Feeds

Vintage Psion prototype: Yours for £85,000

Worst paperweight ever

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

An unreleased Psion prototype can be yours for a mere £85,000 - if you hurry. Just don't expect it to do anything.

The item listed on eBay dates from 2001, and is a prototype of "Conan", the monochrome Revo model with Bluetooth that was due to ship that summer, based on Symbian (nee Epoc) Release 6.

Don't expect it to do much, even if you can get it to power up - ER6, which supported Unicode, broke binary compatibility with earlier Epoc-based Psions. The device never reached the market - Psion withdrew from the consumer market in June 2001.

A few dozen Bluetooth Revos were made, and one pops up every couple of years, typically fetching around £30 to £50. As you might expect, this is a publicity stunt/punt by PsiXPda's Paul Pinnock, who founded a Psion repair and service centre in Croydon in 1995 and still services and sells the ancient devices.

The Bluetooth Revo: yes, that really is WAP

A couple of years ago, Pinnock rebadged a UMPC running XP and sold it under the PsiXPDA brand (review). He tells us it sold out its 2,000 unit production but it was no Psion, and Pinnock now admits it was "not fast enough and not good enough".

Pinnock now plans to launch a new device in the pocket-sized Psion Series 5 MX form factor, running Android. A better choice for this kind of device, we would agree.

The conventional wisdom is that mechanical keyboards are going the way of the VCR, and that the virtual keyboard provided on a full touchscreen is good enough. RIM recently lowered sales forecasts for devices with its hallmark integrated physical keyboard, leading to its shares being downgraded. But nothing on the market allows you to touch-type (rather than hunt and peck) and also fits in a jacket pocket - and hasn't since the palmtop market disappeared with Psion's consumer PDAs a decade ago.

You'd think in an era of Twittering and high volume messaging, a device that meets such a demand might carve out some sort of niche. ®

Related Links

Our Psion History
Our Symbian History: Parts One, Two and Three

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.