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.
$549.00 $599.00 You Save 8% ($50.00)
New and improved 2nd Generation with 2x real world battery life of the 1st gen. Say goodbye to writer's block with the world's best distraction-free writing tool.
"Just invested in an @Astrohaus Freewrite and I honestly think it might be the best thing I've ever done for my writing."
"One of the strangest yet coolest & most useful devices I've used in years. The Freewrite by @Astrohaus"
"LOVE the #Freewrite by @Astrohaus. (2016 tech in a 1970's device). Distraction free writing."
Supports software mapping of 30+ languages.
E Ink™ screen with frontlight|
Writing canvas – 121mm x 68mm
Status window – 113mm x 18mm
Full-size mechanical CherryTM MX brown keyswitches|
Available in American (ANSI) and International (ISO) keyboard layouts
|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 data and charging port|
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||11.7” x 9.3” x 2.8” (298mm x 237mm x 70mm)|
|WEIGHT||4.0 lbs (1.8 kg)|
There are many aspects of this device that are fantastic -- the build, durability, keyboard (best in class quality); however, there are also some things to be aware of before you buy:
1) This is a first draft device. That being said it is well known at this point that the Freewrite that there is no real editing capacity and this makes the device less than ideal when trying to make any changes (even minor) for a sentence or paragraph you just typed. This is how the device is designed, so be aware before you buy. The Freewrite is intended as a means to take pages or chapters and sync them, and then import the synced files into a formal word processor for editing.
2) There is no direct file management on the device. File management must be done through a website which allows you to remove/delete content. The ability to do simple file deletes from the device would be a welcome addition. Again, this is - at this point - by design. However, adding this type of feature would be a huge benefit without changing the fundamental vision/intent of the Freewrite.
At the end of the day, the Freewrite is a brilliant device for a very specific place in a writing workflow. If your intent is to write and save first drafts of chapters or scenes file by file and then concatenate them in a word processor for editing later, this is your device. But if you think this will give you the flexibility to manage and edit a manuscript, it is not the right device for that. The Freewrite is a very well designed and functional e-ink typewriter. You have to approach drafting on it as you would have prior to the advent of personal computers and word processors. If you can do that and make that commitment you'll be pleased and it's well worth the money, if you can't -- you may be disappointed.
I'm a writer. I also have ADHD. It drives me crazy that this device works as well as it does, because I want to be able to believe that I COULD be this productive on a laptop, but I can't, and I know it.
Writing on my laptop, there's always the pull of another browser tab, another notification, another app. You can turn off your wi-fi. You can use browser extensions to try to block your favorite social media sites. You can use plain text apps to try to get yourself to focus on the words. But my brain is skilled in evading all these things, and finding another way to be distracted. Oh, so I've blocked Facebook? Well, maybe there's something interesting on Twitter. Blocked that? Oh, better check out Buzzfeed, or NYTimes, or check my book rankings on Amazon, or this, or that... There's always going to be something. It's the way I'm wired.
I think a lot of people could benefit from this device, to be honest. It may look like hipster nonsense, but it works. Whereas I used to struggle to finish 1,000 words in a single writing session, sometimes spending a couple hours sitting at my laptop, I can now bang out that much in 15 minutes. It's just amazing. I love it without shame. If you wanna get some writing done and you're at all prone to distraction, give this thing a shot.
Heres the short review. If youre thinking about getting a Freewrite, do it. The thing is great. It feels great. It looks great. I just typed 4,000 words at the library in one go. Tengo fuego, mamacitas.
Heres the long review. I think knowing my context will help you understand why I like the Freewrite so much. Im going to be a Graduate Assistant in an English program next semester. Im invested in students being more productive and creative. Anything under that banner interests me. For my undergrad, I studied media theory and minored in creative writing. My days started with hearing how social media is ruining us (depression, anxiety, FOMO, etc). Then, I tried to be productive in English while being inundated by Twitter, Instagram, Email, YouTube and the lot. Its easy to see why I vibe with Astrohauss mission and philosophy. I dont think its crazy to say thats an important aspect when buying from a company.
The pretension of quoting Joan Didion on an Amazon review isnt lost on me. Know that I cringe with you when I say, I write entirely to find out what Im thinking. But shes got a point. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be philosophically resolved before we create (and maybe do anything in life.) The process of writing is discovering whats in your head. The Freewrite is for that discovery. Sit down and type and youll surprise yourself. I suffer from analysis paralysis. The more I care about what Im writing the more caution I take with every word and thought. This goes to the point of unproductivity. No! Jump in, create. Save the thinking for editing. Nows the time to find and feel.
And it feels good. These keys arent a joke. Stop stabbing your fingers into membranes. You deserve better.
And now I have to admit how much I like the visual design. I love it. Is that a crime? I spend one third of my life typing. I should enjoy what Im staring at. Our clothes have aesthetics we enjoy. Our favorite restaurants have aesthetics we enjoy. A Stratocaster isnt a w...
I have gone through them all... the desktop, the laptop, the Neo2, the Dana, the Chromebook. For a while, I touted the Neo2 as the best thing for a writer in the electronic age, and I still have mine, but it has been sitting on the shelf since I got the Freewrite.
My fingers love it. I actually type much faster on the Freewrite than on any other device. Part of it is the sensation I get while typing, which is missing in almost every other device. I love the way it feels! And the noise the keys make is wonderful.
Cloud backup. I was hesitant about using Postbox but it syncs to my Drive account flawlessly.
The screen. Ah... The screen! My eyes get tired very easily when looking at a computer screen, which I do at work all day, but I can still type for an hour or more when I get home without more eye strain.
The size and weight. Perfect for lap typing.
No battery charge indicator to tell it's fully charged or still charging. You just have to check by turning it on and holding down the spacebar, which still only gives a battery icon and not a percentage.
And that's all I have! One con!
I am going out on a limb here to say this device is perfect. I do not say that with abandon, either. I have typed on it for hours and love that - because there are no direction keys - I can't go back, only forward. That's exactly what I need! And the device itself is a work of art. Wonderfully designed and so pleasing you'll want to spend hours with it. I do.