Review of the NEO from Psion Teklogix

Executive Summary

An excellent machine. The screen is outstanding - conspicuously sharp, which more than compensates for the smaller size. Overall look and feel is excellent, with the detail very well thought out. It has a rugged feel to it. Keyboard is good. Technically it seems solid. Price point is good.


SageData have been working with Psion since 1991 and we have seen the introduction of many products, some good, some not quite so good. The Organiser and Organiser II were a surprise success. The HC a disappointment. The Workabout an excellent machine. Workabout Pro had a soft start but has now established itself. IKON is still proving itself. And now the NEO.

There are two components to our brains, the intellectual and the instinctive. The instinctive part responds quickly. And the response to the NEO is WOW! The initial look and feel is very attractive, especially the screen, which seems to be both bright and sharp. And it just feels "right" to hold and to view.

The intellectual response to the NEO is more measured, and again very positive. Small features, such as the angled case, have serious practical implications. And every detail seems to have been carefully considered and worked out. No warts that we could see.

In Psion's press release they emphasise that they have gone out of their way to recruit users and developers to provide input to this machine, and it shows. It must have required some serious "cloak and dagger" work to gain input and still maintain the secrecy around the product. Barry Boyd is the "father" of the NEO, and for past two years we have seen him at various conferences with a small black bag chained to his wrist, holding whispered conferences in dark corners. Involving other parties in early reviews may have explained this. The impact of the ideas from users and front line personnel clearly shows up in this product - even in small touches such as a storage space in the trigger grip for the rubber pad that is removed when the pistol grip is installed. An excellent job on the design of this product. Congratulations to Psion Teklogix, to Barry, and to his team.

Where does the NEO fit?

Prior to the introduction of the Neo, the Psion-Teklogix range included the Workabout Pro, The IKON, and the 7535.

- The Workabout Pro is a rugged machine, suitable for warehouse and similar applications. It has a modular design, which means that a variety of modules can be added, such as various readers for barcodes, RFID (active and passive), mag cards, fingerprints, and so forth. It has a larger keyboard, in A - Z format.
- The IKON seems to us to work best for more mobile applications, such as proof of delivery. It has a QWERTY style keyboard (though with smaller keys). It can include wide area data and phone capability, and the large screen is good for GPS applications. So we see this as the ideal proof of delivery machine.
- the 7535 is a high end very rugged machine, for demanding applications where reliability is key.

When the old Workabout MX was discontinued, Psion lost a small, low cost, unit. The NEO fills that gap, with a machine that is many times more capable. We see this as the ideal machine for front office applications, for asset management, and for retail applications such as price confirmation and stock count or re-ordering. Reaction from one of our established clients was very positive. They use Workabout Pro in their Distribution Centre, and are now planning to roll out the NEO to all stores, primarily for price check, but with plans for additional functionality.

The VOIP capability gives the NEO a powerful edge, as an "all in one" tool, with both handheld computer capabilities and phone functions in one unit. This means that staff can be contacted quickly and easily, with no additional equipment or hardware to be set up and maintained. And this works well with the Neo, because it is so small and light. In fact the NEO is smaller and lighter than a cordless phone I am using at home, vintage 1999. We have come a long way...

The Hardware

The hardware itself is very appealing. Various models can offer touch screen functionality, a variety of scanners, Bluetooth and 802.11 communication capability.


The low price point and small size limit the flexibility of this machine. Options such as barcode reader, 802.11 radio, and Bluetooth, must be determined as the order is placed, and cannot be easily retrofitted.


SageData applications were easily ported to this machine. The image shows the BassetPro asset management system loaded. It is also the ideal machine for inspections, for proof of delivery, for meter reading and data collection.

For more information...

SageData is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
We design systems around RFID, Barcodes and Handheld computers.
For further information, contact Doreen Wallace or Keith Jackson.

To reach us by email, click here.
To reach us by phone from Ottawa, dial 613 225 4404
To reach us by phone from outside Ottawa, dial 1-888-838-1067

© SageData . Ottawa . Ontario . Canada