A portable terminal has a housing with a motion detector housed therein. Movement of the housing from a a rest position is detected by sensing the motion of a coil or magnet located within the housing. A controller activates circuitry within the housing responsive to the detected movement. The terminal may include a touch sensitive display, on a flat front surface of the housing. A light emitter and an optical detector may also be disposed within the housing. Preferably, the terminal also houses a sensor for sensing different specific positional orientations of the terminal and activating or deactivating terminal functions depending on the sensed orientation.