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Psion Series 3C

The Psion Series 3 range of PDA (personal digital assistants) were made by Psion PLC. The four main variants are the Psion Series 3 (1991), the Psion Series 3a (1993), the Psion Series 3c (1996), and the Psion Series 3mx (1998), all sized 165 × 85 × 22 mm.

The Psion Series 3c was the next variant after the Psion Series 3a. (A Psion Series 3b does not exist). It has a slightly different external appearance to the earlier variants because a redesigned badge is placed centrally on the lid, the lid has fewer undulations, and a port for an infrared connection is visible. The plastic case is painted matte dark grey. The backup battery for the Series 3c is a CR1620

The Psion Series 3c is a highly versatile palmtop computer designed and built in the UK. It is powered by a 7.68 MHz NEC V30H microprocessor (an enhanced 80C86), and runs Psion's EPOC16 operating system. It has a 480x160 liquid crystal display capable of two levels of grayscale and is equipped with a switchable electroluminescent backlight. The Series 3c has two megabytes of ROM containing the operating system and numerous applications programs, and one or two (two in the case of my units) megabytes of battery-backed static RAM for system memory as well as file storage.

The Series 3c is somewhat similar to the TRS-80 Model 100, only vastly more powerful and capable. Enthusiasts of that machine know that one of its great advantages over other systems is the fact that it can be turned off in the middle of an activity (editing a text file, for example), and that when it is turned on again, operation is resumed right where it left off. It is unnecessary to wait for the machine to boot its operating system upon powering it up. Many fans of that machine seem to be unaware that the same capability does, in fact, still exist in modern systems. I was most pleased to discover that the Psion range of palmtops is capable of exactly the same thing. One can even turn off a Psion in the middle of saving a file, with no loss of data. Upon being powered up again, it resumes exactly where it left off!

Size 165 x 85 x 22 mm
Weight 275 grams with batteries
Processor NEC V30H at 7.68 Mhz
Rom 1 MB
Ram 1 Mb and 2 Mb
Screen 480 x 160 LCD
Power 2 AA batteries
Backup battey Lithium battery
External power 9 volts, 150 mA
Communication RS-232C, 56400 bps, IrDA
Sound Same as 3A
Keyboard 58-key QWERTY
Extra keys 9 reprogrammable buttons
Expansion 2 Solid State Disks, external PC-Card
Backlit Yes USA first then Uk models

Our 3C was verty kindly donated by Robert Kay

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