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Back To Basics

Easy and effective, a new breed of smart, simple and small devices gets the job done.

This story appears in the June 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A lot of today's computer equipment does it all. Multifunction devices fax, scan, print, and nearly write sales letters and reports themselves. Notebook computers come with business productivity software, Internet connectivity--even cameras and software for videoconferencing. Manufacturers, it seems, keep piling on the bells and whistles, making equipment increasingly complicated.

But there's something to be said for getting back to the basics--and some of the latest technology rolling out now, and particularly in the next six months, will do just that. Commonly referred to as information appliances, these tools perform one or two basic functions quickly, easily and effectively. Although they offer limited functionality and come in various configurations (the physical size and case), they focus on ease of use.

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