Remember when portable computers were only for slick-casual Silicon Valley types who couldn't finish a Nicoise-salad-and-seltzer lunch without checking their eMail? No more. Technological advances and increased competition have combined to make these portables much more affordable.

Portable devices are now priced to make them real options for schools. The new "palmtop" computers fit into a briefcase, purse, or pocket, giving your professional staff powerful computing tools on the road. For students, the new "ruggedized" notebook computers that easily zip into a backpack might soon replace the old 2B pencil.

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