I just got my hands on a Freewrite machine. It’s considered a distraction free writing tool. So far I’m fairly impressed with it.
Physically, it’s a light all in one machine that includes two e-ink screens, two switches, a power button and a cherry MX switch keyboard. It’s main display is a little slow to process changes and if you’re a fairly fast typer the lag may bother you but I’ve learned to just ignore it. The second screen is just a small status screen that you can scroll through with the Special key.
The two switches control whether the WiFi is turned on or not and what folder you’re using at the time. Unfortunately there is really only three folders and each document has to fall into one of them. You navigate through the documents by pressing the NEW and PG UP/PG DOWN keys. Turning the WiFi off will save your battery when you’re out and about but keep in mind, whit your WiFi off, none of your documents will sync to the cloud.
That brings me to the utilities that aren’t part of the machine but that make things incredibly powerful. When you buy your Freewrite, you automatically get an account on Freewrite’s Postbox website. Here you can edit or add documents to your Freewrite machine. You can adjust settings like time zone and language. You also get to set up the sync service which allows you to sync your documents with Evernote, Dropbox or One Drive.
There are some disadvantages to the machine. For one, there is no way to navigate within a document. You can scroll back and see what you’ve written but you can’t edit anything. The moment you start to type, it brings you back to the end of the document. The other disadvantage is, there is no case. Sure you can buy one for an extra $50 but the machine itself doesn’t come with one. Unfortunately that means if you don’t get a case, you’ll be banging your keyboard around in your bag unprotected and I’d really hate to see the cherry MX switches treated so poorly.
Overall, it’s a really cool machine. I’m still on the fence about whether it was worth the $550 I had to pay for it but I have a feeling that I’m going to get a lot of use out of it.