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2. General Information

2.1 What is a Psion

Psion is a powerful Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) with pen-based touch screen as well as keyboard. There are several models. This HOWTO currently only covers the Series 5* models, e.g. Series 5, Series 5mx and Series 5mxPro.

2.2 Psion models

There are several models of Psion PDAs. All have a foldout case where the screen is in the cover and opening the Psion causes the keyboard to jut out to a more usable position. They also feature the instant on and instant off capabilities of the EPOC operating system.

Psion 3* are older PDAs that still have a lot of functionality and still get sold new due to their meeting needs and being lower cost. This HOWTO doesn't currently cover the Psion 3* series.

Psion 5* has two main product lines with each having two models. The Psion series 5 has a green limited edition counterpart with no functional difference between itself and the standard Series 5. The series 5mxPro, however, has some fundamental differences from the Series 5mx.

All four of the Series 5* products have: compact flash, serial port, keyboard and stylus (for the touchscreen). They all operate on 2 AA batteries and have a backup battery to maintain state when changing out the main batteries. Check out Akaev's site to take a tour of a dissected Series 5 classic.

Both of the Series 5 models as well as the Series 5mx have system ROMs where the EPOC operating system is stored. After boot they operate out of the RAM (8MB for the Series 5 models and 16MB for the Series 5mx). The Series 5mxPro, however, has no ROM and operates entirely out of its 24MB of RAM. This enables software upgrades to the Series 5mxPro, whereas the other 3 models must exchange hardware to update EPOC.

Psion has also released the Series 7, which is set to compete against the subnotebook class of PC, but running EPOC. They also have a Revo, which is smaller than the Series 5*.

2.3 Psion Availability

Psion products are no longer available at retail stores in the US. They are available from retail shops in Europe as well as through mail order. Psion maintains a list of mail order firms by country on their web site.


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