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Hardware: no longer luxuries: you don't have to agree with every choice made in this section, but if your district isn't using some version of all the tools mentioned here--including laptops, high-tech projectors and digital cameras--you are shortchanging your students. (The Top 100).


DANA LAPTOP, $399 (bulk pricing available)

Dana is a laptop alternative device. It features Palm OS 4.1, and all Palm applications are compatible with Dana. It includes a full-size keyboard and a screen 3.5 times wider than the typical handheld. Users can type on the keyboard or write with a stylus directly onto the screen.

The device can print directly to a USB or IrDA-enabled printer. File exchange between many PC applications is also possible. The unit, which weighs two pounds, is about 12 inches wide, nine inches deep and one inch high. Dana comes with eight megabytes of memory and a CD-ROM with Palm software optimized for Dana's wide screen.



Five Curriculum Mobile Labs are available from Apple in K-12 reading, math and science. Each mobile lab features the iBook Mobile Wireless Lab, which includes curriculum programs and wireless networked iBooks running Mac OS X to meet standards.

Available are: Early Literacy Curriculum Mobile Lab (Pre-K); Language Curriculum Mobile Lab (K-Adult); Math Curriculum Mobile Lab (K-6 and 6-12); and Science Curriculum Mobile Lab (6-12). The labs include curriculum software from Riverdeep, Fairfield Language Technologies, Future's Channel, Vernier, Bodelin and Wolfram Research.


XSERVE, $2,499 and up

With the new Xserve, a 1U rack-mount server designed to complement Apple's UNIX-based Mac OS X software, hardware and software monitoring can be done from a desktop.

Apple's first rack-mounted server is the first 1U server to use DDR SDRAM memory with up to 2GB capacity.

Xserve has the capability to host Internet sites, streaming media and other multimedia applications. The server software is compatible with both Windows and Mac hardware.


SL703S PROJECTOR, $1,499

With a footprint smaller than a piece of paper, this projector boasts a contrast ratio of 600:1, deep color, sharp detail and crisp picture quality. Weighing only 3.4 lbs., the model has a wide angle lens that allows for a larger picture from a shorter distance, and has an auto-key button that allows users to automatically adjust an image.


LV-5200 LCD PROJECTOR, $2,499

This portable LCD projector features 1.5X motorized zoom, complete connectivity and quiet operation. Its short-throw distance allows for 100-projections at 10.4 feet, providing large-screen imagery in classrooms and other small rooms. The 1700 ANSI lumens projector also has a DVI-I terminal and analog input/output port that links to laptops, DVD players, VCRs, video game consoles and external monitors. It can present content created on Canon DV camcorders and digital cameras. A wireless remote is included.



With its four-megapixel image quality and high-end features, the PowerShot G3 digital camera is designed to look, handle and operate like a traditional camera.

The camera produces photo-realistic prints with its fast 4X optical and 3.6X digital zoom lens. This is perfect for group shots or tightly framed portraits. The G3's built-in flash provides a range of 0.7-4.5m and 0.7-3.6m.


CLASSPAD 300, $249

This calculator features a collection of applications, such as 3D Graph, Geometry and eActivity. The tool has a 160 x 240-dot LCCD touch screen with stylus-based operation, and it enables input of fractions, differentials, integrals and lim calculations. It supports drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste operations. Screen shots can be captured, combined into a presentation and played back in a slide show format. The calculator also includes auto-play, manual-play and page-editing functions.


DIMENSION 4550 SERIES, $699 and up

Dell's Dimension 4550 series is positioned between the budget 2300 and performance 8250 Dimension lines. But unlike the 2300 line, the 4550 has an AGP slot for better graphics. It uses DDR SDRAM rather than the faster and more costly RDRAM found on the 8250. Prices range from less than $1,000 to more than $3,000. The mid-range model includes a 2.66GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of memory, a 120GB hard drive, a GeForce4 Ti 4200 card, and a sharp 15-inch LCD.

Electronics For Imaging

EBEAM SYSTEM 3, $699-$749

The eBeam system captures classroom notes and diagrams as they are created on whiteboards and broadcasts them over the Internet or district intranet in real time. Information can be viewed, saved, edited, shared and printed using a PC or Mac. The eBeam device, at only five ounces, is portable and Web-enabled.

ELM0 Manufacturing Corp.

EV-200 DOCUMENT CAMERA, under $900

The EV-200 is a full featured, notebook-style document camera that can be folded into a package measuring 2.3"x11.1"x6.3".

When it is opened, the camera and column snap into position ready to operate. The camera can scan a large 14.3"x10.7" viewing area, and with an adjustable arm, can also scan sizes down to 7"x5.3".



The Stylus Photo 2200 desktop printer can produce archival-quality images at fast speeds with a larger color gamut than the previous model, the Stylus Photo 2000P.

The printable area size is 13"x44", with edge-to-edge borderless printing on roll paper as another option. A roll paper holder, an automatic cutter and a photo catcher bin are included.



