Alphasmart Neo - Handheld
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Most helpful customer reviews
142 of 143 people found the following review helpful.
Perfect Non-Distraction Writing Machine
By Wendy Van Camp
I started out with an Alphasmart 3000 three years ago when I wanted to join other writers at coffeehouses for write-ins, but could not afford a laptop. I discovered that the Alphasmart 3000 was a great non-distraction writing machine that allowed me to produce larger word counts on my rough drafts than having a machine that was hooked up to the internet. The combination of the small screen, not being able to go back and edit easily on the fly and the ability to load up my finished work to my computer's word processing program with ease turned out to be a winning combination for me as a writer.
After a year of using the Alphasmart 3000, I decided to upgrade to the Alphasmart Neo. I am glad that I did. With the Neo, I have the same good features that made the AS3K a wonderful non-distraction writing machine. The Neo's keyboard is more comfortable with a better feel to the keys and the screen is slightly larger than the AS3K. The Neo handles larger file sizes and has a dictionary, thesarus and a word count feature built in. The unit is lightweight and tough. The battery life is like nothing in this world. I put in batteries once a year and then forget about it. I always have power in the unit when I need it.
I now own a laptop, but when I am working on a rough draft, I still pull out my Alphasmart Neo. It is my preferred drafting machine of choice. I have paired up the Neo with a Neoprene sleeve designed for a 13" MacBook Air and a Mighty Bright Music Light. Everything fits easily into my writing bag and carts around effortlessly.
If you are a novelist, a freelance writer, a student who needs to take notes in the classroom but are not allowed to bring a computer with you, do consider purchasing the Alphasmart Neo. It might be the answer you were looking for.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
An essential tool for any writer
By D. Opperwall
Writers rejoice--these things are fabulous!
I found out about the Alphasmart while researching a way to do my writing without the eye-strain of back-lit computer screens. There are devices out there running up to 500 dollars designed to do this...then there is the Alphasmart Neo which I bought used for about 40 bucks.
Look, the thing works great. Battery life is gigantic, screen is clear old-school LCD and plenty big, there are 8 file locations with lots of space, it has a spell-checker and thesaurus built-in. The keyboard is very comfortable. When you're done writing, you just plug the thing into your computer and it simply emulates a key-board. This means transfers take some time, but it also means there is no fussy software or file compatibility issues, and if you set up your document in advance you can take can pre-set most of your formatting in your favourite word-processor and just let the Alphasmart input the text.
When all I need to do is write, I just want to write. This thing is like a type-writer that easily syncs with my computer, a really elegant solution. Writers--get an Alphasmart Neo!
(this review was written on my Alphasmart Neo and then sent directly into the browser field...it's that easy!)
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful.
If you are a serious writer with a day job you need this tool
By Jodi Henley
Taking a laptop to work is a pain and I can't use the work computer for personal things. I also can't write fast with a pen and paper. I used to read or just sit around but the Neo has given me one guaranteed thirty minute writing sprint every time I work, with no distractions. It turns on (instantly!) and the words are right there. It saves when it's shut off. The keyboard is nice if you are used to a laptop (because it's small) or a mini usb keyboard. It's incredibly hard to navigate around in the tiny little screen or to delete (which is why I simply backspace), but that's good because it forces you to keep writing.
The commands are printed right on the back, and prompts appear on the screen. It comes with a preloaded rechargeable battery which you have to disconnect if you want to use AA's (there is a coupling and if you don't know how to open it, you might need a kid or something). The cord is an A-B cord. You simply connect it, open your word doc (I used a docx) and hit "send". The words scrolled across screen like I was typing them as fast as I could, and the best part is that since I have a template set up in my word docx, it filled the template--spacing, indents and all. I was afraid it'd be like dumping a solid block of text that I'd have to separate. This thing is fabulous. It's just a keyboard with a tiny display (maybe four sentences), it has no bells and whistles, it doesn't connect to anything, it is dummy proof and bullet proof, and I did 1k in thirty minutes. 1k. That's amazing for what used to be wasted time.
I don't know why I didn't buy one before, but I know that if it ever breaks (people say they "never" break), I'm buying another right away. If you are serious about your word count, or an indie who "needs" to put out new material constantly, this will ratchet up your productivity like you wouldn't believe. Buy one. Buy one right now. You'll wonder why you ever procrastinated.