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  (Source: HTC)
HTC's shift pulls double duty when it comes to operating systems

DailyTech first brought you information on HTC's Shift Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) back in March. The Shift, like the Samsung Q1 Ultra and Fujitsu FMV-U8240 are powered by Intel's UMPC-specific A110 800MHz processor.

After months of speculation on the part of the UMPC community and virtual silence from HTC, the Shift is once again in the limelight. GottaBeMobile's Hugo Ortega was given the chance to spend a few days with the Shift and has provided a 30-minute video review of the device.

As previously mentioned, the Shift features an 800MHz Intel processor along with 1GB DDR2 memory, 7" screen (1024x600, 800x480), 40GB HDD, 802.11g wireless, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, 3G wireless (HSDPA), slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 1.3MP webcam and a biometric fingerprint scanner. In addition, the Shift also features a secondary Qualcomm 400MHz processor, an additional 64MB RAM and a 32MB flash ROM.

The secondary processor and memory are what makes the HTC Shift special. With the push of a button, it can instantaneously switch between Windows Vista Business and the Windows Mobile operating system (running at 640x480). When operating in Windows Mobile mode, users can still access features such as weather, email and contacts. In this mode, battery life is an astonishing seven days versus roughly three hours when using Windows Vista business.

There is still no word on pricing or availability for HTC's Shift, but expect a price tag well north of $1,500.

Updated 8/14/2007:
Dynamism is showing the HTC Shift on pre-order for $1,499. Dynamism is known for its high markups, so hopefully the Shift will debut at a lower price point when it reaches regular retailers in the U.S.



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Price
By jkresh on 8/11/2007 8:52:31 PM , Rating: 1
Device looks cool and might be a solid umpc (though the cpu is kind of slow), but $1500 is way too much. If it was $800 I would probably buy it, and at $500-$600 I would wait in line and convince a few other people to buy it but at $1500 you could get a reasonable laptop and a good pda/pda-phone. This is the same problem that other umpc's have, I would have bought Sony's one but at close to $2000 its way to high. Even at around $1000 this or Sony's would be worth considering but not at much higher then that.




RE: Price
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/11/2007 9:11:27 PM , Rating: 3
My Samsung Q1 Ultra was ~$1,150 and it doesn't even have HSDPA, dual processors/OSes or a fingerprint reader.

$800 is laughable for the Shift.


RE: Price
By jkresh on 8/11/2007 9:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
Brandon, I was not saying that they could actually sell it at a profit for $800, simply that at that price they would sell a lot and at $1500 they probably wont sell many.


RE: Price
By quiksilv3r on 8/11/2007 9:58:20 PM , Rating: 3
jkresh - And he was saying that to sell it at $800, you would need to have sustained serious brain damage.


RE: Price
By mforce on 8/11/2007 10:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with jkresh on this one . An UMPC is not worth more than 1000 $ no matter how you look at it. Sure , maybe some people are willing to spend that kind of money but it won't become mainstream at that price. 1500-2000 $ for this ? It's not worth it for me.
You can get an Asus Eee PC for 300 $ and a laptop for 600 $ and a desktop for another 600 $ all for the price of this thing. Oh and probably a 200 $ 3G phone also.
So , sorry ,nice gizmo but not worth it.


RE: Price
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/11/2007 10:25:09 PM , Rating: 4
What it's "worth" to you is totaly different than what it costs to make a device this size. This isn't some 15.4" notebook that you can get from Best Buy or Staples for $399 week in and week out.

And you're right, it won't become mainstream at that price point, but if you're looking for something more "mainstream" the Q1 Ultra EL is $899. Heck, PC Connection has it for $799 right now:

http://www.pcconnection.com/ProductDetail?Sku=7743...

The whole point for me to get a UMPC was to replace my 14.1" notebook on the road. It serves the role perfectly. It only weighs 1.5 pounds and I regularly get 4+ hours of battery life out of it. I can take it anywhere and even use it standing up comfortably -- can't do that with a laptop.

I've also got Firefox, Thunderbird, Photoshop, NVU, Ventrilo, OpenOffice and countless other programs installed on it. It's my computer for the road and does everything magnificently. Even the 800MHz processor isn't really a problem. Vista requires memory moreso than it does processing power in my experience (I bumped the memory up to 2GB shortly after receiving it).

