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Portable Word Processors

A portable word processor, often called a portable keyboard, is a lightweight device that is an alternative to using a laptop computer for writing. It can be easily transported from class to class and between home and school. The size of the screen varies depending on the specific device. The text is usually auto-saved and can later be revised and/or sent directly to the printer. Text may also be uploaded onto the computer through any word processing program and edited and saved as needed. Text from the computer can also be downloaded to the portable word processor. In addition, a built-in spell check is included to assist students in editing their writing. Word processing allows the user to edit and correct his written work more efficiently than doing so by hand. Most portable word processors have keyboarding programs available.

Some portable word processors include the NEO (Alpha Smart), Dana (Alpha Smart), AlphaSmart 3000 (Alpha Smart), Quick Pad (Quick Pad Technology), the Writer Fusion (Advanced Keyboard Technologies), and Laser PC 6 (Perfect Solutions). Although the AlphaSmart 3000 is used by many students, it is no longer in production. (The NEO replaced the AlphaSmart 3000.) The StudentMate (Alta Heights Technology) is a portable word processor that has additional features including 2 USB ports that can be used for various devices and an Ethernet port for internet access.

Portable word processors can be helpful for students with writing difficulties, who often require an alternative to pencil and paper. They are a good solution for students who have poor handwriting and prefer to use a keyboard. Students with attention deficits may also benefit from this solution.


 Vendor Name

Web Address

Alpha Smart

(Neo and Dana)

Quick Pad Technology

Advanced Keyboard Technologies

(The Writer Fusion)

Alta Heights Technology


Perfect Solutions

(LaserPC 6)