The Perfect Tool for the Writer on the Go: Alphasmart Portable Keyboard

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11 Responses

  1. Jake says:

    I bought my 3000 a few months ago, and I’ve loved every minute of use. Of course, I’m still on the same set of batteries. I thoroughly enjoy bringing it to the park, class, or wherever I need to write. In these days when wifi is readily available, this is my savior from distractions. Thanks for giving the AS the praise it deserves.

  2. Dustin says:

    Jake: I bought mine in a thrift store about a year ago. There were batteries in it, who knows how old. I haven’t changed them yet. I tend to use my Alphasmart in spurts, where I’ll use it a lot for a few weeks or so and let is sit for the next few weeks (since I’m not always writing on the go).

    Beats the heck out of the 2 hours I get on my laptop (if I select a darker screen and low-CPU speed)!

  3. Chet says:

    Dustin – the AlphaSmart machines have a coin size back-up battery inside the casing. These are supposed to last about 10 years, and are what keep the data safe when you need to change the 3 AA batteries and the machine is without power for a bit.

    Since you bought your AS3K in a thrift store, and the AS3K machine is an old AS model, you may want to consider replacing the coin battery as you don’t know how many more years the current one has.

    There is an AlphaSmart grooup on Flickr – please come by and say hello!

  4. Dustin says:

    Thanks, Chet — that’s good to know. Is that battery easy to change (i.e. unscrew the case, open it, and the battery is accessible)?

    I’ve read through the Alphasmart group’s postings quite a few times — and the image in this post is a CC-licensed image from the group (if I’m remembering right). I’m not very active with flickr, though — I’m not even sure I remember my login…

  5. Chet says:


    Here’s an article that mentions the back-up battery:

    I’ve posted a question on the Flickr group about how to change this battery.

  6. Dustin says:

    Chet: The plus side is it will be *hundreds* of use hours before I have to worry about the memory not holding while I change the batteries!

  7. Chet says:

    Yes, only if you know how old is the machine you bought a year ago. The back-up battery is supposed to last 10 years.

  8. Kudos to you for figuring out that not every electronic tool has to be a hammerscissorflashspatulabrush! I just got my Alphasmart 2000 off the bay, and I’ve got to say that I’m loving it. I found the difference between it and the 3000 to not be worth the $30 difference in price, so I just went for the older, cheaper model. It’s startling lack of features are just thing to help me avoid the distraction doldrums.

  9. [..] A bit unrelated, but I rather liked this site post [..]

  10. maxson stegink says:

    my alphasmart died for 2 days, but i charged it up, and it is ok now. is this a possible problem of the backup??

  11. Robert says:

    maxson stegink: You said that you charged up your alphasmart? Does it use a rechargeable battery instead of AA batteries? I know I read somewhere (on an Amazon review) that if you’ve purchased one of the older models that are recharged, the battery might be old as well and have problems with storing power. Maybe it might be that.