When I was a kid I was lucky enough that my parents got me an HP iPAQ 2210 and later an iPAQ hx2790 (if I remember it correctly) — it was a cool gadget that I had at me at all times and used to read almost all of Douglas Adams and Frank Herbert (oh, and those books they made us read at school, too) and play a lot of XCOM — there used to be a decent port of UFO Defense for Windows Mobile. So, I kinda jumped over Psion and Palm in their glory days. But I remember a Russian gaming magazine running a series of articles on Morrowind in 2001. The author seemed to be so obsessed with the game that he made his own programs for Psion 5 to track quests, alchemy recipes and stats. He also praised that device a whole lot for its functionality and awesome keyboard.
Fast forward to 2008. Asus introduced its first netbook, a Eee PC 701. It was a tiny little machine with a 7 inch screen, cramped keyboard and a dumbed-down Linux installed. Later versions came with Windows XP, and suffice to say, neither really worked on such a tiny screen. I was really intrigued by an idea of a full-featured laptop that weighed around 1 kg, was as big as a book and didn't cost a kidney. Naturally, everyone recalled Psion, because they had an actual device called Netbook back in 1999.
I became fascinated with those machines and got myself an actual second-hand 3c and a 5mx. Naturally, by that time I couldn't really use them for school — they didn't play nice with Office, didn't support Wi-Fi or even USB. But they were small, ran off 2 AA batteries for 30 or 50 hours (don't remember exactly, but an iPAQ would only work for 5-7 hours and netbooks worked for less than 4) and 5mx had an awesome keyboard. It felt a lot better than a netbook — it only needed about 50 keys and so they were much larger and had a really nice travel. I kind of became obsessed with keyboards — collected typewriters for a while. Still have this one from those days:
Also, fell in love with the concept of WYSIWYM and specifically, Markdown. Although it would be years until I wouldn't need to deal with Office files and could just write everything in Markdown. At the time I wondered if it were somehow possible to make a mobile productivity device that wouldn't need to support all legacy software and formats and could use a low-powered ARM CPU, didn't need a large screen, a huge HDD or a heavy battery. Basically, I dreamt of an iPad, only with a Psion-like keyboard. Alas, it wan't meant to be. All netbooks eventually switched to Windows XP (and then Windows 7). So, another "year of desktop Linux" failed. Netbooks didn't pan out to be awesome low-cost mobile PCs — they became just cheap crappy laptops. No one tried to make a Psion-like keyboard, too, since it wouldn't work with Windows. Eventually, mobile devices went the way of iPad, and good small keyboards became an accessory rather than the norm.