HTC Shift loses some mystique

Htc_shift_videoHaving just finished watching Hugo Ortega’s exclusive video preview of the upcoming HTC Shift UMPC for the umpteenth time, I can now say that I’m officially not that impressed. Not as much as I thought I would be, anyway.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love the design and am intrigued by the keyboard, connectivity, and hardware controls. Likewise, the dual processors (800MHz Intel A110, 400MHz Qualcomm) and operating systems (Vista Business, Windows Mobile 6) are revolutionary (imaginary DualCor cPC notwithstanding) and will surely make a significant impact on future UMPCs.

But I’m still just slightly underwhelmed.

I don’t plan on basing my entire opinion of the Shift on a single video, of course, but everything I saw didn’t blow my mind to pieces. It took about three minutes for the device to awaken from hibernation, first of all, and navigation just seemed a tad clunky and awkward. And while I do like the idea of the instant access to WM6-type things, I must admit that if the Pocket PC feature became available as an option, I wouldn’t get it.

Personally, I don’t see the point of putting a semi-smartphone ("semi" because there aren’t any cellular calling features) into a comparatively large UMPC. Since the Shift can’t be used as a phone, you’d still have to carry a phone. And I know this isn’t the case with everyone, but many people (particularly business professionals, who I assume are the target audience) already carry smartphones. So why would someone leaving the house with both a Shift and a WM6 smartphone choose to toggle into WM6 on the Shift for quick access to email, contacts, calendar, etc.? The size of the Shift doesn’t make it particularly easy to remove from and put back into messenger bags and backpacks on the fly.


Definitive pricing, availability, and a whole bunch of other things are all up in the air at the moment, so there’s still time for lots to change between now and whenever the FedEx guy knocks on my door. (Hey, I didn’t say I hated the thing! It just dropped down a few places on my wishlist, that’s all.)

How did the video affect your opinion of the Shift?

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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