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Highly-anticipated US$99 Pentop Computer finally hits the shelves


October 24, 2005

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October 25, 2005 Sometimes we write about technologies well in advance of actually hands-on experiencing them. Such was the case with the PenTop computer and although we were enthusiastic based on the specifications, once we tried it, the gravity and sheer importance of the product really shone through. The Pentop is a new computer platform and it is a significant one. First announced in New York City last January, the new platform transforms pen and paper into an interactive computer. With many creative and engaging learning applications available, the FLY Pentop Computer is targeted primarily at technology-savvy tweens (ages 8 - 13) and their parents. This week the Fly Pentop Computer finally hits the shelves across America

Developed by well known, technology-based learning products marketer LeapFrog Enterprises,the Pentop has opened up an entirely new class of learning opportunities that were seemingly impossible to conceive of until now.

"Our new FLY Pentop Computer platform has completely blown the doors off of any prior learning products for tweens," said LeapFrog President Jerry Perez. "It's all about making learning accessible, engaging and effective, and we believe the FLY platform can make a very positive and enriching difference in the lives of busy tweens."

The new FLY Pentop Computer, a variety of specialized educational applications, games and accessories are available beginning today in the consumer electronics aisles of Walmart, Target, Toys 'R' Us, Best Buy, K-Mart and Circuit City across the country.

Dr. Robert Calfee, Dean Emeritus at the School of Education at the University if California, Riverside, and Chair of the LeapFrog Educational Advisory Board, states, "I am so impressed by the educational value of the FLY Pentop Computer. This new computing platform gives students the ability to engage fully in problem-solving and thinking with an innovative, intuitive and smart 21st Century tool. I'm particularly impressed with the potential opportunities for students to do genuine work in science and mathematics."

Homework Help and Much More

Applications launching for the FLY Pentop Computer, known as FLYware, include a range of useful learning programs that can help tweens with their homework through guided instruction and personalized practice. Because of its rich educational content and convenient, portable form factor, some tween testers dubbed the FLY Pentop Computer a "pocket tutor." New FLYware products available today include FLY Through Spelling (3rd - 5th grade), FLY Through Math: Multiplication and Division (4th - 6th grade), FLY Through Spanish: Pocket Translator, and FLY Through Tests (6th - 8th grade: math, science, and social studies).

For fun and learning, LeapFrog has teamed up with Upper Deck to release Flyball, an interactive baseball trading card game; Disney Publishing has joined forces with LeapFrog to develop the W.I.T.C.H. -- FLY Journal for fans of the popular Disney book series; and LeapFrog has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to launch a Batman Begins: The Battle for Gotham City Interactive Strategy Game designed for use with the FLY Pentop Computer.

Many accessories are also available for FLY Pentop Computer customers, including FLY paper, FLY notebooks, stickers, expansion card packs, quizzes, and game pads. Additionally, LeapFrog is offering a FLY backpack, speaker, recharger, and special face plates to personalize the FLY Pentop Computer.

Personal Learning Tool is Ready Anywhere, Anytime

The new FLY Pentop Computer platform is designed to bring computer interactivity to the most ubiquitous and user-friendly tool of all -- pen and paper. It is the first consumer electronics device to give users real-time audio feedback as they write and draw on special FLY paper, making what the user writes come to life. For instance, a FLY Pentop Computer user can draw a calculator, touch the handwritten digits and functions to perform an operation -- then hear the answer announced from the FLY Pentop Computer. With the FLY Through Spanish software, a user can write a word in English, touch the handwritten word, and then hear the word translated into Spanish as it is spelled out and then pronounced.

FLY Line Product Pricing

The FLY Pentop Computer has a suggested retail price of US$99 and the new FLYware accessories and applications have suggested retail prices ranging from US$4.99 to US$34.99. For full pricing details please refer to the FLY Line Product Pricing List.

FLY Through Math: Multiplication and Division US$29.99 Now FLY Through Tests: 6th-8th grade Math, Science, Social Studies US$29.99 Now FLY Through Spelling US$24.00 Now FLY Through Spanish: Pocket Translator US$34.99 Now Flyball US$29.99 Now FLY Journal US$24.99 Now W.I.T.C.H -- FLY Journal US$29.99 Now Batman Begins: The Battle for Gotham City Interactive Strategy Game US$29.99 Now

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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