Christmas Gifts #3: AlphaSmart NEO 2

In this world of laptops and tablet computers, it may seem off for me to be recommending an AlphaSmart as a great Christmas gift, but hear me out. Actually, the AlphaSmart is now marketed as the NEO.

I've had an AlphaSmart for about 10 years. It runs on 2 AA batteries that seem to last forever. It's extremely lightweight. I can carry it in my purse. It's rugged. I can throw it around without fearing it will shatter or get its electronic brain messed up. When I turn it on, it opens to the file I last worked on. When I shut it down, I don't have to save or jump through any hoops. Push the button, and it's on. Push the button, and it's off.Plug the cable into my computer, and it empties itself into whichever program I opened to receive the text.

It's a no-frills, text machine that allows you to empty your brain without backtracking to edit. It is absolutely ideal for fast, rough-draft copy.

AlphaSmart Current Incarnation

Now this fine little machine is called the NEO 2. It's perfect for all writing needs, and it's a low-cost,  go-anywhere writing tool.

At only $169 from the NEO site -- check Amazon, etc. for bargain prices. I've seen them as low as $15.00 on eBay -- the NEO connects directly to your PC, Mac, or compatible USB printer. It has an incredible 700 hours of battery life, using 3 AA batteries, or get the NEO 2 Rechargeable that gives up to 200 hours of use between charges. Both versions contain a backup lithium battery to keep data secure.

You can get options too if you want them. Now they have a discount on the site so check it out.

Takeaway Truth

A lot of writers have trouble jusst writing. They like to tinker with the words as they go along. That slows the process tremendously. Using an AlphaSmart NEO will train you to write fast and write prolifically. Then you can edit away once you've got the words done and transferred to your computer.


  1. Joan,

    You are so right about emptying the brain. Sometimes that is not possible at your desk. I write any and everywhere. I'll jot something down in my kitchen and then later have to take the paper to my computer and type it in there. People with NEOs are lucky.

  2. Hey, Shirley. I just wish I could get my husband to use one. He has all these slips of paper everywhere with notes on them. *LOL*

  3. If he did he would love it.

    I had one, but my son took it when he went to college and I've yet to see it again.