I have had an Alphasmart 3000 for many years, and although it is still trooping gamely on, it has developed signs of age (such as keys that stick). I recently purchased the Neo 2, which succeeded the Neo which succeeded the 3K. The Neo 2 does more than the 3K, but retains the lovely simplicity of the original, and it was only $119.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, the 3K/Neos are small, simple word processors. Roughly laptop size, they are essentially a full size keyboard with a small screen, meant only for typing text. Here’s the list of the good stuff:

  • Light weight. It weighs less than 2 lbs. I can lift it, complete with the nylon case, on my pinkie finger.
  • Durable. They developed this thing for classrooms full of kids.
  • No distractions. It’s not a laptop – there are no games, no internet connection, nothing but the keyboard and text. When I sit down to write with my Neo, all I do is write.
  • No power worries. The Neo runs on AA batteries for a declared 700 hours. I believe that number is correct, as all the years I had the 3K, I only changed the battery once.

I have already been using the 3K to work on the planning of my Nano novel, and now the Neo will take over.