Do we get an upgrade option to XP?
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 Shift Windows Vista handheld 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 …
The HTC Shift is not just a UMPC. It's called "shift" partly because it's part UMPC, part SmartPhone. It also carries a 400MHz CPU running a modified WM6 version that HTC call "SnapVue".
So: HTC Shift = Vista UMPC with rather small HD for a lot of money + a sort of crippled Hermes-esque phone part.
I'm curious but not tempted - a FlipStart costs $699, another £80 will probably shove an HSDPA modem in it in place of the EVDO module (I remain as ever horrified at the lack of coverage FlipStart has managed, and surprised no hack-happy bloggers have cracked the lid open and tried a suitable module inside it). Then I get XP, 30GB, 1.1GHz CPU that is actually capable of running something, and a pocket-sized device.
...for a UMPC with 1024x whatever display. 800x480 hasn't been of any use to anyone (running any modern GUI) since the days of the Amstrad 1640.
Better off getting a 2nd hand X40 or Portege 100 (http://www.sterlingxs.co.uk/scpages/smallminisubcheaplaptops.htm) which at least have proper screens, processors and keyboards and really aren't that heavy (<1.5Kg).
"The HTC Shift is not just a UMPC. It's called "shift" partly because it's part UMPC, part SmartPhone."
So it's an upgraded, overpriced version of my Athena? Yeah, I can see that happening, actually. The Athena's an excellent device, but it's not nearly flashy enough to appeal to Joe Public.
If I wanted one of these, I'd get the Eee. Costs less than my Athena did (and that was on contract!), and is more than capable for on-the-go stuff.
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.
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.
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.