Writing Devices
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Author:  Shane Ward [ Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Writing Devices

Okay, I decided to put this community to some good use... Hope you all can help :)

I am looking for a relatively cheep word processor that I can use on the go, like a laptop, but its main function is word processing. I can save to doc files and then upload to my home PC. I work on the go and having a small device beside to write and use would be very useful. I used to use a smart phone, but that turned out difficult and I do not want a bulky laptop that costs £300 - £1000 will all kinds of things I do not need.

So, just a simple laptop, or tablet that can be used to write stories and then transfer them to my PC and if possible, under £100.

Thanks in advance


Author:  Rolnikov [ Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sounds like you're after an Alphasmart....

Author:  Rolnikov [ Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hey, there's one going on ebay for £25 - ... 496wt_1143

No cables, but if it's anything like mine it just needs a standard usb to printer lead.

I love my Alphasmart. Lasts for weeks on one set of batteries. Nothing to do but write. Very rugged.

Author:  DarrenGallagher [ Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:01 am ]
Post subject: 

What kind of smart phone do you have?
I have an app on my iPhone called "Documents" very easy to use and transfers the files over WiFi. Perfect for on the go, or even if you're just too lazy to get up off that comfy

Author:  Mike A [ Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:31 pm ]
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I'm another Alphasmart fan - love my Neo for drafting. Can't really use it for editing though - the display's too small (6/7 lines) and navigation too fiddly. But for thrashing out first drafts, it's great.

1. Instant on/off (no boot time)
2. Decent keyboard (better than most laptops)
3. Lightweight and rugged
4. No distractions (no games or internet)
5. Small display helps prevent "endlessly edit the last paragraph" syndrome
6. Thousands of hours on 3 AA batteries

1. No good for editing (screen too small)
2. No backlight, so you may need a clip-on reading light in darker conditions

I picked mine up on ebay for about £70. Just don't try to buy one around NaNoWriMo time!

Author:  Shane Ward [ Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

This sounds good, so, what type of usb cable do I need and how are files transfered from the device to PC, Do I also need software drivers and such.

Many thanks

Author:  Rolnikov [ Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:40 am ]
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How it works depends which version you get, I think - when you connect my old one to the PC, it mimics a keyboard. So you start up a word processor, press a button on the Alphasmart, and it types the text in.

New ones should come with all the cables you need. Mine uses one of these.

Author:  Shane Ward [ Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, I ordered it so just have to see what it looks like and where I stand when it comes. From what I found out on the net, it seems to work like a keyboard as Rolnikov stated, so it will be fun to check and see, cables are no problem and the backlight display is not much of an issue as I can install some white light led's into the unit.

Huge thanks for this guys... Really helpfull... Now happy typing!


Author:  Shane Ward [ Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, I just got the keyboard and I must say, its a very handy tool to have, I no longer have to use my annoying phone and I even notice the difference in the writing, with my phone I can work out a max of over 1,000 words per day at work and the quality is bad, with this gizmo it was around 2,200 and just as I normaly write, with bad spellings and such.

Huge thanks guys for this... Wonderful device.

Also... I will post a new topic later when I recover from this fever, but another of my stories is out there, this one is just right for the sci-fi buff and if you want a little bit of crime, its just right for you too.

Its called "Unyielding" and I am confident its an exciting read.
Link: -

Author:  Mike A [ Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:48 pm ]
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Shane, there's a great community around the Alphasmart devices at flickr -

For transfer to PC, you can either use it like a fast keyboard ("Send" button into a word processor) or use the Alphasmart Manager software, which can also transfer text files the other way as well (i.e. PC to Alphasmart) and is a bit faster. If you got a Neo then you might also want to check out the custom fonts from flickr group member "unexpected_human" - they let you have more lines of text.

cheers, Mike

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