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Handheld computer - Visor Deluxe

Visor Deluxe

  • Object:

    Handheld computer

  • Place of origin:

    United States (Made)

  • Date:

    2000 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Handspring International (Maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Polypropylene, metals, electrical and computer components

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the manufacturer

  • Museum number:

    W.663:1 to 8-2001

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This type of personal computer is known as a 'personal digital assistant'. PDAs were marketed from the mid-1980s as organisational tools, but their greater affordability in the late-1990s and early-2000s meant they became, at the same time, fashionable accessories. The Handspring Visor was available in a range of translucent, coloured plastic cases, inside of which the complex computer technology is concealed. In this way, it is aesthetically related to the design of the Apple iMac G3 (see W.29-2008), which was more-or-less contemporary. The Visor was conceived by the designers of the PalmPilot (1997), one of the fastest-selling computer products ever.

Physical description

Small, handheld computer with a touch-sensitive LCD (liquid crystal display) screen; the body is made of orange plastic.

Place of Origin

United States (Made)


2000 (Made)


Handspring International (Maker)

Materials and Techniques

Polypropylene, metals, electrical and computer components


Width: 8.5 cm cradle, :, Depth: 12 cm cradle, Height: 5.5 cm cradle, Length: 11 cm stylus, Diameter: 0.5 cm stylus, Width: 7.7 cm handheld computer, Height: 12 cm handheld computer, Depth: 1.8 cm handheld computer

Descriptive line

Handspring Visor handheld computer; made in USA.

Labels and date

[Gallery 76]


Personal digital assistants, or PDAs, were marketed from the 1980s as a computerised personal organiser, suitable for business use away from the office. This one was promoted as much as a lifestyle accessory as a practical piece of equipment. Its complex technology is concealed within a bright, translucent plastic case.

Manufactured by Handspring International
Plastics and metal
Given by the manufacturer
Museum no. W.663-2001
VisorTM handheld computer

Handspring was set up in 1998 by the team responsible for the development of the PalmPilotTM, one of the fastest-selling computer products ever. Early in 2000 the Handspring team lanuched the VisorTM handheld computer, which uses the Palm operating system. Like the iMac, the VisorTM comes in a range of colourful plastics. The New York Times described it as the ultimate gadget, a kind of 'Swiss Army pocket computer'. The brand value of Handspring has been built very quickly and is set to compete with established names such as Sony, Nokia and Ericsson. The company now operates in the USA, Europe and Japan, and has an on-line retail partnership with Amazon.com.

USA, 2000. Available world wide. Lent by Handspring []


Polypropylene; Metal


Plastic; Product design; Household objects; Personal accessories

Production Type

Mass produced


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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