Computers

Hemingwrite digital typewriter looks to let you write in peace

Hemingwrite digital typewriter...
The Hemingwrite does away with the distractions of laptop computers and tablets
The Hemingwrite does away with the distractions of laptop computers and tablets
View 13 Images
Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
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Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox
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As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox
Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
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Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
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Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
A knob on the left allows the user to navigate between a maximum of three live documents
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A knob on the left allows the user to navigate between a maximum of three live documents
As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox
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As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox
Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
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Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
The Hemingwrite does away with the distractions of laptop computers and tablets
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The Hemingwrite does away with the distractions of laptop computers and tablets
Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
9/13
Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
10/13
Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
11/13
Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks
As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox
12/13
As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox
Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
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Hemingwrite combines a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display
View gallery - 13 images

For more than a century typewriters were the weapon of choice for professional writers, office workers and those of us with messy handwriting. Then came the age of personal computers complete with the internet and its infinite reel of comical cat videos. A pair of US entrepreneurs believe this has been to the detriment of productivity and are looking to reign things in a little. The Hemingwrite typewriter offers the bare essentials for a writer in the digital age, no email alerts or Youtube recommendations in sight.

Hemingwrite features a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display, all protected by an aluminum casing. As the user pounds away, their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application, dubbed Postbox. From here, Postbox can be configured to automatically synch your words with common applications such as Google Docs, Evernote or Microsoft Word.

A knob on the left allows the user to navigate between a maximum of three live documents, while a knob on the right switches the Wi-Fi off and on. There's also a dedicated print key and a status bar that can be set to display a timer or a word and character count. Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks.

As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox
As the user pounds away their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application which is dubbed Postbox

It is with a certain degree of skepticism that I describe the features of the Hemingwrite typewriter. I'm not entirely convinced that the answer to procrastination is as simple as shutting out the internet. In lieu of firing up Facebook, one might reach for their phone or check to see if the fridge magically restocked itself since the last time they checked. Failing that you can always stare out the window for a while.

With that said, writing is quite the personal thing and everybody has their own process. Not needing to navigate a minefield of apps, notifications and inbox messages when starting up the machine might be just the thing to cultivate the next generation of Ernest Hemmingways.

If this sounds like the answer to your writing woes, then you can head over to the Hemingwrite Kickstarter campaign where the funds are rolling in thick and fast. The team is well on its way to hitting its US$250,000 goal, having amassed more than $180,000 at the time of writing. Early pledges of $349 are gone, but there are some left at the $369 level with shipping slated for September 2015. Hemingwrite is set to retail at $499 if it does eventually hit the shelves.

You can check out the pitch video below.

Source: Hemingwrite

View gallery - 13 images
5 comments
Mel Tisdale
Nice to see that it has access to Word, which as far as I am concerned, provides a much needed spell checker, but I would also need a full screen to lay things out to my liking and Google to get my facts and figures right, together with the spelling of obscure items and of proper nouns.
Perhaps a better solution is for browsers to provide some way of limiting access to selected distracting sites, perhaps with a ten minute time delay to any change of settings to deter flitting from work to play.
It has one thing that my laptop does not have: a keyboard. What my Acer item provides looks like a keyboard, but sure as heck fails to act like one worthy of the name. I would happily settle for a few millimetres more in thickness for keys that work properly and consistently.
Mark Eltringham
Hi Mel. I use an extension called Site Block to do exactly what you describe.
Mark Salamon
$369.00 (or $500.00 retail) for a typewriter? There are already dozens of alternatives available that represent better value for the money. And judging from the photos provided, it appears that this gadget doesn't even include a cover. The "Hemingwrite" won't be going on my wish list...
Tom Lee Mullins
It reminds me of the Tandy computer that exited many years ago. http://oldcomputers.net/trs100.html
HollyWilder
So many problems..!
1. No arrow keys. No way to navigate and correct typos or do minor editing. Even those who eschew doing any editing in a first draft would benefit from being able to move around without deleting words!
2. No local connectivity. The ONLY way to transfer files is via the company's web service which then sends the data to your Dropbox account. The USB port is for charging only. The problem with this is that if the company's web service disappears some day, then the device will have no way to transfer files to your computer or anywhere else. It's NOT a direct connection to Dropbox, unfortunately.
3. Only three save slots. When you're dependent on WiFi for your saves and transfers, as this is, that's not much.
4. Battery is built-in, apparently. This means that when that rechargeable battery starts to weaken and not hold a charge, you'll have to get a proprietary battery from the company.
5. Battery life is short compared to other similar devices, some of which can last a *year* on a single set of AA batteries. By making this device WiFi dependent, they sacrificed battery life. I think that's a poor trade when a simple USB data transfer port would have taken care of that issue. It makes one wonder *why* the Hemmingwrite folks want your data to flow through their proprietary web service before going anywhere else, hmm?
6. Price. I'm sorry, but there's no way it's worth $369 or $500. No way. The mark-up on this thing is ridiculous, and considering all the limitations and the fact that the thing becomes an expensive paperweight if the company folds or changes their direction and drops the web service, I think the price is downright insulting. That huge price tag isn't paying for technology; It's paying for hipster cred.
Another consideration with a device priced this high is the potential for theft. Does it have password protections on files? If you walk away in the coffee shop and someone runs off with your $500 Hemmingwrite, do they also get access to everything you've written? Just a flip of the little switch and your novel is their novel. That's really not good design.