AlphaSmart Inc. on Tuesday announced that it’s shipping its Dana Wireless. The mobile computing device is aimed at schools and users who want a full-sized keyboard but don’t want the bulk and complexity involved in a full-blown laptop computer.
Like the original Dana, the two-pound Dana Wireless uses Palm OS and can support input through a stylus, but it features a full-sized keyboard design to allow users to input text and numbers in a more laptop-like way. It features a greyscale display that’s about three and a half times wider than a regular Palm PDA. The new Dana Wireless adds the capability to communicate over a wireless 802.11b network — the same standard Apple supports with its AirPort wireless networking products.
First announced at NECC this past June, Dana Wireless is aimed at academic institutions looking for a lower-priced alternative to a laptop computer, but it’s also positioned at healthcare professionals, users in energy, social service, insurance and other fields as well.
Dana Wireless includes Dataviz’s Documents To Go Professional, which enables the device to work with Microsoft Office documents. It also includes AlphaSmart’s own “Internet Solutions Pack,” which bundles together DanaWeb browser, Mark Space’s Mail e-mail client, and a three-month trial subscription to VeriChat, an instant messaging client.
Dana Wireless also includes the same expansion capabilities as the original Dana — two Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard expansion slots, an InfraRed port and a USB interface, so it can be synchronized to a Mac or PC using Palm Desktop software (included).
Dana Wireless is now available for US$429, and can be purchased from
AlphaSmart’s Web site.