Access for all

12th March 2004 at 00:00
It's not just the new wireless connection that makes the latest Dana an improvement on its first incarnation. WiStat, the network detection software is quite impressive, quickly finding a signal and linking me up to the internet within minutes of opening the box. The DanaWeb browser was easy to use and I was soon checking the news at the BBC. The monochrome, letterbox screen means that graphics lose their colour and you will do more scrolling than usual, but then you wouldn't use this tool if you were looking for images for a montage. This is for quick and easy mobile network access at a price that lets you spread machines more widely.

Its primary use will probably be word processing with the Microsoft Word-compatible AlphaWord. This has all the formatting options necessary for most documents along with a spell-checker and thesaurus. Like Dana's forerunner, the Alphasmart, you can then download to a desktop computer or print directly. Where it differs from its predecessor is in all the other applications available through the incorporation of the Palm operating system. Most common ones are included with over 10,000 others available.

What you'll find bundled are Documents to Go, which handles Microsoft Office files including text, spreadsheets and presentations, Palm Reader for on-screen books, and Sketchy, a simple graphics package. Enough to cope with the basic ICT demands of the classroom. You also get MarkSpace Mail to handle emails and Verichat for instant messaging.

Even if the screen seems a bit cramped and colourless, what this machine offers is breadth in access to the curriculum, local networks and the worldwide web.

Dana wireless

Price: pound;309 + VAT (non-wireless Dana is pound;279)

Re-sellers listed at or from

AlphaSmart Europe

Northway House

1379 High Road

Whetstone, London N20 9LP

Tel 020 8492 3690

Fax 020 8446 7953

Fitness for purpose ****

Ease of use ****

Features ****

Quality ****

Value for money ****

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today