The Gateway 200 notebook computer weighs three pounds and is 0.94 inches thick. The computer comes with standard integrated wireless connectivity and a 20GB hard drive. The sliced multimedia dock gives the notebook the ability to be two computers in one.

Features include a Mobile Intel Pentium III Low-Volt Processor-M 933 MHz; a 12.1-inch XGA TFT active matrix display; 256MB of SDRAM, expandable to 384MB; and optional high-capacity battery.



HP's Designjet 500 Series printers are a good choice for districts that want an affordable system to print large-scale banners.

The HP Designjet 500PS printer features: color images at 43 feet per hour, line drawings in 90 seconds, brilliant colors regardless of ink levels or printhead usage and up to 1200 dpi resolution. Built-in smart chips identify low ink levels and the Zoomsmart scaling technology allows easy printing from any Microsoft Windows application.



With a 16-inch monitor, this notebook features up to a 2.4 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 processor and M650 4X AGP graphics controller with 32 MB or 64 MB of shared video memory. An IEEE-1394 digital video port and four USB 2.0 ports are included. The notebook's weight is slightly more than eight pounds.


NETVISTA A SERIES, $1,175 and up

The highly configurable NetVista A series offers basic workstations and high-end PCs.

Within its compact shape, the NetVista A series includes numerous multimedia options, such as 3D graphics cards and three-piece speaker systems. Preconfigured models range from a basic Celeron system to a loaded Pentium 4 setup. This series features six USB 2.0 ports, two of which are front accessible, and is well equipped for typical use in both classroom and lab environments.


LP240, $1,299

Users can plug this versatile projector into a computer, VCR, DVD or digital camera and instantly project images in the classroom. Educators can use the 5.78 lbs. machine to project Web sites, play a movie clip, or show a PowerPoint presentation. Features include: 1000 max ANSI lumens of brightness, data compatibility with SXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA, 1152 and Macintosh display, ProjectorManager software for easy operation from a computer; the ability to carry it from room to room, put it on a cart, or mount it on the ceiling; the ability to view a computer monitor even when the projector is off; and the ability to have images fit the screen perfectly.



This JVC camcorder produces superior output, boasts a huge feature set, and ships with a generous bundle of video- and image-editing software.

Among the camcorder's most notable features are 29 digital effects and transitions, the ability to record 1,024x768 still images, a pop-up internal flash, and a panorama mode. Other features include a wind filter that reduces noise, a dedicated video-printer output port, and an iris lock option for unstable lighting conditions. It also stores still images on either tape or a MultiMediaCard, and can record video and still images at the same time.



The Professor is a new microscope designed for elementary school students as a transition to a full-featured microscope. Shock-resistant construction and non-removable parts are kid-friendly features. It has 40x, 100x and 200x magnification with a 10x eyepiece and glass optics. A set of experiments is included.


LOGITECH IO PEN, starter kit $199

Teachers and administrators can use this personal digital pen to share, store, organize and retrieve their handwritten notes. An optical sensor embedded in the pen captures handwritten images on special paper and stores up to 40 pages in memory. Captured information can be transferred to a PC by syncing the pen via a USB cradle, and then notes can be exported to common software applications.

Olympus America


The MIC-D digital microscope uses a CMOS digital camera and a USB connection to the computer to produce live, full-color images for viewing on a monitor. Its inverted design, with a lens that looks up at the stage rather than down on the specimen, allows large objects and dishes of water to be observed with clarity. Instead of fixed lenses, the microscope has a master lens that zooms at a 12:1 ratio. This allows the magnification to be changed without moving the sample in the microscope.


ZIRE, $99

Palm Zire is the lightest weight Palm handheld offered--just 3.8 ounces. It boasts a removable flip lid to protect the 160x160 monochrome display screen.

Included in the package are the rechargeable handheld, desktop software for the PC or Macintosh, and cables. Zire features Palm's personal information management applications that allow students to keep track of class projects, tests and extracurricular activities. Learners can share files or applications wirelessly--beamed via infrared--with their teacher's or classmates' handhelds.



The Promethean ACTIVboard is an electronic whiteboard that features electromagnetic technology that produces a low-glare surface. The 75" diagonal board can be wall mounted or used on a rolling stand.

It uses a cordless battery-free pen that incorporates tipswitch and sideswitch for full functionality with a mouse.

Both pictures and video can be saved into a flipchart allowing users to pause and annotate over an image.

Sharp Electronics


Sharp's 5.8 lb. PG-M25X projector is a wireless projector boasting 1900 ANSI Lumens brightness, an exclusive new image compression algorithm and IEEE 802.11b wireless LAN technology. It permits real-time data transmission over a wireless network.

If customers are currently using a PG-M25X model that does not have this feature, Sharp will install it free.

The projector is backed by a three-year parts and labor limited warranty, including two years of Sharp's "ER" Service, a 24-hour turnaround express repair program.

