New Apple eMate 300 Mobile Computer Puts Learning At Students' Fingertips Anytime, Anyplace

New Class of Low-Cost Mobile Computer Features Multi-Platform Desktop and Network Connectivity for Education

Cupertino, California -- Oct. 28, 1996 -- Apple Computer, Inc. today ushered in a new era in mobile computing and its third decade in educational computing with the announcement of the Apple eMate 300, the first of a new class of affordable mobile computers for education from Apple's Information Appliance division.

The Apple eMate 300 and the MessagePad 2000, a new mobile business appliance also introduced today, demonstrate Apple's commitment to designing simple, low-cost product solutions that address specific customer needs. The products are based on Newton, a suite of system, hardware tools and application technologies designed from the ground up to maximize mobility.

"Apple has a rich heritage in education, starting with the Apple II, which first brought technology to schools nearly two decades ago," said Jim Groff, senior vice president of Apple's Information Appliance division. "During its second decade, the Macintosh pioneered multimedia teaching and learning. Today, Apple is entering its third decade by introducing an affordable mobile tool that can be integrated into learning anytime and anyplace."

Apple eMate 300

Designed as a companion to Mac OS and Windows-based PCs in a distributed learning environment, eMate offers educators an affordable way to make technology accessible to more students than ever before. The eMate 300 combines the most-used functions of a personal computer and the flexibility of a mobile computer with the ability to interact with desktop units, servers, and the Internet. This allows students to do most of their critical work wherever they happen to be--in a lab, classroom, on a field trip, or at home--while still taking advantage of the multimedia and information access tools available in schools.

"A distributed learning environment provides learning for anyone, anytime, and anyplace. It extends the reach of learning from the classroom to the library, to labs, homes, other schools, local communities, and around the world," said Mike Lorion, vice president of education for Apple Americas. "We worked closely with educators during every phase of development to make eMate 300 an integral part of a distributed learning environment."

Apple's support of the distributed learning environment concept is based on its commitment to four critical elements of successful learning: information access, wherever it resides; communication and collaboration with other students, teachers, and experts, anytime and anywhere; multisensory tools that facilitate diverse learning styles, creativity, and understanding; and access to personal learning materials--books, supplies, and technologies.

As learning extends from the classroom to the home, local community, and the world, students and educators require a range of technology tools to support successful learning experiences. Many schools already have some of the core technology components of a distributed learning environment in place: desktop computers that are multimedia-capable; peripheral products such as printers, scanners, and digital cameras, and networks that range from a simple connection to a printer, to a local network of computers to a connection to a server and the Internet. The eMate 300 adds a personal mobile learning tool for gathering data, accessing information, writing, communicating with others, and collaborating on projects.

The eMate 300 Design

Weighing less than four pounds and measuring 12 inches wide by 11.4 inches long, the eMate 300 is lightweight and small enough to fit in a backpack. A rugged "clamshell" design with steel chassis makes it portable and durable for indoor and outdoor use. Thick-wall design, reinforced ribs, and a strong plastic case create inherently strong enclosures, and suspension mounting helps protect against damage due to impact.

With a battery life of up to 28 continuous hours before recharging, the eMate 300 makes it possible for students to work for long periods of time wherever they want. An automatic power on/off feature conserves battery power when the lid is closed and provides instant-on capability when the lid is opened.

Dual input methods of a stylus and keyboard make the eMate 300 perfect for accommodating the many ways students think, work, and learn. For example, a student can type notes from a class and with a single keystroke switch into a drawing mode to sketch directly on the eMate screen. The eMate's built-in menus can be operated by touching the screen, or through keyboard shortcuts. The gray-scale, backlit screen displays the full width of a written page.

Integrated Software

The eMate 300 features the award-winning, easy-to-use Newton operating system and comes with Newton Works, a set of built-in applications that includes a word processor, drawing program, spreadsheet, and graphing calculator.

The eMate 300 also comes with a built-in address book, note pad, calendar, and classroom setup software. In addition, third-party applications can be integrated into Newton Works, and users also can take advantage of the hundreds of applications that have been developed for Newton 2.0 operating system, such as web browsers and email clients.

Leading education software developers plan to offer a student writing program, keyboarding program, math tools, and scientific software and probes. In addition, developers are expected to offer general productivity software such as a web browser, email, and database.

Key Features of eMate 300

The eMate 300 features the ARM 710 32-bit RISC processor, Cirrus Voyager chip set, 8 MB ROM and 3 MB RAM (1 MB DRAM, 2 MY Flash). The LCD 480 x 320 pixel display supports 16 levels of gray and features a user-controllable EL backlight. The keyboard is designed for touch typing with a 17 mm pitch.

A speaker is built into the product, and a standard mini-headphone jack is built in to provide one-on-one learning with less disruption.

Using built-in infrared technology, teachers can "beam" lessons to students using the eMate 300 and students can work on parts of a project and "beam" them to each other so they can be combined into the whole. Data can be beamed at a rate up to 115 Kbps.

Classroom management capabilities allow a single eMate to be shared among several students; students' work is password-protected, so they can experience the eMate 300 as their own computer.

Expansion capabilities include a PC Card slot that accommodates Type I, II, or III PC Cards (PCMCIA standard), as well as an internal RAM/Flash upgrade slot. It is compatible with a variety of serial, parallel, and network printers, both Macintosh and Windows-based, including Apple StyleWriter and PostScript printers.

Companion to the Desktop

Robust communications capabilities make the eMate 300 a useful tool in a distributed learning environment because students can share data and files they create on the eMate 300 with both Mac OS and Windows-based PCs. Using the Newton Connection Utility and Classroom Connect software, students can exchange and back-up documents between the eMate 300 and a desktop computer and install Newton applications. The RS-422 serial port, Newton Interconnect Port, and PC Card slot make it easy to print, share, and back up work.

The bundled Newton Internet Enabler offers TCP/IP capabilities--the protocol of the Internet--giving students access to materials on the World Wide Web and the ability to send and receive email using third-party email and browser software and an optional modem with dial-up access. The software supports LocalTalk and MNP serial links.

Pricing and Availability

The eMate 300 will come with an integrated keyboard, AC power adaptor, a CD containing connection software, a rechargeable nickel-metal-hydride (NiMh) battery pack, a user's guide, and a teacher's guide.

Individual eMate systems will be available to education customers for an anticipated price of less than U.S. $800. The eMate 300 also will be available in eight packs. Available in an English version only the eMate 300 is expected to ship in the U.S. during the first quarter of calendar 1997.

Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information industry and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful solutions based on easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, information appliances, and Internet technologies. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Apple develops, manufactures, licenses, and markets solutions, products, technologies, and services in the areas of business, education, home use, entertainment, scientific, engineering, and government for customers in more than 140 countries.

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Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, Mac OS, MessagePad, Newton, and StyleWriter are registered trademarks and eMate is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated or its subsidiaries and may be registered in certain jurisdictions.