Neo2, from AlphaSmart, is a useful homeschool product. The Neo2 is a portable, lightweight writing/word processing computer similar to a laptop--but less expensive and with a smaller screen. The screen is a 5.75 x 1.5-inch monochrome LCD. This product would be a great addition to any writer's life.
The Neo2 is equipped with eight open files. You don't create documents in the same manner as you would with something like Microsoft Word. You use the files for any type of writing assignment and then save them to the Neo2. With the USB cord that comes with the Neo2, you can transfer them to your desktop using the AlphaSmart Manager. In addition to uploading files to your computer, AlphaSmart Manager allows you to download tests and lessons for students or yourself, access email, and download educational AlphaQuizes (through your own Internet connection). You can also send SmartApplets and/or things you have made on the computer to the Neo2. SmartApplets are programs installed on your Neo2. Some of these Applets that come installed on Neo2 are as follows:
- AlphaWord Plus - what you use when writing.
- Control Panel - where you manage security, change keyboard settings and fonts, check your battery status, and a few other things.
- AlphaQuiz - you can download quizzes from AlphaSmart.com and answer then on your Neo2.
- Beamer - you can access things on your computer using Beamer. You need to have a built-in IR transceiver, and with it an IR pod attached. This feature allows you to send and receive files without the use of the USB cord.
- Calculator - self-explanatory.
- Keywords - for learning or teaching keyboarding
You can install several Applets from the AlphaSmart Manager to enhance your writing capabilities. These include Spanish Thesaurus, different fonts, and wireless capability. You also have the ability to password protect your writing.
The Neo2 is lightweight and very easy for your child to use. It offers a built-in keyboarding and typing tutor to improve your child's typing ability and accuracy. There is no waiting for the computer while brother or sister finishes their work. As long as you have three AA batteries, you can operate it anywhere. This makes for wonderful creativity underneath the trees in the backyard!