My girlfriend has started writing a book and often found that she would want write when we were out and about. She asked about PDA's but was unimpressed by the lack of a keyboard on the HP IPAQ which I offered her. We contemplated buying another EEE PC (She has a desktop version and I have a 900 netbook) but I spotted a second-hand REVO on eBay and bought 2 at £20 each. We were amazed by their sleek design, full keyboard, touch screen and intuitive menu and great software. Unfortunately, due to its age, mine experienced battery fatigue and constantly ran down prematurely (losing saved work) and after a week, wouldn't turn on at all. I decided to replace the built-in batteries but the unit was damaged beyond repair when I unsuccessfully tried to update to new 1000mah rechargeables. Fearing hers might follow the same fate, I looked on eBay again and found a retailer who manufactures brand new Revo Plus with upgraded batteries! I bought 2 at £49 each. They are stunning. They are perfect for writing with its full QWERTY keyboard and addictive style, look and feel. Being of solid state, they run silently and don't heat up. They can be set to start-up when the lid is opened or when the touch-screen is touched and can be set to switch off when the lid is closed. Startup and shutdown is instantaneous and can also be password protected to prevent sensitive work being overlooked if preferred. Programs are opened by simply touching the various icons along the bottom edge of the screen either with a finger or with the provided stylus which sits snuggly in the back of the device when not in use. The software is great with fully featured word processor (full text formatting too!) access excel and internet browser, jotter and agenda calendar with alarms and a searchable contacts diary. Work is kept when te device is turned off and sessions start from where you left off. Files can be saved and renamed individually as required. All fies are automatically converted to be compatible with MS works when transfered to a PC using the software provided. The working battery life and standby life (when the battery is flat) is phenomenal and can save work for up to 2 weeks before needing to be recharged! They can access other devices via infrared and even use a mobile phone as a modem for web access! Down sides are the mono sound and mono screen (which means no MP3, colour photo or video playback) also the connector is a 9pin serial (fine for Desktop PCs but my Netbook needed a serial-to-USB adapter for £2.75) but despite this, we can't put them down (for too long). £100 for 2 brand new Revo Plus' with brand new cradles and brand new leather pouches! Bargain - look on eBay now!! (Sun 9 Aug 2009). Highly recommended!!
I was considering buying a laptop but heard about the Revo (Revo Plus is the same as the Revo but with more memory) and decided it fitted the bill perfectly for a fraction of the price of a laptop. I am new to the the world of PDAs so I am unable to speak with great experience, however, as a newcomer I had certain stipulations: *I wanted to be able to type emails, write word documents, use spreadsheets, have basic internet access, keep an agenda, contacts file and records of my finances. *All of the above needed to have the ability to be backed up on my PC. The Revo does this via a docking station (included in the price) *Unlike the trendy palmpilots that seem to be all the rage I wanted a PDA with a keyboard. I didn't fancy drawing squiggles on a touch screen instead of typing. The Revo haws a keyboard as well as a touch screen (you can get software to use the touchscreen to write and draw if you want). *I wanted something that worked in a similar way to my PC. Essentially the Revo is a mini-computer; it's very user friendly. *Unlike a laptop, the Revo slips into my pocket easily. Admittedly so do all PDAs but if you want that computer-feel without the size, this is a great alternative. There are also many programs available on the internet to download straight into the Revo (often without charge) through the docking-station. The only disadvantage is that there's no backlight which is only a problem at night if you haven't got a reasonable light to hand! They're also getting cheaper as the months go on! It's great!!
The main reason why I chose the Psion over Palm and Sony alternatives was that it comes with a tiny keyboard built in, this takes some getting used to because the keys appear to be hinged at the bottom so you need to press the top of the key to be sure of a key press being registered. It comes with a cd rom of extra software such as opera web browser, a very good wap browser and a serial docking station. It synchronises with my pc faultlessly. I'm not sure about Mac connectivity though! The supplied stylus feels a bit flimsy so I bought a chrome one which certainly has a more solid feel - I'm not always worrying about snapping it! It would have been nice if it came with a protective pouch or case. On first impressions the Psion Revo Plus looks good and has a lovely smooth space saving opening mechanism. It is nice and thin when closed. A point to note is that the stylus can not be removed once the Revo has been docked. I've heard a lot of stories about battery life but mine is ok so far and the best advice I can give is to ensure the first charge is carried out properly even though you may be itching to use your new Psion for the first time. You can expect a battery life of around 10 hours continuous use, less if used for small periods daily because the memory uses about 1% battery life per day when the machine is switched off. It takes 90 minutes to charge to 75% capacity and then switches to trickle charge which can take 4 hours. Agenda, the supplied time-management software is very capable and allows notes to be made for each entry. There are also the ubiquitous to-do list, note taking, word processing and spreadsheet programs. You can edit your phone's memory via the infra red port and copy information both ways. The fields in the Contacts program are user definable. I think that using WAP with a full keyboard is also very handy. The software is very easy to use once you are used to it and there are keyboard short
cuts so you dont always need to use the stylus. There were no instructions specific to synchronising the infra-red port to my mobile which is a Samsung A300 but I surprised myself and set it up with ease. I can also check my email quckly using my mobile phone. The connection is very reliable. The touch sensitive screen has good clarity but can be diffcult to view in non-ideal light conditions but a backlit screen would put a much bigger drain on the battery. Handwriting recognition software is available amongst a large and varied selection of software which you can find on the internet. It works well as a stand alone machine and I would recommemd it to anyone who wants a PDA and will be entering a lot of information, and needs to organise their work and personal life. Buy one soon because Psion have withdrawn from the PDA market and prices are falling to move stocks.
