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Psion NEO

Entry level rugged handheld computer
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

In September of 2008, Psion Teklogix expanded its line of rugged wirelessly connected mobile computers with the NEO, a lightweight and pocket-sized handheld designed for applications in retail, light duty warehousing, utilities, delivery, line busting, etc. In the Psion Teklogix product lineup, the NEO is both a complementary addition as well as a replacement for the Workabout mx that came to market in 1995.

Unlike the PDA-style Psion Teklogix ikôn that was introduced in October of 2007, the NEO uses the traditional "flashlight" design. It's 6.6 inches long, 2.5 inches wide and 1.4 inches thick -- very small and compact for a rugged handheld. It also only weighs 9.6 ounces, making it very easy to carry around or put into a pocket.

As far as technology goes, the NEO runs Windows CE 5.0 on a 312MHz version of the Marvell PXA270 application processor, a field-proven combination. The device comes with 128MB of onboard SDRAM and 64MB of onboard Flash. A microSD slot can be used for memory expansion. The NEO has a portrait-oriented sunlight-viewable QVGA (240 x 320 pixel) display measuring 2.7 inches diagonally. A 11.1 watt-hour rechargeable Lithium-Ion powerpack provides full-shift battery life.

A docking port provides USB and RS232 connectivity as well as DC power input. There's also an expansion port that includes USB signaling and, according to Psion Teklogix, lets users "incorporate new technologies for future application needs (i.e.: RFID)". A pistol grip option is available.

The Psion Teklogix NEO comes in two versions. A "Batch" version uses Windows CE 5.0 Core and can be ordered with Bluetooth or Bluetooth and either an ID imager or laser scanner. The "Connected" version comes with Bluetooth and 802.11b/g WiFi, and you can specify either the ID imager or ID laser scanner. The connected version is further available with two different keypad configurations, one the 16-key numeric layout shown in the picture on this page, and a 48-key alphanumeric one. Both have LED backlights. The WiFi-equipped versions of the NEO can use Psion Teklogix' PTX Connect application for Voice over IP (VoIP) with Push-to-Talk for real-time voice communications as well as messaging.

The NEO is a rugged device. It can handle operating temperatures between 14 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, passed the MIL-STD-810F test of 26 drops from four feet onto concrete, and also passed shock and vibration tests, as well as ESD tests. Th device is sealed to IP54 specifications. This means it's protected against dust and also against water spray from all directions.

Overall, the new Psion Teklogix NEO is a light and handy, yet quite rugged, flashlight-style handheld computer with scanning and communication functions suitable for a wide variety of retail and light industrial applications. The NEO can take advantage of the comprehensive development tools available for Windows CE 5.0/CE.NET, an embedded scalable, 32-bit OS platform that has become the standard in industrial mobile computing.

Specifications Psion NEO
Added/changed Added 9/2008, updated 04/2013
Form-factor Rugged PDA
CPU Speed Marvell PXA270/624 MHz
OS Microsoft Windows CE 5.0 Core or Professional, Windows Mobile 6.1
Card slots 1 x microSD
Display type Indoor/outdoor TFT
Display size/res 2.7"/240 x 320 pixel
Digitizer/pens Resistive/1
Keyboard/keys 48-key alpha numeric or 28-key numeric LED-backlit keypad
Navigation directional control, touch, stylus
Housing plastic/metal
Operating Temp 14° to 122°F (-10° to 50°C)
Sealing IP54
Shock 26 4-foot drops
Size (WxHxD) 2.5 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches (64 x 168 x 34mm)
Weight 9.7 ounces (275 g)
Power 3.7Volts, 3,300mAH Li-Ion ("10-hours")
Interface USB, RS232, DC power via docking port; expansion port includes power and USB signaling
Wireless 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR; choice of IS laser scanner or imager
List price Inquire
Contact Psion Teklogic NEO webpage
Spec sheet Psion NEO spec sheet (PDF)
Windows CE/Mobile Info
  • Windows 10 IoT Core
  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld
  • Windows Embedded Compact 2013
  • Windows Embedded 8 Handheld
  • Windows Embedded Compact 7
  • Windows Embedded Handheld
  • Windows Phone 7
  • Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3
  • Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Windows Mobile 6
  • Windows CE 6.0
  • Windows Mobile 5
  • Windows CE 5.0
  • Windows Mobile Smartphone
  • Windows Mobile 2003
  • Windows CE .Net
  • Windows for Pocket PC 2002
  • Pocket PC intro 2000
  • Windows CE H/PC Pro 1998
  • Windows CE 2.0 1997
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