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Portable Notetakers

When selecting keyboards, portability is often an essential feature for students with disabilities. When notes need to be typed in the classroom, a portable notetaker has several advantages. It can work as a note-taker when battery-powered and then connect to a computer to download the information. It can also serve as a keyboard to input information directly to a computer. Because these devices are compact and lightweight, students can use them anywhere and anytime.


AlphaSmart 3000 Keyboard (AlphaSmart, Inc)
AlphaSmart 3000 KeyboardThis portable word processor has a 4 line LCD screen and full-size keyboard. One student or an entire classroom of students can write, take notes, practice keyboarding, and then easily transfer the materials to a computer for formatting and editing. It includes a spellchecker and can interface directly with a printer. The 3000 model provides for the use of applets to further extend its capabilities. (Mac, PC)

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DreamWriter 500 (Brainium Technologies)
DreamWriter 400This dedicated word processor includes full formatting capability and direct printing. Designed as a beginner keyboard, it features a simplified keyboard and large font display with an icon based menu. The DreamWriter® I.T. allows students of all ages to send and receive e-mail, navigate the Web and run specially developed curriculum software.

Laser PC6 (Perfect Solutions)
This notetaker uses an infrared receiver to send files to a computer with one keystroke and without connecting any cables. 4lines of text can be seen at one time. The PC6 also includes Word Predict, a Spell Checker, Typing Tutor, Homework Calendar, Spreadsheet, 2 Databases and Calculator. A text-to -speech add-on is also available.

Digital NotebookDigital Notebook (Perfect Solutions)
This full color affordable laptop provides complete word processing features including a full range of fonts, Spell Checker, Thesaurus, graphics capabilities, among others.


CalcuScribeCalcuScribe (QWERTY)
This notetaker/keyboard offers both 8 and 16 pt. fonts. Information can be sent to a computer or "beamed" (with infra-red connection) to other CalcuScribes, computers or printers. Includes ability to copy/paste text and spellcheck. Also includes a MathWiz for typing math expressions (algebra and trig.) or for simple arithmetic.

HINT: Keyboard Connectors
To use any of the above (Macintosh-version) notetakers that do not have an USB (Universal Serial Bus) connector, you will need an adapter when connecting them to an iMac computer. Griffin Technology has developed an adapter and driver software to address this problem. We have found the least expensive ADB to USB adapter at AlphaSmart ($20.00) under product accessories. The drivers can be downloaded through the Griffin website.


dyslexic.com's Portable Word Processors
This UK article compares 3 popular notetakers.

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