No seriously, despite a little learning curve and some weak wi fi issues at work, this is a machine that made me write! And not just write but consistently. I love this thing. I love sending drafts to my email and accessing them via post box. The reason this isn't 5 stars is the lag. It gets bad around 1000 words but Freewrite has promised an update to fix this issue. Other than that this is a great device and I am very happy with it (so happy in fact I am eyeing the lemon)
These are very great cards. I can't wait to use them.
I love the experience of writing on the Alpha. I have never owned an Alphasmart, but presume that the low profile mechanical keyboard and the higher resolution of the screen is an absolute improvement, along with the modern software. If I can come with a wish for a possible upgraded version of the Alpha in the future, I would suggest backlit lcd screen or e-Ink screen, possibly also with backlight. Will do much writing on my Smart, Traveler and Alpha Freewrites in the coming days, months & years!
I have the 2nd gen Freewrite, the Traveler, and the Alpha. I definitely think the Alpha is the most fun out of all of them. There’s something very playful about the design, but it also retains all the essential functions of the others.
The newest Freewrite device from Astohaus has a modern feel and look. I own the Hemingway Edition and the Traveler, and I think I can make some comparisons. The footprint of the Alpha is almost as big as the typewriter. It is flat with an integrated palm rest and fits into a larger bag. The Traveler has a clamshell design and fits almost in any smaller bag, like a sling bag. The keys have a contemporary look with a rectangular shape. The distance between the keys is minimal. Occasionally, that leads to accidental hits of two keys simultaneously, but over time with a "getting used to the keyboard" I'd say this is minor. The syncing to Postbox is as good as with the typewriter. The biggest drawback, however, is the screen. Not so much the size. But it is too dark even in daylight, and the fonts are not sharp and clear and have a background shadow. It would have been much better to continue the line with the e-ink screen. To summarize the review, think about the Alpha as an entry-level device in the series of Freewrite. If you have never owned a Freewrite, but want to explore the concept and thinking behind a first-drafting device and you are on a budget that's the way to go. But I think it makes good sense to spend a bit more and get the Traveler.
It's the best thing I've ever purchased in my life. Finally a typing gadget that can keep up with my fast paced mind. Felt like I finally found a medium for my writing. With so much distraction on our computer this is exactly what I needed and wanted. It helps that the design is also amazing. I just love, love , love it. kudos to the Freewrite team. Thank you guys for creating this writing device. Best thing ever.
I have finally received the Alpha and what a wonderful machine! I love it. I am so excited to be using it when I will come to the writing part of my book. So in love !! Thanks also to the team and especially to Heidi who was so helpful and reactive while I was waiting the machine and sending emails to her for different topics.
This is the second time you asked me this question. The first time it triggered me to write a detailed letter, which was answered by Heide Jensen. So please check with her; also I hope you tell Adam about my opinion and worries about the Alpha. But most of all, please stop these automated questions.
Peter Venema, Amsterdam.
I was thrilled to unbox my Alpha — only to be disappointed by the sound of something loose (a screw? a chunk of plastic? a little pebble?) bouncing around the inside of the device.
I quickly returned it (covered under warranty) and got a new device within a couple of weeks.
Ultimately, the Alpha is solid so far. I think the hardware is great — and essentially what I was hoping for. I'm hoping for some software updates that will improve some functionality over time. So far, I'm happy with the Alpha.
Arrived in a beautiful box. I love the feeling of the tactile keys and the felt case is great. I look forward to writing many stories on this machine
The Alpha Freewrite's protective sleeve is pleasant to the touch, sturdy, and looks like it would help protect the Freewrite in case of sudden impact (I don't intend to try it out). I have similar sleeves that came with other products which are unpleasant to touch, brittle, or less than satisfactory in other ways, so I appreciate the thoughtful care that went into this one.
I absolutely love my Hemingwrite. It’s simply beautiful. I have written so much on it. It’s perfection.
The alpha is my first Freewrite device and I am loving it. I have written more in a week then I have in months. The keyboard and rest is also easy on my wrists.
Overall, very, very pleased. The lag/dropped keystrokes at times is annoying on such a single purpose/stripped back device. It's surprising it managed to make it past QA like this. I *really* hope they are able to fix this and soon, through a firmware update. Everything else though? Superb. I'm writing at least X2 and more commonly, X3 per day than my usual wordcount and I'm way less fatigued after doing so than writing on any other device.
