Some travel gadgets come along and are a no-brainer for me, but the Astrohaus Freewrite Traveler is one that I want but will never buy.
Not Your Average Travel Gadget
Unlike noise cancelling headphones, travel pillows, power banks, or even activated carbon water purifier/water bottles, this travel accessory is a full size device that is harder to justify. It does something that I already have a solution for, but it simply does it better.
What Is The Freewrite Traveler
Anyone operating in this modern world can relate to the constant distraction that occurs when working on a laptop connected to the internet. It’s hard to just sit down and write without all of the other things going on in the background.
The Freewrite Traveler is a word processor that simplifies things. Instead of a bright LED display, it uses a low-energy e-Ink screen that’s easy on the eyes but with all of the options that a modern writer needs. It’s capable of export, but provides a basic approach to putting words on a page with the convenience of a web connected writing device.
In a lot of ways, it’s a writing tool perfect for travelers. It’s light, it offers the ability to connect to online hubs like Google Drive, or export by way of usb port. It’s smaller than its weightier big brother, the original freewrite and cheaper too.
Why Won’t I Ever Buy It?
First of all, simply turning off the wi-fi and writing in a full-screen distraction-free mode would work just fine. I already carry a laptop with me everywhere I go, so I really don’t need to bring a secondary typewriter.
But that price! “On Sale” for $429 is ludicrously expensive for what it is. Just absurd.
I was so tempted by the product that I decided to go on Ali Express and shop the simple components. The keyboard, touchpad, Raspberry Pi, portable charger/battery, and an e-Ink display would set me back at most $60. I could have a friend print a case to hold it all with a 3-D printer.
Why I Still Want It
Why, oh why, do I love a loud clacking, mechanical keyboard? Why do I love a simpler approach even when it adds complication to my life? I don’t know.
What I can say is that I would love to be able to sit down with pages to complete on an airplane, in a coffee shop, on my desk at home and just write with nothing else going on. If I open my laptop to do this, I open my email, I see updates to software that need to run, I find myself “researching” something I need to write about and then wander off down myriad rabbit holes on the internet. Even writing this post has taken longer than it ever should have, simply because I am undisciplined.
But if I had a Freewrite Traveler that wouldn’t, of course, ever happen.
I know that I don’t need it. I know I can get the same results from my laptop if I am more disciplined and diligent about the time I spend writing. However, there’s something I love about ditching my backpack, and charger, and the entire internet and just producing content for an hour or two. It’s probably good that the price is ridiculiously high for what it is because if the price was closer to $125-150 – even though I don’t need it, I would probably buy one anyway.
What do you think? Do you have any travel gadgets you want to buy but just can’t justify? Am I alone in thinking this is absurdly expensive for what it is? Are there any alternatives to this besides the adjustments to my discipline or laptop settings?