A portable data collection terminal has an elongate housing with a hand grip conforming rear surface. A front surface features a numerical keyboard adjacent a lower end of the housing and an LCD screen adjacent the keyboard toward an upper end of the housing. The display screen is of elongate rectangular shape, its length extending longitudinally of the housing of the data terminal. The active area of the display screen is covered by a touch sensitive overlay screen which is configured in one mode of operation of the data terminal into an alphabetical keyboard. The orientation of the display is switchable between orientations in which the line direction of the displayed data extends across or longitudinally of the data terminal. The keys of the numerical keyboard are identified by indicia disposed on a template. The orientation of the template may be sensed to switch the orientation of the displayed data and touch sensitive key identifiers to correspond to the orientation of the indicia on the template. As a further embodiment an electromagnetic activation by a pen may be used to enter data into a data terminal. The system includes terminals in the form of wireless transceivers in communication with base stations.