I wanted a light easy way to write on the go, I thought Alpha was the answer. For the most part, it is. There are 2 problems I’ve found that bug me.
One is the flat keys. When I use the Alpha, I’m miissing the indentation that the smart typewriter has.
Two - which is a problem that’s much worse- if you carry your Alpha in the leather/felt case, or any case that’s soft or it can move in, it turns on. The power button not only is too shallow, it’s also super responsive. So when you reach your destination & pull it out again to use, you’ll find a lot of lines of nonsense typing. Not a dealbreaker- but REALLY annoying.
Other than that It’s light, responsive, & fits easily on your lap. The screen isn’t great, but it’s not really there to be anything more than checking your place. I love it, & I’m totally hooked on it.
I just wish it didn’t type on its own while packed.
As a proud owner of all three Freewrite devices, I love the feel of the Alpha’s mechanical keyboard and the clackity clack sound (though it annoyed my wife, who was driving). The e-ink screen on the Alpha shows three lines of text. But who needs more than three lines? If I am freewriting an article, it's the maximum I want to see to better focus on what I will type next instead of being concerned about what I’ve written. That’s for the editing process!
I’ve been using a gen 2 model for a few years - was tempted to upgrade to gen 3 by the WASD editing - which is a game changer - but was disappointed that the 25% discount I got couldn’t be applied to the special editions (my old machine was a white gen 2)
Didn't know I was gonna find a better keyboard than the ones I already had. I use it daily to write drafts and at the end of the day edit them on my laptop. Works super smooth, and it's making everyone jealous.
Thank you for checking back with me about Words Are Hard. So far I haven't used the deck in the traditional manner of using one card at a time to generate story ideas. I am specifically writing a novel with an idea already in my head and with a general idea of where I want to go. However, I have used the deck to create some plot turns by blending the prompts from several cards, even from different genres, to form a new direction or action in my story line. I think the deck has been worth the cost already and I noticed that some of the individual cards have planted a seed for future stories.
By the way, I love my Traveler. It is so convenient and focused for the specific task of writing and I'm hoping it will help me become a professional writer someday. I do plan on getting a Smart Typewriter in the near future as the main tool for writing and then use my Traveler more for research and idea generation. Thanks again. You'll be hearing from me soon!
I've had it a week and it's already become my preferred way of writing.
First of all, I love the device - it looks and feels top-notch wonderful. The only thing that I feel was not properly flagged is the fact that Alpha is the only device you offer without keyboard layouts that go beyond English. I've already discussed it via [****] and so I know (and am glad) that the layouts are coming sometime in the future, but the thing is that - as your fan ever since, well, the beginning - the thing that I've waited for was a proper Polish keyboard layout. It was when you finally introduced a useable Polish layout that I decided to order my Alpha :)
Summing up - I love the device and will be using it nevertheless, but the keyboard issue is something I'll be keeping my eye out for.
Somehow Alpha make me write more than I thought I could.
My new Alpha is the perfect tool for stream-of-consciousness brainstorming and writing first drafts. I love its size and portability.
Syncing to the cloud is seamless and quick and I can easily grab my drafts from Postbox.
The keys are a tad too sensitive, but I'd rather that than have them sticky. Given the price, I wish it could have had either a backlight or a slightly bigger screen to make it perfect.
But on the whole, I'm very, very happy with it.
I had to wait over a year and a half to get it, being one of the first crowdfunding backers, but that delay doesn't take away from the product itself, so it would be unfair to let that affect my rating.
I work as the editor of a small publishing house, and for that I have two and sometimes three computer screens lit up in my office, as I carefully cross check versions of the books I am working on and prepare them for the printer.
I want a different experience for my own writing, and Alpha provides that. I allow myself a file card with a couple of notes, and then I sit in the living room, near the wood stove, and clickety-clack away. I know the text will be available to edit and be finicky about--later.
The keys are a good size, my partner (also a writer) says the typing sound is pleasing, and I find the whole experience of working with the Alpha encouraging.
Seems like a leapfrog. Wish was more similar to the traveler which is a nice size and shape but with the LCD screen which I really think is better than the eInk. Having trouble figuring out the date connections which are also better on the Traveler. Wish had a backlight.