Alphasmart Shows Off Updated Dana At NECC

The National Education Computing Conference (NECC) started yesterday, with educators and education administrators from all over the country converging on Seattle, WA. As a technology-related trade show, attendees of the NECC are going to see what the latest in technology has to offer for enhancing the learning experience in the classroom.

AlphaSmart debuted the latest version of the AlphaSmart Dana at the show. The Dana is a laptop alternative suitable for use both in and out of the classroom. TMO reviewed the current version of Dana recently, and found the Palm OS-based device to be a competent laptop surrogate in the classroom, and a useful extension of your Mac at home.

The new Dana sports built-in 802.11b and a an enhanced screen, along with other improvements. The AlphaSmart press release gives the details:

AlphaSmart, Inc., a leading provider of technology solutions for education, today previewed the next generation, wireless version of Dana? by AlphaSmart?. Dana is an affordable, two pound, laptop alternative powered by Palm OS? with a large screen and integrated keyboard. The newest model offers built-in Wi-Fi technology (802.11b), allowing Dana users to access e-mail and the Internet wirelessly and enhancing Danais position as a true laptop alternative.

In addition to introducing internal Wi-Fi, Dana Wireless offers many new features, ranging from enhanced display quality to additional fonts in AlphaWord. Dana Wireless will be available for back-to-school season and customers will have the option of purchasing Dana with or without wireless capabilities.

NECC attendees can visit the AlphaSmart booth (#3016) to experience the new wireless Dana.

New Dana Wireless Features

  • Wi-Fi support: Support for 802.11b provides wireless network support, including wireless network printing with PrintBoy Premier, when using an external 802.11b device (USB dongle).
  • SD/IO support (Bluetooth, and many other SD peripherals): Palmis Input/Output library for SD allows devices such as Bluetooth SD cards and other SD peripherals to work with Dana.
  • USB modem drivers: Additional support for several USB modems are now built into Dana.
  • Enhanced display: Dana now supports 16 display shades of grayscale.
  • Enhanced spell checker technology: AlphaWordis spell-checking engine, dictionaries and thesaurus have been improved to provide faster and more robust language capabilities.
  • PrintBoy Premier: A new version of PrintBoy, PrintBoy Premier, is now bundled into Dana. Upgrades include support for printing information from all of Danais built-in PIM applications.

Stop by the AlphaSmart Web site for more information about Dana and other AlphaSmart products.