Smart Technologies

SMART BOARD 580, $1,999

The SMART Board interactive whiteboard enables teachers to access and control computer applications from the large, touch-sensitive surface. The 580 is the company's largest front-projection model, featuring an active surface measuring 72 inches diagonally. When used with a computer and data projector, teachers can easily incorporate multimedia material, such as CD-ROMs or the Internet, into curriculum and control it from the interactive whiteboard. Students and teachers can also write over any application and save their notes to a computer file for future reference and distribution.



The PCSDS150 is a wireless document stand that scans, enlarges and transmits images of diagrams or documents.

The infrared wireless document stand offers three functionalities in one device: a traditional document stand; a second camera for use with any video-conferencing system, and a built-in scan converter for PC connectivity.

The camera features: 18x Zoom Camera, auto manual focus, wireless IR transmission to the Sony Videoconference system, built-in scan converter, and RGB input.

Texas Instruments


TI has a full-sized QWERTY keyboard for the TI-83 Plus, TI-83 Plus Silver, TI-89, TI-92 and Voyage 200 handhelds. The keyboard's NoteFolio software allows students to type notes directly to their handhelds. Students can copy or cut-and-paste, change fonts, save notes under different file names, and transfer and convert files from the handheld to a PC. The included cradle allows keyboards to be stacked.

Virtual Ink

MIMIO XI, $799

Mimio Xi allows educators to capture, edit and share whiteboard information electronically. With an entirely new form factor, flash memory and a battery power option for immediate use anywhere, mimio Xi is able to capture data with or without a PC in the room.

Mimio Xi is a modular, stand-alone appliance that is just nine inches long when folded, with enough on-board memory to record up to 10 hours of notes. It also features a flexible interface to support future data communications and storage technologies.

Two kits are offered--a hardware development kit, which enables users to integrate ink-capture technology into their current or future products, and a software customization kit, which enables developers to easily customize and localize the mimio application.

Various companies

TABLET PC, pricing set by individual manufacturers

Running the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC operating system, Tablet PCs are full-featured notebook computers with a twist.

Using a digital pen, users can write directly on the screen and save notes in their own handwriting or convert them to typed text for input into other applications.

Microsoft's hardware partners are releasing tablets in a variety of forms. Ranging from two to three pounds, tablets cost about the same as a mid-range laptop. The writing surface is roughly the size of a standard paper notebook, and users can rest their hand on the screen while writing or running software.

1. Dell Computer Corp. & Williams Scotsman


Dell Computer Corp. is targeting the mobile classroom market by partnering with Williams Scotsman, a mobile office and storage unit manufacturer. Dell and Williams Scotsman will furnish schools with mobile classrooms equipped with Dell computers and peripherals.

Dell will deliver pre-fabricated mobile units that are wired for desktop or laptop use. These classrooms, called CyberSpaces, come in various sizes and can be hard wired or wireless; Dell will pre-load education software and peripherals. Both partners claim the mobile classrooms will be easy to install. Pricing varies, depending upon the size of the mobile classroom that is needed and the number of products it includes.

2. Palm


The Tungsten T's voice recording capabilities can capture and organize thoughts that can be automatically transferred to a PC. Navigation and application buttons reside on the new "slider," which glides open when users need to input data using Graffiti.

Built with the new Palm OS 5 and Texas Instruments' OMAP1510 processor, the handheld offers faster integration with data-intensive documents and updated fonts for better viewing. Rich multimedia features and software applications, such as short video clips and digital audio files, can run on the handheld.

The device's color screen, at 320x320 resolution with more than 65,000 colors, is Palm's sharpest to date. The Tungsten T can also communicate with printers, PCs and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The handheld comes with 19 bundled productivity, communication and entertainment applications.

3. Sony


This video camera combines the picture quality of a digital platform with the affordability of Hi8 and 8mm cassettes. The camcorder provides digital picture and sound quality recorded onto low-cost 8mm or Hi8 tapes along with 12-Bit or 16-Bit PCM digital stereo audio.

Features include a 2.5" rotating color LCD monitor at 123k pixels for viewing at any angle. The 460k-pixel, 1/6" CCD captures detailed images, while the 20X optical/700X digital zoom brings the action close up. A stabilization feature uses motion sensors, eliminating hand shake without loss in picture quality, and a nighttime feature adjusts the shutter speed for a brighter picture when filming in dark situations. The camera also captures still images.

4. Tegrity


This multimedia system, which comes with integrated server and instructor software, can turn an existing dry erase whiteboard into an interactive whiteboard through optical software and visual technology. Teachers can create and capture presentations using existing markers and other materials. The system includes a camera.

WebLearner Studio's encoding software, running on off-the-shelf computers and audio/visual components placed on a mobile cart, provides a computer-vision-based method for automatically converting an instructor's teaching into engaging online content. Teachers can use a virtual touch panel and popular software and tools like PowerPoint, regular whiteboard markers and laser pointers to generate Web-based presentations with minimal training. The resulting modules can be uploaded to the streaming server.
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Publication:District Administration
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Date:Jun 1, 2003
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