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Former Psion Employee on the Psion Netbook Trademark Flap



psion-netbook The trademark tussle over the term Netbook continues to provide some interesting twists and turns. The latest is from David Hughes who is an ex-Psion employee as he tells a bit about how Psion let things slip through their fingers. Here’s an excerpt:

I remember playing with a pre-production netBook giving my feedback as to how I felt the EPOC OS should be adapted to work on the bigger screen and thinking we had a very cool device here. Psion used external design consultants Therefore for their hardware design, and the netBook was another triumph of industrial design.

As with the Series 3 and 5 PDAs that preceded it the netBook had a clever hinge that made the device seem to grow as you opened it revealing a keyboard that seemed larger than it should be. The hinge itself was wrapped in leather so it felt like carrying a leather book or Filofax. As well as an almost full size keyboard the netBook had a touch screen and solid state internals. Writing this now I realise that the Psion netBook really was ahead of it’s time.

A good read from Mr. Hughes that adds to the story.

Via Save the Netbooks



  1. GoodThings2Life

    02/21/2009 at 11:30 am

    I have a dream… that one day, corporate decision makers will spend more time listening and supporting good ideas from knowledgeable, talented people (both in and out of the company) than they do listening to money-hungry, know-nothing board members.

    Until then, we’ll continue to have these foolish lawsuits.

  2. Snowii

    02/21/2009 at 11:57 am

    I remmeber having Psion Revo and later Psion 5mx (still have that one somewhere at home :) ) – oh what a revolutionary gadgetds those were for me :D

  3. Sumocat

    02/21/2009 at 3:56 pm

    Via Save the Netbooks, eh? I love those guys, especially their founder, independent consultant Sam Johnston. He categorized me as a conspiracy theorist, which I take as a compliment. Only problem for him is, he’s not entirely wrong.

  4. Sam Johnston

    02/22/2009 at 7:14 am

    @Sumocat: Entertaining read, good catch with the 2006 Netbook Pro press release… would love to know the exact discontinuation date.

    I found this ex-employee’s take to be quite insightful – particularly about how close Psion were to having a “real” netbook. We’re only just now starting to see netbooks arriving on the market that could hold a candle to Psion’s (embedded, dedicated OS, *long* battery life, stunning industrial design, etc.).

    Here’s hoping they give up on the trademark angle, dust off those old blueprints and release a netbook tagged “the original and the best”. So long as it’s not a grand and a half I reckon I’d buy one.


  5. Jason

    02/23/2009 at 12:58 pm

    I had a Psion 3 & 5 myself and LOVED those machines, in fact it was my first portable computer, and before that I had a Commodore 64. I didnt touch a regular PC until few years later. I thought that Psion was revolutionary device, and only with recent PDA’s have we gotten close to the usability and stability of those Psion devices. It had word processor, usable keyboard… In the 5 years that I used a Psion it never crashed or lost data. Yeah I think they deserve some kudos for their innovative thinking that I think got absorbed by other companies later on.

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