New CrossPad XP Offers a Lightweight Design with Heavyweight Features and Functionality

IBM Co-developed New Compact, Lightweight Extra Portable CrossPad Expands PDN Product Category

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Lincoln, R.I - 28 Sep 1998: ... The Cross Pen Computing Group (PCG), a division of the A.T. Cross Company (ASE:ATX.A) today introduced the CrossPad(TM) XP expanding the PDN (Portable Digital Notepad) category it created. Co-developed with IBM, the new product combines a sleek, lightweight hardware design with software enhancements facilitating electronic organizing and sharing of handwritten notes or diagrams.

Cross Pen Computing Group and IBM pioneered the development of PDNs. Like the CrossPad, CrossPad XP transforms how users store, organize and share notes so they can write in ink on a standard notepad and simultaneously create a digital copy of these notes. When uploaded to their PC, the user's "digital notes" can be filed, reorganized, faxed, e-mailed or printed in handwritten form in virtually all Windows® 95, 98 and Windows NT® 4.0 applications.

Also, announced today by IBM is a software developers kit (SDK) that will enable companies to create forms and applications for use with the popular CrossPad and CrossPad XP. With this toolkit, developers can create customized forms for specific industries including legal, medical, insurance, finance, government and transportation.

"CrossPad XP is a natural extension of the successful CrossPad for users that prefer a smaller paper size for notetaking and added portability," said Robert Byrnes, CEO of the Cross Pen Computing Group. "We know the PDN offers numerous professional and personal uses and believe the newly released software development kit from IBM will facilitate the category growth with exciting new applications."

"Through our joint efforts with Cross, we are able to take our state-of-the-art technologies and produce a practical solution that has the potential to redefine how users perceive pen and paper as notetaking devices," said W. S. (Ozzie) Osborne, general manager, IBM Speech and Pen Systems Business Unit. "With the availability of a software toolkit, IBM is enabling other companies to join in this exciting opportunity to create innovative applications for the popular CrossPad platform."

Responding To Customer Demands For Smaller Form Factor

Responding to customer requests for a product the size of the memo pad, the CrossPad XP holds a standard 6" x 9" notepad. Built for portability, the 11.875" X 7.75" X .875" CrossPad XP weighs only 1.5 pounds, is more compact and 30% lighter than the original CrossPad. It contains 1 MB of flash ROM, which stores over 80 pages of single-spaced notes or up to 160 pages of loose notes, sketches and diagrams. Both the new CrossPad XP and the existing CrossPad will now ship with the redesigned CrossWriter(TM) II digital pen, which provides a more natural, quality writing experience. Additionally, the CrossPad XP will feature a spring-loaded, snap-in penholder to ensure that the CrossWriter II is always within reach.

Software Features Make It Easier To Organize Notes

CrossPad XP will feature the latest upgrade of IBM® Ink Manager software, Ink Manager 1.5. Among the enhancements are:

The new software will be available to existing CrossPad users who can download the new version of IBM Ink Manager 1.5 from the Cross PCG website after October 12.

System Contents

The CrossPad XP package includes IBM Ink Manager 1.5 software, the CrossWriter II digital pen, four AAA batteries for the pad and one AAAA battery for the pen, a serial cable that connects to the PC and five replacement ink cartridges, each with an 80-page capacity. CrossPad XP has a one-year limited warranty.

System Requirements for CrossPad XP

System requirements include Windows 95, 98 or NT 4.0, Pentium or better processor, 50 MB of hard disk space during the installation process (30 MB after installation is complete), 16 MB RAM minimum (32 MB recommended for Windows 95 and 98, required for NT 4.0), one available 9-pin COM port and a CD-ROM drive.

Pricing and Availability

In the U.S., CrossPad XP will be available in October for $399 (MSRP) at major computer retail stores and catalogs including Staples, Comp USA, Computer City, MicroCenter, Computer Discount Warehouse, Micro Warehouse, and PC Connection. In Canada, CrossPad is being sold through Tech Data and Ingram Canada.

Additional replacement ink cartridges and a specially designed leather CrossPad portfolio are available in retail stores. A new selection of ink cartridges as well as a wide range of accessories are available through the CrossPad accessories catalog or via the Cross Pen Computing Group website.

IBM's CrossPad (SDK) will be available for developers to download from the IBM Research Web site at no cost. The final SDK will be released in Q4 1998. Currently a beta version of the toolkit and information on IBM's Ink Manager software is available on the Web.

Cross Web Site Hosts Discussion Groups, Electronic Store and Extensive On-line Technical Support

Cross PCG will launch a new website in October. The website will promote greater interactivity by providing the following enhancements to the current website: