HTC Vista UMPC to hit the UK within weeks
Credit cards at the ready...
HTC’s long-awaited Shift UMPC is set to arrive in the UK later this month and, rumour has it, you’ll also be able to buy it from Orange.
HTC's Shift: runs Vista, connects to 3G
The Shift, which first appeared almost a year ago and was due to go on sale in November 2007, will be available from online retailer Expansys on 19 February, for a device-only price of £885 (€1185/$1720).
Separately, bloggers Tracy and Matt claim to have seen a copy of Orange’s retailer-oriented February pricebook, which apparently reveals that the network operator will offer an own-brand version of the UMPC in March.
A clipping, supposedly from the pricebook, gives a brief outline of the Shift’s specs, but states that it “cannot make voice calls using a mobile network”.
More than three times the price of an Eee
So what other features does the pricey device have? The Shift has a 7in touchsensitive display that tilts up to reveal a Qwerty keyboard. It runs Windows Vista Business edition, and hides 1GB of DDR 2 memory and a 30GB hard drive under its shell.
For data connectivity, the Shift has quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge, 3G HSDPA for connections of up to 3.6Mb/s, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0. There's a fingerprint reader to stop unauthenticated users from easily gaining access.
Orange was unavailable for comment at the time we went to press, so if you’re looking to land yourself an HTC Shift as soon as possible, your best option is to head to Expansys’ website.
"Microsoft Windows Vista has uninstalled the letter 'f' from your device name"
No further comment.
You're right about the hard drive. They could rip that out, replace it with flash and either make the device smaller or use the space for even more funky gadgetry.
The Fujitsu whateveritis is about the same size as the Athena - and a similar price stateside. However the Athena does handle calls quite well. My experiences with the FlipStart suggest "with the right apps" (i.e. not Office) it's very quick and portable, and has a better keyboard than Athena.
And I'm running XP, too.
I wish HTC would develop their products properly - finish them off, as it were - as many offer a lot of potential but instead get replaced totally. There is apparently going to be a 16GB Athena in April, but to what benefit - rumours on here suggest the N95 replacement will have 16GB too, iPhones have 16GB - why develop a machine which contains the HD still, I wonder.
Oh, absolutely, the Athena is flawed. The hard drive is indeed a pointless addition, as you said, and the OS lags like a bitch. However, it is gobsmackingly portable, and the battery life is fine for me.
I do all my Uni notes on the Athena. I'm in a lecture right now, in fact! Naughty me. I'm hoping to put Project Black on my device soon, which is apparently a lot slicker.
It's not perfect by any means, but it certainly was the best for me at the time, and to be honest I still think it is. A bigger machine wouldn't fit in my jacket pocket, would still need a headset, etc. The Athena's a great little device that does just enough for what I need while on the go, and hopefully Project Black will take away its annoying tendency to lag. I personally woudn't pay more for this Vista based device, because it only really serves the same purpose as the Athena, but it's bulkier, and I'll bet with Vista on it lags just as much.
Arnold: FlipStart has a 5.6" 1024 x 600 screen. The Register seems to have deemed it unworthy of coverage for some reason, but google. They're $699 in the US. Also Sony's UMPC things had 1024 x 600 also, and I think the Fujitsu A100-based one has too.
Greg: I have an Athena (well, had, I slipped over on a train and smashed it a week or so ago - insurance will replace it thankfully) and found in true HTC style, it Didn't Quite Work Well Enough - camera was useless, it's far slower than the CPU speed suggests - and of course, it's an awful phone without a bluetooth handset (LG Style-i should have been standard kit!). Shift is far more than the Athena, it's an Athena with a UMPC attached. The idea is that SnapVue will allow a decent standby to use it as a phone.
The Eee is a nice idea, but the screen dimensions are all wrong IMO. The size of the lid would allow an 8.1" or larger screen and more pixels; or just ditch the wasted space and make it smaller physically. And the lack of storage annoys me. I want one as a successor to my Handheld PC, MobilePro 900c, but I never really made much use of that either.
What made Athena so anachronistic was the inclusion of the HD. Such a short sighted move; added bulk, added power consumption, added fragility - and yet I just stuck 8GB in my E90 for £32.