If you’ve been following the netbook controversy started by Psion, some words from a current employee might shed some light on why the company is so desperate for retribution for the potential infringement on their trademark. If you haven’t been following the controversy, catch up: even Dell is in the battle now.
David Hughes of Psion was quoted on blog.savethenetbooks.com, the blog site criticizing Psion, talking a bit about how Psion missed a big opportunity with their netBook.
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 itâs time.
It’s hard to say if Psion could have started the trend back in the day. If you’re skeptical, be sure to check out our original report on the controversy, including an in-depth video demo of the netBook.