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Old 01-03-2003, 03:00 PM   #1
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I'm doing a product review for the AlphaSmart keyboard a membership magazine. So far, I love this thing. It is an electronic keyboard/word processor weighing less than 2 pounds. It has enough memory to store 100 single-spaced pages over 8 separate files. You type. It autosaves. When you are done, you can email the documents, print them out on a printer or upload them to your computer.The AlphaSmart runs for 700 hours off 3 AA batteries. It was designed to used by grade schoolers and it is almost indestructible. One of my associates took a hammer to it as a trial. NO DISCERNABLE DAMAGE. The viewing screen, although small, is adequate for the average user. BASE PRICE $200.

The AlphaSmart is a fantastic product for someone who is basically concerned with word processing. There are no computer systems issues that you have to learn about. You just have to know how to type - and the manufacturer provides tutorials to help with that. The company will give you a 2 week trial period for the product if you fill out their evaluation forms and pay the shipping costs.

FWIW: Since the usual purposes for me taking off in my camper are to relax and clear my head so I can write, this product meets a need that my laptop doesn't. IT TRAVELS WELL and I don't have to be afraid of usage costs, loss of data stored on the PC, power surges or breakage. My laptop contains the database for my business operations. I get a queasy feeling everytime I put it in the camper. With the AlphaSmart I no longer have to consider having redundant PCs. If something happens to the AlphaSmart, it won't be nearly as devastating as losing the laptop.

Hope this info helps someone else.

PS: The above statements are my unsolicited opinions. I have no financial interest in this product whatsoever.

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Old 06-27-2003, 04:58 PM   #2
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Benita, does that Alphasmart have storage space? I guess I better just go look and see if it can handle my language data base. that could be so great if it does. Thanks for the idea.


I think 100 pages single spaced typed is the max. If you are working with a database that you are constantly accessing, the Alphasmart is probably not the thing for you. Think of it as an oversized floppy disk that you can key stuff onto.

In my case, I write and write and edit and write some more. I don't like to travel with my computer because I am paranoid about it getting damaged or my data files being corrupted by something alien in the cosmos that I would not have known that I should have foreseen. Although using up laptop battery power can be expensive and doesn't delight me, it is preferable to trusting a campground's unknown power source to be free of destructive peaks and surges. 700 hours usage on $1.50 worth of batteries suits me perfectly. 100 pages of single spaced text equals a novella manuscript. The Alphasmart is basically a glorified keyboard and word processor. It isn't a big computing brain.
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