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Psion Series 7 / Netbook / Malaybook Review

End of the Line For Psion, But Bigger Than a Palm-Top, Smaller Than a Laptop, Is The 7 Still A Good Buy?



Psion 7 Side ViewPsion's last portable computer, bigger than a palm-top, smaller than a lap-top, offering a full colour large screen, 8 hours battery life, all the usual top Psion applications, and a leather bound clam shell type case. How could they fail?

The Psion 7 comes in 3 flavours, the Series 7, available to the general public, the very rare netbook, which has more RAM, but was only available to corporations, and the Malaybook, rarer still, a version of the Netbook made for a Malaysian Educational programme that went bust.

Most of us will only have the opportunity of owning a Series 7, but trust me; it will probably be the best £150 you will spend on eBay!

Why is the Psion 7 so good? If you used any of Psion's other devices, such as the Revo, Series 5 / 5mx, or Series 3 you'll know that Psion make portable devices that actually live up to the name. The Revo, Series 5 and 5mx are palmtops that can be used not only as very good filofax replacements, but also as replacements for most things you do on your laptop or desktop pc.

Battery life in a mobile device must be usable. Laptops that only last 3 or 4 hours simply aren't real mobile pc's in my opinion- the search for a power-point to finish that all important document on a train just isn't going to work, whereas all Psion's have batteries that will last for days (3's, 5's, Revo's), or at least 8 hours in the case of the Series 7.

Another benefit of using Psion PC's is the "instant on" nature of the devices. No hard-drives here, everything is done in ROM & RAM, so when you turn a Psion on it's ready to use straight away, and similarly you can switch it off and automatically save your data simply by closing the lid. No waiting around for Windoze to shut down before you've got to run to that important meeting.

So what makes the Series Seven so special? It's got all the great features of earlier models but with a large colour screen, and a few other features. That might not sound like much, but it is worth it. I have to admit getting my Series 5 out to take minutes at meetings, whenever others had flashy laptops made me feel a little small, but when I borrowed a beautiful Leather Bound Series 7 for a couple of weeks, everyone wanted a go and were impressed with how fast it was, how small and how good the keyboard was, even for a device now well out of production.

In reality the Series 7 doesn't offer (apart from the obvious) that much more than a Series 5mx. You could even argue that the 5mx and it's use of AA batteries and very small size, yet superb keyboard & touch screen, is more of a true mobile device, after all you can buy AA's anywhere, but a suitable socket for charging isn't always available.

Saying that, I still think the Series 7 is better than a Windows laptop for most users, you will be amazed by its stability, the power of its applications, and the practicality of its design.

Me? After borrowing a friends Series 7 for a couple of weeks I'm saving up the £350 I need for a brand new Psion Netbook (a 7 with more RAM), which still can be had if you know where to look. Watch this space.

Comments / Questions:

I have worn out one Series 5mx 16mb (not easy), tried a Revo but went back to another 5,which was given to me to replace the first. Had a ribbon failure on that. Bought a factory refurbed Rare metalic blue/green american 5, which is showing signs of possible problems and have just bought another normal 5mx (very good used)so I can continue to use an excellent pocket sized unit.  I tried an iPAQ but it is not a patch on Psion.
good luck
Len

Great!

I'm still using my Psion 5mx, and have been hooked on S5 for eleven years... amazing that they just keep working (and that you can get service for them still!!). If only something like an iphone existed with a decent keyboard (and bigger screen), but so far nothing lures me away from the super machine.

Cheers!
- Torbe

Great!

I just found you are probably fan of Psion computers!!! wooow :) thats sounds very good to me.

if so, please inform me if you are still owning psion computers, if you are coding on it or whatever doing i am very interested in it.

thank you very much for any reply to my mail.

byes and keep psion living! Jaxon.

I've got a 5, 3c, Siena and II at the moment, with a 5mx awaiting repair.
I use my Psion's mainly for writing articles on, I love the keyboards, battery life and reliability. Glad to here you're using Psion's too.

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