Psion palmtop computers have been extremely successful, especially in the European market, and it must have been
only a matter of time before someone produced a cheaper clone. Oregon Scientific, although an American firm, have
apparently aimed the Osaris primarily at the same market as Psion and at first glance it looks uncannily similar
to the Psion Series 5. It is roughly the same size (a little slimmer) and it shares the acclaimed Epoc operating
The attractive dark blue case has a light grey lid which opens at a convenient angle. The monochrome screen can
be backlit but it is small, only 320 by 200 pixels. Instead of being perfectly square, the pixels are in fact rectangular,
giving the text and icons a slightly elongated, though not unclear, look. It is a touch screen and is easily navigated
by either the (rather tacky) stylus provided or dexterous use of a fingernail. The screen is complemented by a
decent keyboard, though it must be said: the action is a little harsh.
The Osaris can connect to the Internet via either the IrDA port or a modem on the RS232 (serial) port. You can
view or send e-mails and, using the inbuilt Epoc browser, surf the web. The serial port is also used to connect
to your PC for downloading and backing up files (the Osaris comes with the necessary cable). The Epoc Connect software
allows perfect synchronisation with a large range of Windows programs, including Word, WordPerfect, Excel, Lotus,
Outlook and Access.
In addition to the two ports mentioned, there is a 6V DC jack for using an AC adaptor. An adaptor is not included
but since the polarity is clearly marked, it should not be too difficult to find one. The Osaris runs on two AA
batteries (only standard ones come with it but I bought rechargeable batteries after they wore out) and a CR2032
lithium battery (not included).
A truly great bonus on the Osaris is the slot for Compact Flash memory. The Osaris model I used came with 8Mb RAM
but the CF slot allows for a lot of upgrading. I inserted a 32Mb CF with no problems, though, be warned, this is
an extra drain on battery resources if left in permanently.
The Epoc operating system is excellent and includes a fully-featured word processor (complete with spell checker
and thesaurus), database, spreadsheet, agenda, jotter and even a minesweeper-style game. A tiny speaker sounds
alarms - though not much else. There is a range of other Epoc-compatible software on the market which can be bought
and added, although I have not been able to test which will run successfully on the Osaris.
The Osaris lacks the quality of the look-alike Psion Series 5 but it is far less expensive. At a price more closely
matching that of the old Series 3, it has many more features than the Series 3 and represents good value.
- Display Resolution: 320 x 200 with 16 grey levels
- ROM: 8 MB
- RAM: 4 MB, 8 MB, and 16 MB models available
- Serial port for PC Connect and modem connect
- IrDA Interface for IrDA data transmission between PC, notebooks, printers, etc.
- Compact Flash memory port
- DC Jack to adapt external power and to re-charge batteries (two AA - size batteries)
- 53 keys on keyboard + 5 membrane keys beside LCD
- Operating System: EPOC32
- Basic Functions: Agenda, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Home time and world time with daily alarm,
OPL user programming, Calculator (simple calculator, scientific calculator, paperless printer), Spell checker and
thesaurus, Document print, Game
- Terminal emulation
- Communications: E-mail send/receive, Fax send/receive
- When turning on the machine, all applications resume to state prior to shut down
- Connectivity: EPOC Connect provides integration and synchronization between MS Windows PCs and
- Power Source: One 3V CR2032 lithium battery (main battery) and 2 AA batteries
- Open 112 x 70 x 12.5 mm
- Closed 112 x 135 x 10 mm
- Unit Weight: (w/ battery) 75 grams
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