HP 320LX rival!?
Great article, I never even held a Newton myself. Can't really say I ever pined for one either.
Sorry for bringing up an equivalent much criticised (the OS at least) rival, but the Hewlett Packard 320LX was a very early Windows Mobile device that I owned around the same time as the Newton was around. Extremely well built, clamshell design, very small, I would say smaller than the Newton but I can't be sure based on the photos - it looks chunkier!
I always recall that the Newtons were most certainly devices aimed at the serious business PDAer, confirmed because of how expensive they were! My HP320LX was a lot cheaper I seem to recall.
Oddly enough the same thread of OS is still in operation today, in WM6.5!! Although they were split between professional and standard versions, and between horizontal keyboard equipped devices and vertical 'pocket PC' devices. I think it had Windows CE v1.0 in it, but I did order the OS upgrade ROM kit to v2 (or something) but it didn't change anything significantly!
At their heart from the very early days, right the way thru to 6.5 is an OS that simply takes most or all of the same visual elements as the full-fat Windows and plonks them uninteligently into a mobile device, wholely unsuited for it! 6.5 devices today only look different because they are substituted with UI elements added by the third party device manufacturer, HTC TouchFlo for instance.
It had a 640x240 display, which made it look really high-res for a mobile device.
I stuck with CE devices for years after owning that, mainly because of the amount of freebie software appearing (dotted around because of the lack of an AppStore equivalent) for the OS. At one point owning the rival 'i' device, the Compaq iPaq, then stuck with the same OS and form factor when HTC started building them into mobile phones, specifically the earlier HTC PDA brick like devices. PDAs and mob phones mixed really well I thought, the merging was a no-brainer.
Oh the early days of half arsed designed mobile computing, what memories!