Remember the AlphaSmart?

Before everyone was carrying around lightweight laptops and netbooks that make word processing on the go super easy, but after they heyday of the typewriter, some devices tried to bridge the gap between the two. One of the most memorable and would you believe still in use in some areas was the AlphaSmart. Originally released in 1993, and then only compatible with the Apple Macintosh, the AlphaSmart was a wordprocessing device that allowed you to work on the go via a pretty long lasting battery and some creative tech. Then when you were ready to take your document to the next step, you just plugged it into your computer. A few iterations would follow after the initial release allowing for compatibility with the PC, USB interface, Palm OS and more standalone functionality.

Those who used the early model of AlphaSmart might be surprised to learn that the device lives on in the form of the NEO and NEO2. Still this is always the AlphaSmart I will remember.

Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t respect what people are doing with the NEO…


Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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3 thoughts on “Remember the AlphaSmart?

  1. Mike A says:

    Not so surprising, Retro Justin, considering it was developed by ex-Apple engineers!

    I have an Alphasmart 3000 and a Neo, both acquired cheaply on ebay. The latter is in regular service for mobile writing – for simple, text-only, distraction-free writing, it’s still the perfect tool for the job!

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