A few weeks ago an excellent bloke called Chris Matthews emailed me to ask if I wanted a
machine I'd never heard of, the Psion MC400 from 1989. It's an 80c86 powered machine that featured many firsts -
a touchpad with click action, SSDs and a pre-emptive multitasking OS (that went on to become Symbian on Nokia phones) and,
get this, up to 60 hours usage from 8 AA batteries!
With the PsiWIN software and appropriate cable you could also access files directly on a PC (and Mac too I think,
it's mentioned in the manual), and according to Chris it was loved by eg sports reporters because with a
built-in modem and THAT battery life they could write and upload from anywhere with a phone line. (Journos also loved the
Tandy M100 portable from a few years earlier for similar reasons).
Turns out Chris also gave me my first Nascom waaaaay back in the early noughties :D
Reading around it seems that at £845 when originally released in 1989 it wasn't THAT popular, but still made TIME magazine's 'top 100 devices from 1923 onwards'
in a subcategory called '5 gadgets ahead of their time' that was published in 2010. Sweet. Many thanks Chris!