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Publisher's Message

Good bye HP 100LX, hello, HP 200LX. The HP 200LX with built-in Pocket Quicken and a cleaner look and feel is another HP Palmtop winner. Tracking expenses, check writing, and credit card expenditures is now easy (and yes, almost fun) using HP 200LX Pocket Quicken. HP has taken one more step as the world-wide leader in personal, convenient, pocket computing.

I just wish HP had taken a bigger step. The HP 200LX is basically a 100LX with an additional megabyte of ROM. In addition to Pocket Quicken, the additional megabyte is used to store a few games and utilities and nice, but relatively minor, visual enhancements to the built-in software. At the least, it's too bad HP didn't significantly speed up the 100LX data base applications (PHONE, DATABASE, APPT, and NOTETAKER).

In 1985 I began publishing The Portable Paper, a support publication for the HP 110 Portable and HP Portable Plus. These DOS-based (but not true PC compatible) computers had Lotus, a word processor, time manager, and communications software built-in. (Sound familiar?) In terms of battery life, ruggedness, and shear usability, these HP Corvallis machines were years ahead of their time. Unfortunately, for whatever internal reason, HP stopped producing these portable wonders, never making it into the main-stream marketplace because of lack of PC compatibility. Years later HP restarted its efforts with the introduction of the HP OmniBook.

About the same time HP introduced the HP LaserJet printer. The HP LaserJets always come with a disk full of drivers to make sure it is compatible with existing software. Through the years HP began to offer lower-end, lower-cost "consumer" LaserJets. At the same time while continuing to innovate with its consumer/small business printers, HP assumed a leadership role with its technologically advanced high-end LaserJets.

Let us trust HP follows the LaserJet model. HP must continue to advance and innovate and produce high end, fully-functional PC compatible Palmtops. From that leadership role it can produce lower-end, more consumer oriented Palmtops.

Microsoft's answer to PC compatibility in a Palmtop is a new operating system it's working on called "WinPad," a palmtop version of Windows. Windows applications will have to be re-written for it. I think the real answer to PC compatibility in a palmtop is to create a true windows machine like the original OmniBook 300 in the HP Palmtop form factor. Twelve to sixteen megabytes of built-in RAM and ROM in a 386 processor and an optional attachable mouse. Why not? The real break-through will take place when a voice recognition system is built-in eliminating the problems of the diminutive keyboard.

There's lots to do. We hope that HP continues leading the way in the Palmtop market, a market which, five years from now, will be huge.

iPhone Life magazine

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We buy used palmtops, working or broken: HP 200LX, HP 100LX and 1000CX.

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