NECC: AlphaSmart Dana goes WiFi

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AlphaSmart Inc. on Monday debuted a wireless version of its Palm OS-based laptop alternative, the Dana. The new model features built-in WiFi connectivity.

The Dana runs Palm OS and weighs less than two pounds, and can transfer data to a Mac through a USB connection. It sports a full-sized keyboard and costs significantly less than Mac or PC laptops. Because of its small size and rugged architecture AlphaSmart has positioned the Dana as an alternative to full-blown laptop computers particularly for education markets and some corporate applications.

The new Dana Wireless supports IEEE 802.11b, the same networking standard used by Apple's AirPort equipment. The company plans to have them available for back-to-school purchases with and without WiFi connectivity.

Dana Wireless also features added support for several USB modems; a new display with 16 shade greyscale support; enhanced spell-checking; and a new version of PrintBoy called PrintBoy Premier, which offers enhanced printing capabilities.

Previous models of AlphaSmart's technology featured character-based LCD displays and primarily worked by emulating the keyboard on the Mac or PC. Users worked locally on their AlphaSmart then transferred the contents of the device's memory into the word processor of their choice by using a supplied cable. The Dana was the first AlphaSmart product that worked using Palm OS instead.

Pricing for the new Dana Wireless was not available as MacCentral posted this article.

This story, "NECC: AlphaSmart Dana goes WiFi" was originally published by PCWorld.

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