Ok, lets deal with what the Neo is not, it doesn’t internet, it doesn’t email, it doesn’t MP3, and it doesn’t make cell phone calls or take pictures, it doesn’t even Wi-Fi at Starbucks! So what use is this device, I hear you ask?

Well believe it or not, some of us just like to write, and the Neo is a writers dream, it comes with a full size keyboard, yet is entirely portable and packable. For first drafts this the the king of the hill, with a built in spellchecker and thesaurus what more could you ask for?

Using a USB connection you can then upload your text file into whatever your favorite word processor is, and away you go. Or you can hook it directly to a USB printer and print your document. I first heard about the Neo from a colleague of mine, he is an avid cyclist, and has toured many of the less well known parts of the globe. He loves to file stories during his trips and was bemoaning the fact that internet access is very expensive in some parts of the world, and having to compose online was both time and dollar consuming. He asked me if I heard about the Neo, I had not, but I decided I needed to.

My review unit arrived this afternoon, and I could not wait to get home to check it out. There were  several things that impressed me immediately, it came in a sturdy, but small package, it came with batteries (Duracell), and it came with a book nearly as large as the device itself! I am used to zero documentation and the inclusion of an actual book makes me very happy. Online help is fine, but nothing beats a book that you can read at your leisure while in the bathroom or wherever. I have to say that I am also impressed by the courtesy and helpful nature of the people behind the Neo.

I read the ‘quick start’ guide, which consisted of insert batteries, and turn it on. Instantly the Neo was ready for work. No 5 minute yawn while Windows crawls grudgingly from its bed. The menu was simple, and within seconds I was creating my first document. So far it all seems very intuitive.

One feature that I find absolutely outstanding is the battery life, 3 AA’s will last 700 hours! Name a laptop that can do that? Most Laptops cease to work after a meager 2 hours.

The unit itself seems pretty rugged, and I plan on taking it for a test drive tomorrow on the local public transit system. I have a 45 minute trip each way, and plan to use the time to check the Neo out, and write part two of this review on it.

Simon Barrett


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