AlphaSmart Inc. announced on Monday the introduction of
Neo, the successor to the company’s AlphaSmart 3000 stand-alone word processor designed for use in schools. Neo weighs two pounds and can run for more than 700 hours on three AA batteries, with 2MB of software storage and 512KB of data storage, which can hold hundreds of pages of single-spaced text. It also features a 50 percent larger screen than its predecessor, with support for variable font sizes, an infrared port for beaming documents between devices and a USB cable for downloading files to a Mac.
Neo’s operating system software runs on SmartApplets, compact programs that drive the AlphaWord Plus word processing application and enable teachers to load quizzes, outlines and other files on the device. AlphaWord Plus includes a spellchecker, thesaurus, Spanish-to-English translation and other tools, as well as the ability to keep up to eight files open concurrently.
Neo is available now for US$249, with educational pricing starting at $229. A set of 30 Neo devices for the classroom is $7,950, and education customers who place orders by Sept. 30 receive a free copy of Beamer SmartApplet, software that enables beaming files between Neo devices or to Palm handhelds.