Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is heating up the nascent market for the ultra-mobile personal computer (UMPC) with the release of its first such device, called the Shift.
UMPC is a new category of mobile computing devices that combines the functions of a touch-screen tablet PC with the small-format design and cellular network connectivity of a mobile phone. Recent examples include the Fujitsu U1010, Samsung Electronics' Q1 and the Sony Vaio UX line.
New era The Shift marks an advance in UMPCs because it runs Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system like a regular laptop computer, supports 3.5G mobile networks like an advanced smartphone and features Origami Experience 2.0 - new software from Microsoft that is like its Windows Media Center but adopted for touch-screen handheld devices.
Origami Experience 2.0 enables improved access and consumption of online content with a new touch-navigation friendly browser. Users get one-touch access to the information that's important to them, including e-mail, a calendar, weather details and to-do lists on a screen that changes according to the time, the day and even their location.
Magic touch In addition to the touch-screen interface, the Shift emulates the Vaio UX line with its qwerty keyboard. A stylus is provided for use on the 7-inch touch-screen display.
Instant success Designed as a PC companion, the Wi-fi enabled Shift features HTC's SnapVUE technology, which allows instant access to e-mails, a calendar, text messages and contacts without the need to fully boot the device - helping to conserve power and extend battery life.
The Shift is powered by Intel's 800-megahertz A110 processor. It has a 1-gigabyte memory, a 40GB hard drive and a memory expansion slot, weighs 800 grams with battery and measures 207mm by 129mm by 25mm. It costs HK$10,880.