An E ink writer’s laptop for coffee shop scribes

As a writer, I feel particularly qualified to say that writing isn’t easy. You’re always contending with writer’s block, job insecurity, and, worst of all, distraction.

Computers are distraction machines. Social media is just a click away, and your taskbar helpfully pings you with every incoming notification.

From that perspective, the Freewrite Traveler from Astrohaus is pure bliss.

A distraction-free laptop, it shields you from any outside prods and lets you focus on the writing. Oh, and it has an E ink screen.

How has no one thought of this before?

Small on size, big on focus

The Traveler is a beautiful idea. About half the size of a typical laptop and weighing in at just two pounds, it’s built for the coffee shop scribe.

It’s beautiful to look at too, in a throwback, bespoke, mechanical keyboard kind of way.

Despite the small stature, Astrohaus was careful to include a full-sized tactile keyboard with a typewriter-like feel. I mean, it’s really small and tenkeyless, but at least it has full functionality.

The E ink screen is glossy and backlit and much easier on the eyes than a laptop screen.

WiFi cloud backups (to Google Drive, Evernote, or Dropbox) and constant auto-saving ensures your clever prose doesn’t get lost.

As cool as it is, the Traveler is a crowdfunded concept and we should manage our expectations. The design still has a very prototype-y vibe to it. I also wonder how user-friendly that tiny, squat little screen is.

How has it taken this long?

Unlike the original Freewrite, the inconspicuous Traveler doesn’t make you look like you brew kombucha and ride a pennyfarthing bicycle.

The Traveler absolutely crushed its crowdfunding goals, a runaway success with well over $600k raised.

There’s nothing else like it other than the original Freewrite. But unlike the original, you won’t look like hipster Hemingway when you bring it to the coffee shop.

(Never bring a typewriter to the coffee shop.)

The original was intended as a drafting machine, but with poor portability and an incomprehensibly niche mechanical keyboard, it’s not for everyone.

The Traveler on the other hand, with its shorter key travel, easier editing and better portability, seems far more rewarding to use.

Whether the Traveler ends up being a great device or not, the huge crowdfunding response should clue-in manufacturers that folks want something like this. E ink screens aren’t just for eBooks anymore.

You can currently pre-order a Traveler for $349.