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Getting Started

You should have

  • a Neo word processor
  • a bag
  • a lead to connect the Neo to a computer

You are responsible for keeping the Neo safe and clean. If anything goes wrong with it, please ring CENMAC on 020 8854 1019.

Turning your machine on

All CENMAC AlphaSmarts are set with the two button ‘on’ option. This is to save the batteries as the ‘on’ button can be pressed accidentally quite easily. To turn the machine on, hold down the ‘Enter’ key and press ‘On/Off’ briefly. If you want to change this back to the single button option, press ‘Applets’ > ‘Control Panel’ > ‘Two Button Option’.

The Neo runs on three AA batteries and these last for up to 700 hours. It does not take rechargeable batteries. If you have used an AlphaSmart before, you will already know how to do most things. The Neo is better for people with sight difficulties because you can change the size of the font and adjust the screen contrast. The screen is also a bit bigger.

The Neo has 8 files to store work in. Just press the file key that you want to type into. You might like to have one for each subject. Work will be saved in the file automatically and when you switch off the Neo, then on again, you will return to the same piece of work. Try this now.

How to change the font size

Press applets then use the arrow keys at the bottom right of the keyboard to select control panel then change default SmartApplet font then choose the size. Press the Enter key (large unnamed key on the right of the keyboard)

How to change the screen contrast

Press applets, control panel, Enter, use the arrow keys to move to Screen contrast, use the arrow keys to reset the contrast.


Just press the spell check key. It may be better to wait until you have sent your file to a computer where you can see all your work at once. You will also have a grammar checker on the computer.

Typing tutor

Press applets. Move the cursor down to KAZ Typing Tutor using the arrow keys. Press Enter. Press Esc to return to your previous screen.

Typing timer

Press the cmnd key (it has a flower on it) and Find at the same time.

Battery life

Press applet then Control panel. Move the cursor to Display battery status, then press Enter.

Key repeats

If you have wobbly fingers, and get lots of the same letter when you only press once, go into applets, Control panel, change keyboard settings, change slow keys setting.

How to send files to your computer

The Neo will send files to any computer with a USB port (a flat hole). If you have an old computer without a USB port, get in touch with CENMAC.

  1. Open Word or another program that you can type into
  2. Turn on the Neo and press the file you want to send
  3. Attach one end of your lead into the computer’s USB port, and the other smaller squarer end into the port on the top edge of the Neo.
  4. 4. Press send on the Neo

After you have done this, edit your work on the computer screen, then save or print normally. (The Neo will print to an infra-red printer. Please look in the manual). Once you have done this, press Clear file and press Y for yes on the Neo to clear your work. To switch between files when you are connected, so that you can send several files, hold down the cmnd (flower) key and press the file key you want.


Press applets and move the cursor to Calculator.


You may be asked to disable the spellchecker. Ask your teacher to ring CENMAC for the master password.

To find out even more about the Neo, please refer to your manual. You can download this from the web. There is a sticker on the back of your machine telling you where you get this.