Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

Casio to Break Palm's and Handspring's Stranglehold on the Handheld Market with Its Pocket PC

Magazine article Curriculum Administrator

Casio to Break Palm's and Handspring's Stranglehold on the Handheld Market with Its Pocket PC

Article excerpt

Following Palm and Handspring into the competitive educational marketplace comes Casio's Pocket PC handheld computing device. Casio's new product further validates the emergence of handheld devices for K-12 education.

Palm has led the pack in this market, followed by Handspring; both offer comparable products at attractive prices for schools. The devices have been used for everything from having administrators in hallways track student attendance and whereabouts to having students conduct experiments by attaching probes or other peripherals to them.

Casio says its EM-500 and E-125 Pocket PCs are more powerful and versatile than the Palm and Handspring offerings.

The Pocket PCs have color screens and carry 16MB or 32MB of RAM and run Microsoft CE, which includes scaled-down versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They can take more than 96MB of additional RAM and can use wireless infrared connectivity, among other features. In addition, other software companies are also making software for the devices.

But all that power and versatility comes at a price: each machine is about $350 to $400 for educators (consumers pay about $600 for the same products, according to company officials). Palm and Handspring offer their devices for significantly less; in some cases less than half the price of a Pocket PC.

"It comes down to how schools want to teach curriculum," says Mike Lorion, vice president for the education group for Palm.

Lorion says Palm not only has an advantage in price (depending on how many Palms are being purchased, prices can be as cheap as $99 apiece for educators), it also boasts more than 500 education applications, which is more than Pocket PCs currently have. …

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