Freewrite Alpha, writing gadget inspired by legendary Alphasmart, gets a good review

I'm an uneasy fan of focus-writing tools. I always think I want something like that, then get annoyed with the reality of it. They're always either too fancy, too simplified or too idiosyncratic in some way or other, even when I make the damned things myself. Among my favorites, though, was the Alphasmart, a pseudo-typewriter briefly popular in schools before truly cheap laptops turned up. But they're all now 20 years old. Wired's Max Freeman-Mills reviews the Freewrite Alpha, a modern device openly inspired by the old. It's great! It's $350.

Of course, it helps that it feels great to type on. The Alpha's keyboard is excellent, with Kailh Choc V2 switches that are nice and tactile, but not so clacky as to be completely obnoxious. The Alpha is also lightweight enough to be slipped into a bag easily. It's much lighter than my MacBook Air, albeit it also gets substantially more funny looks and unwanted questions. While the Google Drive syncing was handy for me, the Freewrite also has a button I couldn't stop myself using—even after an automated email landed, reminding me it wasn't necessary: Send. This immediately sends your draft as a text file and PDF to the email linked to your Freewrite account, and nothing has ever felt more like ripping a sheet of paper out of a typewriter to me than hitting it at the end of a piece, that "Send" whipping it away from me.

It's too expensive, though in fairness about as cheap as you would expect a high-quality niche gadget to cost. It's no more than you'd expect to pay for a really nice mechanical keyboard.

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