose, to create the all important first draft. To that end, it has minimal editing, no spellcheck, no auto-correct, no search and replace, no on-screen formatting and NO cross-platform synchronization (instead, it SENDS your draft to your preferred cloud document service such as Dropbox). It reminds me of the old dedicated word processors from Radio Shack in the early 1980s.
With that in mind, it is a solid tool. The keyboard is 11 inches across, but even my large hands had little trouble typing at a high speed, and the keys have a good feel to them. Because it uses an eInk screen (the same one used in eReaders like the Kindle), this is at its best used outdoors, in direct sunlight. Since it only stores text, it can store literally tens of thousands of pages of drafts. Because eInk screens refresh very slowly (compared to an active display on a computer or phone), you'll notice it can take several seconds (if you're busy typing) for the screen to show your text. I would routinely see several sentences appear at once, particularly for a large document.
There actually are ways to format your destination document, formatting codes, but I do NOT recommend using them because they must be typed in manually. Combined with the slow refresh rate, it's too error prone.
What I would like to see would be: The ability to update all Traveler specific functions such as "font size" from directly within the Traveler, not having to sync to update them. That is a really strange choice and counter-intuitive.
I would love to see user customizable hotkeys, maybe New 1 through 0, that would make the format codes useful as I could assign hotkeys to them, or perhaps assign frequently used names or whatever.
Also, it would be nice to have offline help available from within the Traveler itself, using some open source text HTML browser like Lynx and a stripped down set of the documentation. This would be helpful because the main use case for the device is to be able to use it offline for extended periods of time, to avoid distractions. It doesn't help if I need to take out my phone or computer to look up something. I'd put this under New-H for Help.
Finally, from a hardware perspective, I find it really odd that the device has no front light like my $120 Kindle. It makes using the device during twilight problematic.
Overall, it is a good device for its tightly focused purpose. But, if you want this to EDIT or REVISE your first draft, don't buy it. That's not its purpose.
I love it despite the 15 month wait!
"There's truly nothing else like it, if what you want is a laser-focused writing device."
E Ink™ screen|
Writing canvas – 121mm x 70mm
Status window – 121mm x 15mm
|KEYBOARD||Full-size scissor switch keyboard|
|ONBOARD STORAGE||Embedded flash memory|
|Wi-Fi||2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi with capability for cloud syncing and over-the-air firmware updates|
|PORTS||USB Type-C for charging, offline data transfer, and as Host (e.g. can plug in external keyboard)|
Internal LiPo battery|
4 weeks of running time with regular usage defined as 30 minutes per day
|SUPPORTED CLOUD APPS||Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive|
|SUPPORTED KEYBOARD LANGUAGES||English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Japanese. See a list of keyboard layouts here.|
|SIZE||11.3” x 5.0” x 0.97” (288mm x 128mm x 24.7mm)|
|WEIGHT||1.6lbs (0.7 kg)|