I didn’t actually own a Psion organiser back in the 1990s, but I dreamed of being the sort of man who did.
The British-made handhelds were for people too switched on for a mere Filofax, and its sliding keyboard promised a future filled with endless on-the-go productivity.
Now, of course, we’re in the actual future, and the grandchildren of the Psion are mainly used for Candy Crush.
But the businesslike glamour of the Psion still clearly has some pull. The Gemini PDA from Planet Computers is a resurrected version of the classic Series 5 organiser, crafted by the same industrial designer, with the same, irresistible QWERTY keyboard.
The Gemini PDA from Planet Computers is a resurrected version of the classic Series 5 organiser
I say ‘irresistible’, but this appears to be an age thing: youngsters look at it blankly, thinking ‘Why is that laptop so small?’, while over-40s cluster round going: ‘Oooh.’
The new version runs Android, and the keyboard’s satisfying to use, with a Mac-style row of icons letting you launch Word, email and note-taking apps. It’s not quite as fast as a ‘real’ keyboard, but it’s good enough that you find yourself adding fancy punctuation like colons just for kicks.
Basically, though, this is a geek toy. There’s not even a camera on the standard unit, which will have youngsters running for the hills, if they weren’t already.
There’s just no gap for this. If I need to type, I bring my laptop. If not, I use my phone. If I ever need to attract a crowd of fortysomething men, though, I’ll know where to turn.
It’s not quite as fast as a ‘real’ keyboard, but it’s good enough that you find yourself adding fancy punctuation like colons just for kicks