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HTC gets its feet wet in the UMPC market

HTC has long been known for its Smartphones, but the company has something new up its sleeve this time around. The company is showcasing its first Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) in the form of the "Shift."

The Windows Vista Business-powered HTC Shift crams as much technology as you could possibly have in a UMPC device including a 7" (800x400) widescreen display, 1GB of RAM, 30GB HDD, fingerprint scanner, 1.3MP webcam, 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, tri-band HSDPA and EDGE and a built-in keyboard. When it comes to expansion, there's a Secure Digital slot, a single USB port and a VGA connector.

The Shift can operate in two modes: Tablet mode and Laptop mode. In Tablet mode, the keyboard is hidden and you can write on the screen with a stylus like any traditional Tablet PC. In Laptop mode, the screen slides back to reveal the keyboard. Once in position, the screen can tilt up to 75 degrees.

The keyboard may get the most attention when it comes to the Shift. According to PC Magazine, the keyboard is vastly superior to other tiny keyboard featured on the Sony VAIO UX and OQO Model 02. "The keys are small and tight, but with actual travel: when you push a key, you push it down and it springs back like on a real keyboard, not a thumb-board. We estimated the key pitch at about 17 mm," said PC Magazine's Sascha Segan.

Although final processor specs have yet to be revealed, Engadget reports that the sample that it tested featured a 1.2GHz VIA processor. Pricing was also not made available; however, anywhere far south of $2,000 may fare well for the company.

Updated 3/27/2007: Engadget has posted some new images of the HTC Shift including its screen mechanism and close-ups of the keyboard.






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