Product Type: Psion Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... fascinating looking up what I was doing this day five years ago. (Usually I find I was sitting on the bog tapping into my Psion.) Again, yo... more
Psion Series 5mx Pro
Member Name: darkmine
Psion Series 5mx Pro
Date: 04/06/01, updated on 04/06/01 (481 review reads)
Advantages: Small, Cheap, Quality
Disadvantages: No colour screen
Ok. The first thing to say is this is not a PDA for everyone. I bought mine on a number of merits; price, internet access, full keyboard, and programmable. If you want a fancy gadget more than a practical device, go blow a fortune on a flashy pointer-only, colour screen device that requires the national grid to do anything lengthy.
I am an IT professional, and I decided on some quite reasonable criteria for a PDA if I was to own one.
Wanting a proper keyboard (that was actually useable) severely narrowed down my choice of machines, and the price restriction pretty much helped complete my choice for me.
The screen on the 5mx is not brilliant, but as much as you could expect from a 16 greyscale display, and well backlit if you plan to go caving with it! A handy screen zoom is also built in that is software independant.
No matter how nice a colour screen would be, they are battery leeches. I looked at the Nokia 9210 communicator as my other option, a nice integrated option, but I didn't want a house brick for a phone. I have no plans to have to carry that behemoth everywhere. Besides, the keyboard size was far too small.
The 5mx keyboard is, in my opinion, more than reasonable, and being a man with fingers akin to a pound of sausages, the fact that I lose little in typing speed on it is a testament to its design.
The built in software is great. Using the data cable or the IRDA port, I can pass documents, spreadsheets, etc between my 5mx and my PCs (home and work) very quickly and with complete confidence.
I bought a Nokia 6210 phone with my 5mx as a bundle (£315 for the lot, brand new !) This phone works great with the 5mx for getting on the internet. Bundled with the 5mx is a copy of (the potential IE5 killer) Opera web browser. I can get onto the net very easily with this and have few problems. If I can do it on my home PC, I can do it on my Psion.
In terms of programming, the built in OPL program
ming language is fun to use BASIC derivative, with a very good set of libraries and built-ins to back it up. In addition, if you go to the Symbian web site, you can download development kits for other languages such as C and Java.
For power, two Duracel AA batteries see me right for quite a while, and a lithium button size battery is the backup supply. If you play with it lots (like I first did) you can drain the batteries quite quickly. Once you know your machine though, they will last you ages.
The Psion has loads of other neat features ( touch screen with a pointing pen, which can be used with downloadable handwriting recognition software), a built in dictaphone, Compact Flash memory compatible, and a good many free applications downloadable from the net (including TomeRaider).
If you want a PDA, you really must think it through first. This one won't set the world alight, but as a busy IT guy who "knows the ropes", I am very happy with my choice. It does exactly what I want, reliably, and fast.
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