The Traveler is a portable writing devices that looks a bit like a laptop, but which cannot do most of the things a modern laptop computer can. Instead, it’s designed for one thing only: writing.
It features a 6 inch E Ink display, a full-sized keyboard with scissor switches, enough built-in storage to hold a million “pages” of text, a USB Type-C port for charging and transferring data, and WiFi for saving your documents to cloud storage.
But you can’t use it to surf the web, play games, or listen to music. It doesn’t run third-party apps. It’s aimed at writers who want a distraction-free writing environment and are willing to pay for that experience.
First unveiled earlier this year, the Traveler is expected to ship in June of 2019. You can pre-order one now for
$269 and up through an Indieogo crowdfunding campaign. (Make that $309… The early bird $269 option sold out quickly)
The Traveler measures 12″ x 5″ x 1″ and weighs about 1.8 pounds. It gets up to 30 hours of battery life if you use it continuously, or up to 4 weeks if you use it for about 30 minutes a day.
Beneath the primary display, there’s a small secondary screen that you can use to show word counts or a timer, allowing you to set a goal and keep writing until you meet it, whether that’s to write for 30 minute straight, or to hit 2,000 words before you take a break.
You can use Markdown syntax while writing, and documents can be saved as Word or Final Draft files that you can sync to Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote.
The Traveler supports 30 different keyboard layouts and languages.
This is the second device from Astrohaus, a company that’s been selling another E Ink writing device called the Freewrite for a few years. But the Freewrite is a larger and heavier device that’s more like a typewriter than a laptop.
The Freewrite has Cherry MX key switches and lacks the clamshell design that would make it a truly portable device. But it runs similar software and provides evidence that Astrohaus does know how to bring this sort of gadget to market.
According to the Indiegogo campaign page, the full retail price of the Traveler will be $599, which makes the $269 pre-order price look pretty attractive. Astrohaus is also offering a 2-pack for $558 or a Traveler + Freewrite bundle for $728.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual retail price is a little lower — the company had previously indicated that the Traveler would be more affordable than the Freewrite, which currently is currently selling for $499 (marked down from a list price of $549).