Now that this morning’s frenzy is over and it’s already past 1 a.m. on the East Coast (7 p.m. for me), it’s time for a confession: I didn’t know it was possible to suddenly be unable to live without something I didn’t know existed until today.
Yes, even though HTC was rumored to be prepping a 7-inch UMPC for a Q2 release for several months, I didn’t expect this. HTC is fully aware that it has a winner on its hands, too. That’s the only explanation for why the company would name its upcoming UMPC the Shift. One careless typo and . . . well, it could all go down the toilet. And that’s definitely not where a device like this belongs.
The press release lacks pricing and CPU details, but the engineering sample Engadget got ahold of was powered by a 1.2GHz Via chip. HTC reps told PCMag.com that the Shift would be "aggressively priced" and sold through "standard PC channels," not cell phone shops.
I, for one, am glad that the unit won’t be tied to a carrier because I’ve already put nearly ten years into my relationship with T-Mobile and I’m in it for the long haul.
The specs are actually a mixed bag for me. Connectivity is outstanding (802.11b/g, triband UMTS/HSDPA, quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0), the mouse buttons and synaptics touchpad look good, and I like the 1GB of RAM, preloaded Vista Business Edition, and overall design. But, the 800 x 480 resolution and 30GB HDD are so 2006.
The keyboard looks promising, though mouse buttons and a pointer (see the Samsung Q1 keyboard) would probably make using the device in "laptop mode" more natural and comfortable. I guess I’ll know for sure at some point after the Shift’s Q3 release because like I said earlier today, 2007 is going to be a very expensive, bank-breaking, UMPC-filled year.
Better stock up on Cup-A-Noodle. I think Costco sells packs of 12 for something like $6 . . .