I got a question about my AlphaSmart 2000 the other day from a writer who owned “the older AlphaSmart Pro…” He didn’t like the action of the keys (he had to “really pound on them and half the time you have to hit them twice”) or that “every time you touch the shift key it automatically locks.”
The keys on the 2000 have a light touch (My wife says the 2000’s keyboard feels much like any other desktop keyboard) and there is a Caps Lock Key (which I manage to hit almost every time I mean to use the shift key) rather than some odd double-tap on the shift key.
My problems with the 2000 were transferring files and the lack of copy/cut/paste features. Even though the 2000 has two ports for computer interfacing (Mac and PC), I had trouble getting anything that I’d written to download to a computer. Out of the seven (Mac and PC) computers we had, I found one–my wife’s computer–that worked with it. Now, she uses it for taking notes at meetings. On the plus side, you can buy the 2000 for a tens of dollars on eBay.
I prefer the Dana. Which I wrote about here.
While the Dana and the Neo are more expensive and harder to find (at least on eBay), for my money, they are the better bet. AlphaSmart claims 700 hours for the Neo with three AA batteries and 24 hours for my Dana, (though it lasts days since I don’t use it 24 hours straight with the backlight on). If the Dana’s rechargeable battery gives out, three AAs will also power it. I also like AlphaWord; it’s is a decent word-processor and the interface is simple. Word files can be transferred to and fro at Rich Text Files (.rtf).