The HTC Shift: So Close and Yet So Far

HTC Shift

My old friend and fellow Mobile Devices MVP Arne Hess (the::unwired) brought an HTC Shift ultramobile running both Windows Vista and Windows Mobile to the MVP Summit this past week. You can see it above sitting beside my Dash smartphone and on top of my Apple MacBook. The Shift’s unique design using both Windows Vista and Windows Mobile OSes in a compact package has generated a lot of buzz. However, my issue with it has always been its price point – US$1499. Like most UMPC’s, it is just a bit too high for me to think of it as a mass market item. At best, it is a upper-mid-tier gadget (below the MacBook air) for gadget hounds with cash to spare. Its 3 to 5 minute boot time (as Arne described it) seems a bit on a the slow side too. I’m guessing that HP Mini-note I’m considering may start getting into that boot time range as it accumulates the usual Windows boot cruft (anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc.).

Still, this is the kind of device I’m hoping to see more of – hopefully in the under $800 range in the near future.