The Revo is a great product, however in the past 4 weeks I have personally seen 3 faulty Revos with the same problem. An insider at Psion has confirmed what was published in the latest edition of What laptop as being the most likley cause. Put your hand up if you either don't, won't or have thrown away the manual? Now apparantly if you don not follow the simple set up when charging the Revos battery for the first time then your purchase may begin to show incorrect battery levels and ultimatley crash your battery. You need to give you battery a good 12 hour charge to begin with if you don't !!! To rectify the fault with used machines you need to back up your data, then do a hard reset, then follow instructions in manual. don't let this put you off a great product, just a little inside news for you all
I have always been interested in gadgets and gizmos, and used to own a PalmPilot personal, until it broke, and was out of stock to get it replaced :/ Anyway, about 6 months ago I was very disorganised, and had Dooyoo money to spend, so I went out and purchased a Revo Plus (at special discount and VAT free - thx dad) which was a bonus. I receieved the Revo Plus as soon as possible, but had to wait a couple of days because of the petrol crisis at the time! After the PDA finally arriving, I opened the shiny box, and took out my baby. The first thing I noticed was how sleek it looked. The deep grey and sliver cover, with the "Revo Plus" tag looked very smart. The curved edges gave it a smooth feel and it fitted great into the hand. Once I opened the case, via a very sleek opening mechanism that the wizards at Psion thought up, I was impressed with the inside. A bigger-than-expected screen, and a slim keyboard that felt great. After opening and closing the lid to marvel at the mechanism again, I plugged the adapter into the back of the machine. The Plus comes with a built-in rechargable battery that lasts a good 12 hours of use and many weeks of standby time, backed up by a smaller battery incase of power loss. I pulled out the stylus from the side of the case (the spring mechanism of the Series 5 has been removed due to problems with it, and a simple click attatched stylus came out). I powered up the machine, and was greeted with a screen calibration program. After this simple process, I began to explore the machine. The O/S is very easy to use and uses the same shortcuts (cut, paste etc) as windows, so I was at home already. After setting up the machine with password, user details and general preferences in Control Panel, I started playing with the applications built into the 8mb of ROM on the machine. The applications include... *Contacts - contact management, with customisable fields for each contact and easy to use searc
h facilities etc. *Agenda - fully fledged calenders, to-do lists, with many, many features. *Email - built in email program to store, send and receive email (assuming you have the appropriate mobile phone or other modem) *Phone - ability to sync your phone contacts with the Psion via infa-red, which I did instantly and had all my phone contacts safely stored in a matter of seconds. *Time - world map with every time zone you could imagine of all major cities of the world. Also, this is where general alarms are set. *Calc - both standard and scientific calculator. *Jotter - for writing down notes, shopping lists etc. *Data - database application. *Word - very similar to Microsoft Word. *Sheet - Microsoft Excel clone. *Sketch (from CD) - a paint program with clipart! *Spell (from CD) - dictionary, thesaurus etc with thousands of words. *Cascade - the Revo game! Most of those programs are in the ROM, which leaves 16mb of RAM to play about with. Also, two web browsers are included on the CD for installation should you wish. These are surprisingly fast and can cope with frames, pictures, tables, text etc on the web. The Revo comes complete with docking station to serial port and software, which was very easy to install. Simply attatching the Psion and pressing backup saves all your data to your PC. Also, this can be synced with PIMs if you so wish. On a laptop, simply use the built in infa-red to syncronise, leaving you wire free. The screen on the Revo is crystal clear, and this is mainly because there is no backlight. This deterred me to start with, but as the screen is so incredibly acccurate and complete with 16 shades of grey, I rarely if ever need to use a light to see with. The accuracy of the stylus is excellent and the screen is protected enough to use your fingers to control the screen too. The speaker can produce digital sound of impressive quality as I found out by downloading games for
boring lessons at school. I have linked it to a Nokia 7110 and recieved email at school and on the train, and this makes me truly mobile. I have even sent an email from the summit of "Cadaer Idris" in North Wales! The speedy CPU inside the Revo makes programs run incredibly fast, and after seing people use Windows CE machines, it makes me laugh! I could go on for ages about this beautiful machine, and could write a 10 page review of all the features etc. However I won't do that now. All I can say is that from personal use, the Revo Plus has organised my life tremendously. I enjoy downloading freeware software (http://pda.tucows.com) and playing Chess on my Revo, or even using it as a metronome for my music, or as a catalogue to store my videos in. I am sure there is much that I have missed out a lot on this review, but there is simply too much to write about. I suggest you go to "The Link" and try out one of these babies - there are too good to be true.
Most people who own Psion products tend to be evangelical about them. In the same way that Betamax video owners sang their praises in the late seventies - and in the same way that Apple Mac users stoicly defend their choice of technology. I myself own a Psion, and initially went through the phases of praising its memory capacity, its sleek design and its versatility in terms of compatability with other software packages. However, once you become aware of the wealth of content available to Palm OS users - the Guardian, BBC, Economist, Business Week... to name a few - the Psion seems quite parochial. It is undeniably the better machine, but Psion don't seem to have made an effort to establish partnerships with the sexier content providers. As a result, if you want to access the latest news on your Revo - without the laborious dial-up hooked up to your mobile - you have to make do with email newsletters. Whereas, via Avantgo on the Palm OS, you can hotsync the PDA and automatically recieve snazzy PDA versions of your favourite reads. Get your act together Psion. I love your product, but you haven't cut the mustard content-wise.