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The Freewrite Traveler is a retro word processor that’s fatally ahead of its time

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Gadget crowdfunding is great for fulfilling niche demands. Most people, for instance, would never buy a $599 Wi-Fi-enabled typewriter. But in 2016, a Detroit-based startup called Astrohaus proved that not only could such a thing exist, but it could be a delightful and strangely satisfying device. Now, Astrohaus is trying to capture the same experience in a smaller and more convenient package — but unfortunately, its hardware can’t back that promise up.

Astrohaus is the creator of the Freewrite, a chunky word processor with a modern mechanical keyboard, wireless syncing options, and an E Ink screen. Today, the company starts shipping the Freewrite Traveler, a lighter laptop-like alternative. The Traveler is temporarily discounted to $429,...

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