announced Monday that it is shipping an enhanced version of its Dana laptop device. The new version sports enhanced features and a lower price than its predecessor.
Dana is a lightweight laptop computer that features a full-sized keyboard, but instead of Mac OS X or Windows, it’s powered by Palm OS. It’s positioned as a competitor to the iBook and other laptop computers positioned at educational institutions.
Dana sports a USB interface for easy data transfer to a Mac or PC, as well as SD expansion slots and a variety of built-in applications like word processing and more.
The enhanced Dana now features expanded memory, from 4MB ROM/8MB RAM to 8MB ROM/16MB RAM; PrintBoy Premium, a new version of the printing application from Bachmann Software; SDIO support, to allow Bluetooth SD cards and other SD peripherals to work; an enhanced display with 16 greyscale shades; improved spell-checking in AlphaWord, the included word processor; and additional fonts in ROM.
Software-related features are available to original Dana owners in the form of DanaUpdate v1.2, a software update that can be ordered from AlphaSmart for US$10.
Although Dana is not as full-featured as a full-fledged notebook computer — lacking an optical drive or color screen, for example — the device features a lower price, longer battery life and better durability thanks to its lack of moving parts. At the NECC conference this past June, AlphaSmart announced a
version to help appeal to classrooms looking for a wireless networking solution.
The new and improved Dana is available directly from AlphaSmart for US$379 plus shipping ($20 less than the original). Users interested in the update can call 888.274.0680 for details.