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Psion Revo PDA Review

Psion Revo - Replace Your Filofax!

Psion RivoAs you will have probably read in a previous article, I recently dropped my trusty Psion 5mx, after many years of great service. Gutted. Barely a week later, I was tramping around our local car-boot sale with my wife, when what should I see but a Psion Revo 8mb, with manual, docking station, power
adaptor & travel modem.

£10 the lighter I was on my way home, desperate to see what this little baby could do. I'm a big fan of Psion PDAs, I think they have fantastic features, great battery life, and because of the key-boards I think you can really use them as Pocket Pcs.

Don't get me wrong, I love my XDA Pocket PC and Palm m105, its just that entering text is so much slower than when using a keyboard. The trade-off is that all Psions use variations on the clam-shell type of case, which is a weaker type of design, Psions have a tendency to break around the
hinges if not treated well and looked after.

I didn't much about the Revo before I bought it - just that it was produced in 1999, a development of the Series 3 range, but cheaper. The Revo was marketed as a personal organiser rather than a pocket pc, it has no drive slots or expansion capability, but it does have the powerful applications
that came with the 3 range, so can be used as such.

Ok. So I got my new Psion Revo home, plugged the docking station in, connected the serial cable, and to my relief it started to charge up. A quick visit to the Psion website and I downloaded PsiWin, the application that syncs the Revo with your PC. Problem. The PsiWin installer just would not work. After frantic searching the web, it all seemed to be something to do with temp folders being full, so I emptied them, restarted my PC, and it all installed fine.

PsiWin quickly synchronised all my outlook contacts, agenda and to-do lists. Browsing through the Agenda on my Revo showed that everything was in order, though it will take me a few days to get used to the different commands and layout.

So what about using the Psion Revo? Well the screen is grey-scale, but clear, and because it is so wide, all the applications are easy to use. There should be a back-light, but I guess this was a budget model. The key-board is ok, bigger and better than the old 3 & 3c, but not as good as the larger keyboard on the Psion 5, but still miles better than the input options on Pocket PCs.

After using the applications for a couple of hours, you can see why this device excels as an organiser rather than a Pocket PC - many of the programmes don't have the advanced features seen on the Psion 5, a spell checker in Word, drawing programmes, etc.

So what do I think? The Psion Revo 8mb is a great PDA, but it is not as advanced as my old Psion 5mx (obviously), however it has all the features that I need in a Pocket PC, so from me its a definite thumbs-up.

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