A little trip down memory lane... which PDAs have I owned
over the years and why?
(Items shaded yellow represent the 'critical path' and
indicate which were used as my main PDA for a while.)
||Psion Series 3
||I was blown away by the original
Series 3. It had grown up office software and was almost as good at
multi-tasking as my company VAX.
||Psion Series 3a
||Another classic design development
from Psion, with better screen, more software, more memory, more of everything.
This palmtop did the lot.
||Psion Series 3a/2MB
||Nirvana for a Psion fan. Two whole
megabytes to fill with software. Don't laugh, in some ways a 3a/2MB could do
more than many 128MB Pocket PCs today.
||A brief fling with Psion's smallest
palmtop. The size was perfect (similar to handhelds today), but the keyboard
was horrible and I had to say goodbye in the end.
||Psion Series 5
||Somehow I got invited onto the
Protea (Series 5 prototype) programme, eventually buying a genuine ROM 1.01
unit and forgiving it its size for the great keyboard and still impressive
||Psion Series 3mx
||I couldn't resist owning a 3mx when I was offered one
at trade price. A souped up Series 3c. I still pick it up today and
||My first Palm. Good timing, the III
was a classic model, with just enough horsepower and memory to make the concept
fly. Palm OS was simple, elegant and best of all, the unit was tiny and easy to
||Psion Series 5mx
||Again, I found myself with a prototype, though
thankfully not lime green this time! The 5mx added grown up Internet support
and a faster processor to the now established Series 5 design.
||After seeing one of these with a
colour (shock, horror) screen demonstrated at a user
meeting, I fell in love and simply had to have one. A huge stride forward
for handheld computing.
||Psion Revo Plus
||Finally, I get to keep a review machine. Though I
have to say I hated the poor battery life and lack of backlight. And told Psion
the latter to their faces at the launch.
||In theory, this was everything I,
and others, had dreamt of. Colour-screened, keyboard computing, with phone and
Internet thrown in. There were downsides, of course. The price was high at
first, the 9210 had limited 'execution memory' (i.e. RAM) and there was no
database software. But I grew to love it, especially when the price came down
and decent software (including OPL) started to appear.
||Handspring Treo 270
||I'd been watching the Treo
'all-in-one' Palm OS smartphone for a while and saw that a colour model was
planned. A few pulled strings later and I was the proud owner.
|2003 to 2004.
||At the time, the ultimate balance
of size versus function. This one unit helped me work, play, relax,
communicate. You name it, it did it. There were few
niggles, to be sure, but the combination of hardware and software elegance,
plus the convenient form factor, made the P800 (or P900) pretty
|2004 to 2005
||The Nokia 9500 combined the best of
the old 9210 and the Sony Ericsson P800, then added plenty of tricks of its own, in one, incredibly sexy
Communicator. Still in use as my main, all weather device.
||Yes, yes, I know the screen's
smaller and there's no QWERTY keyboard. But sheer size/convenience, a true
Megapixel camera and great software (at last, for Series 60) wins the day quite
often, making a nice change from the 9500 above.