Network: A Psion for the serious businessman

Geofox-One is the handheld for those unwilling to make compromises, writes David Fox

There are now two standards vying for supremacy in the handheld computer market - Microsoft's Windows CE and Psion's EPOC32 operating system. Until recently, the Psion Series 5 was its only user, but now a new Cambridge company, Geofox, has launched the Geofox- One, a business-oriented machine which is much more than a Series 5 variant.

Where almost all rival handhelds have gone for pen-operated screens, Geofox has realised that this makes the screen harder to read (due to the pressure-sensitive layer over the screen). Instead, it has a glidepoint mouse and a bigger, clearer screen than any rival.

Unlike the Psion, it can take a plug-in PC Card modem, and makes the most of this in its Professional versions, which can easily be used for e-mail or Web surfing - where the 6.8in diagonal screen makes a big difference. Menus can be turned off for less clutter and you can zoom in and out at the touch of a button, which is useful when reading in poor light, rather than using the power-hungry backlight screen.

It comes with more memory (either 4Mb or 16Mb of Ram), so you can have several programs open at once and swap between them - or access large picture-based Web pages. However, the Web browser doesn't yet support frames so it can't access some Internet sites - a new version is being developed. It also had difficulty accessing the Web via CompuServe. But a very helpful technical support engineer, his technical director and their people in the US managed to devise a fix for this in less than two hours. CompuServe and AOL users may also be dismayed that it only uses POP3 e-mail, but this is now becoming available on CompuServe.

The rest of the software will be familiar to Series 5 users, with its good word processor, card-file database, spreadsheet, diary, calculator, UK and US route planners, and two games. The other big difference is the keyboard. Although the gap between the keys is the same, it isn't as easy to type on as the Series 5. The rubber Chiclet keys lack feedback, but having a calculator keypad helps make up for that. It is also very easy to access each program through a second set of keys to the left of the glidepoint pad. The only other trade off is the Geofox's size - it is very slightly wider than the Series 5 and a full ounce heavier.

It comes with PsiWin software, allowing it to share data with applications on a Windows 95 PC (a Mac version is also now available), and, unlike Windows CE, it is not limited to Microsoft's Word and Excel - good news for Lotus 1-2-3 or WordPerfect users. An infrared port makes data exchange with other Geofox-Ones and Series 5s, or a suitable printer, easy.

The two AA batteries can last about 25 hours, but the modem would drain them so quickly that it should only be used with the mains adaptor. As the Geofox-One can only be bought through the Internet or by phone, prospective users can try it out for 14 days and get their money back if not satisfied. A three-year hardware warranty and lifetime support is included. Prices range from pounds 375 (inc VAT) for a standard 4MB model, to pounds 570 for the Professional 16MB version including modem and adaptor.

Overall, unless you do a lot of writing (where the Series 5 keyboard triumphs), the Geofox-One forces you to make fewer compromises than any other handheld.

Geofox - http://www.geofox.com (0845 844 0109).

Arts and Entertainment
Just folk: The Unthanks

music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne with his Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rowan Atkinson is bringing out Mr Bean for Comic Relief

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea