Palm Tungsten Palm Tungsten

All the first PDAs on the market had keyboards… Remember the Sharp organizers? The Psion Series 5?

Then some day, the Apple Newton and a little later the PalmPilot introduced a new form of input device: the stylus! Since then, virtually all PDAs adopted that form and the ones who didn’t (like Psion)… eventually died! :(

The funny thing is that lately, the keyboard equipped devices seem to have started a massive come-back! Sony and Handspring were the first. Today PalmOne has a keyboard on half of their new models. And the Pocket PC powered (well the Windows Mobile 2003 powered) devices will probably follow shortly.

The reason for this trend is a shift in the PDAs main usage. A few years ago, PDAs were used nearly exclusively as a date book + an address book on steroids. But today, they are also used to edit complete Word or Excel files and more importantly: to communicate!

PDAs have become an efficient way to check and reply to email on the move, as advocated by RIM with the Blackberry. There is no way you can bear repeatedly writing emails without a keyboard!

As I said before, the survival of the PDA species is bound to developing real competitive advantages over the smartphones. The keyboard may be one of them… but again… Nokia has already thought about this issue [Link gone] twice!

Comments from long ago:

Comment from: Kochise

The very first PDA ever was the ATARI PortFolio, 8088 at 4.9152 MHz with a maximum RAM of 4 MB (tricked devices) !


2003-09-10 11-33

Comment from: François PLANQUE

Hehe I remember that one. I’m not sur it should be considered as a PDA and not as a subnotebook. But whatever, it had a keyboard and that’s my point ;)

2003-09-10 13-36

Comment from: Kochise

There was ABSOLUTELY everything, calendar, note book, spread sheet, calculater, … All integrated !


2003-09-10 14-00