At left is the NEO by the AlphaSmart Company. I’ve been researching this little device after reading about it in a writing magazine at my local bookstore cafe. The NEO is a word processor, plain and simple. A typewriter without paper. You can take it with you anywhere (no wi-fi needed) and it is ready to use the moment you turn it on (no long boot waits like a laptop). It saves files just like a computer and downloads them into your favorite word processor via a USB cable that comes with the machine. There are two models of the NEO, the first is one that runs off of 3-AA batteries. The reviews I’m reading claim that the battery powered model will run close to 700 hours on one set without changing. That means that you could write nearly two hours every day on the NEO and need to change the batteries ONE TIME. Pretty impressive. There is a rechargeable model for more money but I think I will pass on it given the good reports I’m reading about the battery powered model. It appears to be the more popular of the two models.
The NEO is in use in schools as a tool to focus children on writing. Face it. When you are a computer, the temptation is too great to log in to check email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites. Don’t get me wrong, it will not replace my laptop. There’s a time for that also but many times, I’m caught in places where I can’t get on line and just want to work on my sermon, a bible study, or perhaps even a blog post! This little device works anywhere and is compact enough to work on while you are on a plane (try to that with a laptop in coach class!) Many authors now sing its praises as a tough as nails machine that works great. For a little more than $200 it comes with a case to carry it with you and all the accessories needed to mesh it with your computer(s). It’s text window is adjustable from 2 to 6 lines for those of us with less than perfect eyesight. I’ve been busy clearing out more junk from my house and selling it on-line to save up the money I need for this classy little device. Once I have it and it’s up and running, I’ll fill you in on my success with it.