Bottom line, most UMPCs are out of the mainstream right now, but given the components used in them, they can't really be uber cheap right now. To expect them to be is being a bit "greedy" at this point ;)


RE: Price
By MonkeyPaw on 8/11/2007 11:48:39 PM , Rating: 4
I dunno, I can see his point. An 800mhz CPU shouldn't be that hard for Intel to produce, even if it has to be super energy efficient. Intel makes <30W dual core CPUs that run a lot faster than 800mhz, and Intel also makes PDA CPUs that have virtually no TDP at all. 1GB of RAM is cheap, and a 40GB HDD is something you could get in an iPod what, 2 generations ago? 3G wireless, 802.11g, bluetooth, webcam? The iPhone has similar stuff and it costs less than $300 to make. So what makes this thing so special, a high-res 7" screen and a slide out keyboard?

True, it's a really small PC that can run Vista, but it's not so special to cost over $1500. I think UMPC makers know that their current target audience is willing to pay more for the convenience and status of ultra-mobility. How many non-power users want a PC that's basically only useful in a pinch? It's a niche product with a niche price.


RE: Price
By quiksilv3r on 8/12/2007 12:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, yea, that is what makes this thing special. A high res 7" screen and a slide out keyboard.
I dare you to try to find something with more functionality at a cheaper price. You mentioned the iPhone, which has NOTHING to do with a UMPC, however, since you brought it up, let me use it as an example.
The Iphone costs $599. $774 if you include the $175 cancellation fee to get out of that 2 year Cingular contract. (Since we are just talking about the hardware).

$774 gets you
3.5" touch screen (320x480)
8 GB Storage
2 MP Camera
802.11b/g Wi-Fi
Bluetooth v 2.0 (Headset support ONLY)
8 Hours of battery life

An estimated $1,500 will get you

7" touch screen
50 GB Storage
a 1.5 MP Webcam
802.11g
A keyboard
3G
A biometric finger scanner
Over 5 days of battery life.
1 GB RAM
A second processor

As you can see, it is special enough to cost over $1500. And while it is a niche product, it is expected to carry a this sort of price tag.


RE: Price
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/12/2007 1:56:15 AM , Rating: 5
You're forgetting one thing, small and lightweight notebooks aren't cheap.

Just take a look at this link with 54 sub 3-pound notebooks. With the exception of some refurbished Toshiba notebooks and some UMPCs, they mostly all hover in the $1,800 to $2,000+ range.

http://www.notebookreview.com/

(click "under 3 pounds" from the drop down listing on the right and look at the results)

You pay for miniaturization in UMPCs the same way you pay for it with sub-notebooks.

And as I said before, $799 will get you a Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC with an 800MHz processor 40GB HDD, 1GB RAM, WiFi, thumb-keyboard, Windows Vista Home Premium and 5 hours of battery life. Is that cheap? Heck no, but it's also not $1,500 either. If you want more features like the HTC Shift has, you're gonna pay for it.

And I take issue with your "only useful in a pinch" comment. When I'm on the road, my Samsung Q1 Ultra is my only computer and it is fully usable thanks to its thumb-keyboard and on-screen handwriting recognition. In fact, I typed all of this and my previous posts on my Samsung Q1 Ultra.


RE: Price
By Hypernova on 8/12/2007 3:38:55 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto, the amount of engineering required to miniaturise all that thing to this form factor is incredible. The keyboard henge itself is worth $100+. From the demo it's also handling Vista very well and the whole device can hold its own as a fully functional laptop.


RE: Price
By Eldercat1 on 8/12/2007 3:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
But that is set to change in the next few months with the Asus Eee PC. A sub $300 2Lb notebook with an 800Mhz Pentium M and overall dimensions of 8.9in x 6.5in x 1.37in. I had to check several websites to make sure this thing is for real because I can't see the point of ANY UMPC if the Eee PC hits its price point.


RE: Price
By Rayz on 8/14/2007 5:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
I can't see the point of ANY UMPC if the Eee PC hits its price point.

First of all, it has to hit that price point.

The EeePC also has 8GB of flash at the most. That mean it would have no room once I'd got my travelling collection and few films on it. Let's see how much it would cost when there's a useable amount of storage space on it. And I don't think it supports 3G either.


RE: Price
By R101 on 8/12/2007 6:04:08 AM , Rating: 2
How did you increase the RAM size, does it use everyday SO-DIMMs?


RE: Price
RE: Price
By R101 on 8/13/2007 8:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
Seeing it open like this, i wonder if the cpu could be swapped for something with a little more punch. I have a Yonah T2050 lying around. The chipset has the support, it's only the question if the socket and bios will follow..


RE: Price
By Rayz on 8/14/2007 5:07:11 AM , Rating: 2
Sure , maybe some people are willing to spend that kind of money but it won't become mainstream at that price

I always find this argument really bizarre. The primary objective is making money; not becoming mainstream.

Apple is not a mainstream computer maker, but they seem to be making more money than most other OEMs.

Profit first. Then they can worry about becoming mainstream after they've fleeced the gadget freaks.


"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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