A handspring is a gymnastic feat where the gymnast leaps forward from a standing position into a handstand and then onto his feet. A back handspring is called a flic flac.
Handspring was a maker of Personal Digital Assistants using the Palm OS operating system. The original inventors of the Palm Pilot who founded Palm, Inc. were Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and Ed Colligan.
3Com purchased Palm, Inc. and after some time the three became upset with 3Com having too much control over the product. As a result, they left and founded Handspring in June 1998. In 2003, Handspring merged back with Palm, Inc. to form palmOne. The Treo 600 is the last Handspring product.
The company launched the Handspring Visor line of products on September 14, 1999 which, unlike most of products produced by Palm at the time, used USB to synchronize with the desktop computer and included an expansion port. The USB support made these the first Palm devices to work with the Macintosh operating system out of the box. More liberal than the Palm Pilot, the Visor line featured vibrantly colored handhelds focused more towards average people. The expansion port, called the Springboard Expansion Slot, allowed for addition of modules such as games, ebooks, extra memory, universal television remotes, cellular telephones, modems, MP3 players, digital cameras, and even a device for connecting to an EKG.
Visor and Visor Deluxe
The Visor line at first introduced the Visor Solo, which was black and contained 2 megabytes of onboard memory. The Visor Deluxe had the option of translucent colored models, and had eight megabytes of onboard memory. The Visor and Visor Deluxe used Palm OS 3.1H, a modified version of the OS from Palm that included an enhanced datebook, a city time application, and an advanced calculator. Unlike the Palm Pilot, the Visor's infrared port was placed on the side of the device to make room for the Springboard. Critics of the device note the lack of rubber between the buttons and metal contacts making the buttons harder to press and complain that the screen cover was not connected, making it easy to lose. The Visor and Visor Deluxe weighed 5.4 oz. Their dimensions were 4.8" x 3.0" x 0.7".
When Handspring released the Visor Prism, it was the first Palm OS handheld to have a 16-bit color display (65,536 colors); the current model produced by Palm only had an 8-bit color display (256 colors). Its power came from a rechargeable lithium ion battery, rather than two AAA batteries like most Visors. However, it did have the Visor standard Springboard Expansion Slot. The Prism featured Palm OS 3.5.2H3, and weighed 6.9 oz. The dimensions were 4.8" x 3.0" x 0.8".
The Visor Platinum was similar to the Visor Deluxe. In fact, apart from shell color, the exterior of the devices were indistinguishable. The Visor Platinum was available only in a silver (or platinum) colored shell, as opposed to the Visor Deluxe's many color choices. The only difference between the Visor Deluxe's and Platinum's electronics was the Platinum included a 33MHz Motorola DragonBall VZ processor, while the Deluxe only supported a 20MHz chip. At the time of the release of the Platinum, it sported the fastest processor for a Palm OS device.
Released in March 2001, the slim Visor Edge featured a MC68VZ328 DragonBall™ CPU clocked at 33 MHz. The 160 x 160 pixel, 4-bit grayscale (16 shades of gray) display was standard for most Palm PDAs. However, at the time it was the smallest and lightest Visor, sizing in at 4.7" x 3.1" x 0.44" and weighing 4.8 ounces. Packed with 8 MB RAM and Handspring's latest version of the Palm OS, version 3.5.2H, the Visor Edge was an appealing PDA. Available in three colors, Metallic Blue, Metallic Silver, and Metallic Red, it was also eye catching. With a built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, which generally lasted two to four weeks on a charge, the Visor Edge was one sleek machine. However, due to its size, the standard Springboard Expansion Slot was accessed through a slide on sleeve rather than a built-in slot. Nevertheless, this still allowed the Visor Edge to access the numerous Springboard Modules available.
The Visor Neo offered nothing new to the Handspring Visor lineup. Released in September 2001, the Neo featured a MC68VZ328 DragonBall™ processor clocked at 33 MHz. It had 8 MB DRAM, an IrDA-compliant infrared interface, and Handspring's standard Springboard Expansion Slot. It also sported a built-in microphone and a 160 x 160 pixel, 2-bit grayscale (4 shades of gray) display. The 4.8" x 3.0" x 0.7" unit, weighing in at 5.4 ounces, came in a Blue, Red, or Smoke colored case. It used Handspring's modified version of the Palm OS, version 3.5.2H3. Power came from two AAA batteries that would last up to two months. The only new feature this model had was a lower price, with which Handspring was hoping to attract new users.
The Visor Pro was Handspring's last model in its Visor series of PDA's. The 4.8" x 3.0" x 0.7" unit was powered by a MC68VZ328 DragonBall™ processor clocked at 33 MHz. Weighing 5.7 ounces, the unit came with 16 MB RAM, a built-in microphone, and Handspring's Springboard Expansion Slot. It had a 4-bit grayscale (16 grays), backlit, monochrome display. Its power supply came from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
Handspring stopped producing the Visor line, and replaced it with the Handspring Treo, a more "communication centric" line of handhelds, most of which were integrated with cellular phones and included built-in keyboards for enhanced e-mail and SMS functionality.
The Treo 90 was the last pure (no phone) organizer produced by Handspring.
Treo 180 / 180g
Treo 270 / Treo 300
The Treo 270 was a GSM model and the Treo 300 was a CDMA model which was released by SprintPCS.
Treo 600 is now known as PalmOne Treo 600. The GSM version is one of the few quad-band phones available.
The company is now owned by palmOne.