The Freewrite, Hipster Nonsense or an Awesome Productivity Tool?

The Freewrite, Hipster Nonsense or an Awesome Productivity Tool?

February 25, 2016 13:14 EST • Alexandre Vallières-Lagacé • 2 minute read • Permalink

Christina Warren writing for Mashable:

We see a lot of ridiculous tech products in our inboxes… But the Freewrite, which calls itself the “world’s first smart typewriter,” is ridiculous on another level.

The Freewrite is a $500 word processor. The device, which has Wi-Fi, a 5.5-inch e-ink screen and a mechanical keyboard, is designed to be a single-purpose writing tool. Files on the device are stored in plain text and can sync with Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote.

Basically, it’s like a number of distraction-free writing apps that already exist for iOS, Android, Chrome and OS X — but in a device that weighs four pounds (slightly less than a Macbook Pro) and has a tiny screen. For the same price, you could have a 16GB iPad Air 2.

I usually agree with Christina’s position on different subjects, but this time I’m totally on the opposite team. This is not targeted as a mass consumer device, but as a professional tool.

And as such, the price of the Freewrite is of no consequence for a professional to be able of doing his or her job efficiently. Remember that professionals are the ones that buy accessories in the hundreds if not, thousands of dollars. They also buy multiple devices, rent coworking spaces and spend far more money than the price of the Freewrite to make their life easier. The Freewrite has a quality e-ink screen and a mechanical keyboard with quality Cherry MX key switches.

Myke Hurley and CGP Grey discussed the work trips Grey takes regularly just to escape the distractions of every day. He takes a train to Amsterdam, rent a hotel room and basically spends his time writing and recording without any disturbance whatsoever. How much does this cost him? The way Grey thinks is with a cost and benefit formula for all his activities and projects. If he does it, it’s because it is more beneficial than staying in his office.

I understand this is just one person, but many writers try to make place for a room and moment to get in the zone and, yes, an iPad with a white app can do it, but you can very easily get distracted by a notification.

Freewrite comes out as an alternative. Yes, it is heavy and bulky, and costs the price of an iPad, but for writing professionals it can simply be a cheap price to pay to get the job done.