Say bonjour to the NEO. We welcomed it to our kitchen table this week and so far it's proving compatible with my child's needs.
The most immediate appealing aspects of the NEO are it's very light in weight compared to a laptop, (like carrying a light book) and the keyboard is far more "child friendly". The cost is far more affordable than a regular laptop. For the complete rundown on the cost, dimensions etc go to http://www.alphasmart.com/products/neo.html
I will be documenting our experience with the NEO. So far I've noticed it's very straightforward to use and I like how clean the font is when its printed. It's simple to hook up to the printer, just plug it in. At least that's how it worked here.
I think this keyboard could prove a useful and important aide to any child with output issues. Another advantage is that there is nothing else to distract the child such as internet access or a plethora of colours and logos. The screen displays a paragraph of text at a time and I think this lack of "distraction" means it could be useful for helping children stay on the task. The NEO could remain on the desk and the child can completely interact with peers and the classroom. A laptop screen creates more of a barrier potentially. This feels no different than having a big exercise book on the desk.