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Smartphones Reviews
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HTC Shift review

£885 inc VAT

Manufacturer: HTC

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The HTC Shift's design straddles the middle ground between smartphone and laptop.

The HTC Shift's design straddles the middle ground between smartphone and laptop.

Folded up and ready for transit, the HTC Shift is a touchscreen tablet wrapped in a leather a shell. However, the screen slides up and even tilts backwards at an angle, which makes this unit a versatile mobile computer that you can easily use either in-hand, or on a surface.

The HTC Shift distinguishes itself from competing ultramobile PCs (UMPCs) in several ways. This is the first shipping UMPC to showcase Microsoft's Origami Experience 2.0, a customised interface and software suite that runs on top of Windows Vista.

The HTC Shift also integrates a cellular radio.

For news and reviews on the best technology on the move, visit Mobile Advisor.

Under the hood

Almost by definition, you can never expect any UMPC to pack a performance punch. But, certainly you're hoping for enough oomph to make Windows Vista Business run at an acceptable pace (at the least, a pace that out-runs snails).

Surprisingly, in spite of its modest components - Intel's A110 800-MHz Pentium M processor and an anemic 1GB of RAM - the HTC Shift performed serviceably in our hands-on tests.

We found basic tasks and programs jammed on to the HTC Shift's 40GB hard drive (about 23GB are available with a factory-fresh machine) snappy enough. My biggest annoyance was the unit's pokey boot time: about 90 seconds from dark to startup.

In addition to using the Windows Vista Business operating system, the HTC Shift incorporates Origami 2.0, an optimisation for underpowered mobile processors attempting to slog through a full-fledged OS. Origami 2.0 promises to provide better performance for multimedia players, photo viewers, web browsing and other resource-intensive apps.

Does it work? Our initial impressions are that it has little more spring in its step than its predecessor.

NEXT PAGE: SnapVue, and our expert verdict > >

Visit Business Advisor for reviews of the best IT products for your business.

HTC Shift Expert Verdict »

Microsoft Direct Push technology
up to 2 days battery life (standby)
Windows Vista Business
Intel A110 800-MHz Pentium M
Windows Media Player 11
7in widescreen touchscreen display
40GB hard drive
QWERTY keyboard
Mouse buttons and microPad
Worldwide (Tri-Band) UMTS with HSDPA
Bluetooth 2.0 and Wi-Fi
USB 2.0 connectivity
Fingerprint sensor
colour CMOS VGA camera for video-conferencing
800g with battery
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 5 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

While this isn't a true mobile-phone/lapto hybrid (it doesn't have mobile-phone capability), the HTC Shift is a great, but mighty expensive mini-notebook built for business and data-centric tasks. The high price tag may be appropriate for business users, but may deter consumers seeking an ultraportable computer.

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