1996 also saw the release of the first PDAs developed by USRobotics subsidiary Palm Inc., the Pilot 1000 and 5000, which had more in common with today’s smartphones than many of their contemporary devices. They had a touchscreen with only a few physical buttons at the bottom. They had apps you could download. They could sync data with your computer. And they were small and light enough to carry with you at all times. They just didn’t make phone calls.
A year later, Palm released the slightly upgraded PalmPilot Personal and PalmPilot Professional (with 512KB and 1MB of RAM, respectively), and the ensuing years would see a regular stream of new devices — not to mention an acquisition by 3Com, and a new spate of Palm OS products from Handspring, a company founded by the folks behind the original Pilot.
But it’s those first few devices that come to mind when someone mentions “Palm PDA,” and with good reason — they set a mold that wasn’t deviated from much until Palm made the jump into smartphones.
Gallery: PalmPilot Personal review
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USRobotics PalmPilot Personal review originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 01 Apr 2012 16:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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