Distinguishing characteristics: 5.9″ by 4.3″ transflective monochrome screen, pen, optional cellular phone/modem module (with handset that sat on top of the screen). Ran Go's PenPoint operating system.
Original price: Around $3,000 for a fully-loaded model. (There was a $1,599 bare-bones version, but it didn't even have enough memory to run the e-mail program.)
The critics speak: "The Eo Personal Communicator, from Eo Inc. and AT&T, is a pen-based computing device of staggering technical achievement. But I wouldn't buy one." --Mark Stephens, InfoWorld
What happened: AT&T reportedly burned through $40-$50 million to buy Go, the company that created the PenPoint pen operating system, and Eo, its hardware spinoff. After the gadget flopped, Ma Bell decided to refocus its energies on devices that packed similar functionality into a more phone-like shape-which was a visionary move considering that smartphones didn't exist yet. But months later, in July of 1994, it just gave up.
Relevant factoid: Jerry Kaplan, cofounder of Go and Eo, wrote about the companies' short, ill-fated life in his Silicon Valley classic Startup. It's still in print.
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