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The advent of the affordable PC, particularly the laptop, has made mobility and telecommuting a reality and convenience for many of us. Typical laptops are a must for running software that allow us to be productive. However, for people who make a living writing, the laptop no longer needs to be turned on and burning electricity. AlphaSmart has created the NEO, which is a line of small, lightweight, and very affordable laptops that function as a word processor.
AlphaSmart’s NEO can easily fit in a purse or handbag, and weighs a mere two pounds. This little laptop takes the necessity out of lugging a larger laptop that will only be used for word processing. Clearly, if there is online research that needs done, image editing, or uploading, a writer will have to return to his or her regular laptop or PC to take care of these tasks.
The NEO is very easy to operate, and sending files to a word processing program such as Microsoft Word is very simple. This can be done via USB or Infrared technology. Of course a laptop or PC would have to have the infrared function, so it is likely that many people utilize the USB wire. Once plugged in and turned on, the user can quickly transfer files by opening a word processing program on the laptop (or PC), and the NEO will type out the verbiage onto the word processor screen. From there writers can edit and save files as usual.
For even greater convenience, the NEO has a print function which can be utilized by simply connecting the NEO to a printer using a USB cable, and then pressing the “Print" button on the keyboard. NEO also comes with a pre-loaded thesaurus and spell check, as well as a calculator.
Though many writers use this little word processing machine, it is likely best know for it's use in educational settings, making the lives of students easier by providing a convenient and simple way to write, take quizzes, and take assessments.
The AlphaSmart NEO is definitely worth the investment. It can and will help increase productivity of writers who are not comfortable sitting at a desk but want mobility. Sometimes a change of view is all it takes to inspire a writer's thoughts and the NEO has the ability to be very mobile. It runs on 3 AA batteries, therefore no cords are required.
There are not very many gadgets geared toward writers, but AplhaSmart is changing this trend, and has added the NEO 2 as well as the DANA and DANA wireless, which resemble the original NEO, but have enhanced features. If anything, this is a great way to practice typing, and to spill your thoughts in just about any setting.