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In need of a good, portable word processing device

by Pesmerga515 / February 18, 2012 10:02 AM PST

Looking for a portable word processor (basic Word/Open Office level) and have never owned a netbook or tablet. The physical keyboard of the netbook seems like it would give it an advantage, but portability, resolution and price are factors to consider as well.

Again, I want to stress that this device will be used ONLY for word processing. Other features like games, web-browsing, etc. are irrelevant and would potentially distract me from my writing anyways. I'd love to pick up something in the neighborhood of $100, but $200 is the very most that I'd care to go.

Can anyone recommend a specific model or two?
Thanks in advance.

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All Answers

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Bah. Netbook?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2012 11:40 AM PST

Since you want it only for word processing and the price at 100 to 200 bucks you are forced into a machine that I can't stand to use for very long.

Sorry, but at this price point there is nothing in the market for you.

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Seriously Bob - can't you do better than that?
by griz_fan / December 18, 2015 6:41 PM PST
In reply to: Bah. Netbook?

Chromebook for the win! Seriously Bob - think outside your own world here. A Chromebook may not work for your needs, but for the OP, it is a PERFECT SOLUTION. My son is a high school junior and loves his Chromebook. He has his custom Windows game rig for fun, and his Chromebook for school work. He's become a Google Docs expert, and does all of his research and paper writing in Google Docs. Google Docs has extensive plug-ins and add-ons that really enhance the experience. Well worth a look.

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Suggestions for portable word processing device
by Saffron345 / April 3, 2012 10:02 AM PDT

I understand why you want such a device. I really wanted something like this in college, and even after college I spent years looking for a cheap, portable, distraction-free word processor with a long battery life. PDAs, tablets, and smartphones had too many features and weren't designed with serious writing in mind. (I wanted a full-sized keyboard.)

I bought a portable keyboard called the QuickPad, which offered basic text-only word processing and simple spreadsheet data entry. I think the company may have gone out of business. I still use the QuickPad sometimes, but ultimately the low price of netbooks won me over, and I now do most of my writing on a netbook with a distraction-free word processing program. If you want to go this route, try installing Q10 ( or FocusWriter (

If you still want a portable, dedicated word processing device, try the AlphaSmart Neo ( at ~$160. A pricier option, with more compatibility with other common office suites, is the Dana (also from AlphaSmart and available at the same site), at $350.

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Dedicated Word Processor
by pberger / October 24, 2014 7:39 AM PDT

In the '80's U used a Brother Power Book extensively. It had a 14 line screen, mono, no hard drive, and battery powered. It had a dedicated word processor, address book, and spreadsheet, all compatible with Brother Word Processors of the day. It had a 25 pin Centronics parallel printer port, so I could hook it up to my dot matrix printer whenever I needed a hard copy. It saved files on a 2.5" floppy, which I would often mail to associates to print out a large spreadsheet.

It was the size of a small laptop or large netbook today, and weighed 4 lbs.

The last model was NB60 Geobook. I had a PN-4400. With the backlight turned off, it would run approximately 8 hours. With the back light, it would operate roughly 2.5 hours.

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Get a used Alphasmart Neo or a brand new Forte Portable
by david heilker / October 21, 2015 7:30 AM PDT

They both offer distraction free writing and a host of other features that exclusively revolve around word processing. The Alphasmart is like <$50 and a Forte is $179 brand new.

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Well A Chromebook
by orlbuckeye / October 21, 2015 11:22 AM PDT

using Goole Docs instead of Worf might meet your price range. You but a Windows machine Open Office would be free but their is a non-free license involved with Word.

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I have a dedicated Word Processor - just what you want!
by joanhallhovey / November 28, 2015 7:33 PM PST

I phoned a computer shop and told the man what I wanted - He had a Dell Laptop and I asked him to remove everything except Word, which he did. I love it. No internet, no email. I now have a dedicated Word Processor. As a novelist, it`s perfect for me, no distractions. Cost me $200. and worth every penny. A flashdrive is all I needed so that I could upload my work to my computer. The battery last over 5 hours, so I can also take it to the café if I like. Though I haven`t yet. Let me know how you make out.

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