By April 7, 2008

Living with the HTC Shift (Part 1)

Part one of my daily report on HTC’s Windows Mobile / Windows Vista Hybrid

I’ve been looking forward to this review for a while, ever since the Shift was announced I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s arrival at Tracyandmatt towers. Well late last week it arrived and I’ve had the weekend to start to set it up as I’d like. This week I’m going to try and use the Shift as a laptop replacement and give you daily updates on my progress.

So part one of living with the shift:

The shift is not quite what it was made out to be, I’d been expecting a device with Vista and full Windows Mobile 6 as oppose to windows sideshow. As widely reported elsewhere what you actually get is Vista and a cut-down version of Winmo called Snapvue which actually doesn’t do too much more than sideshow and email. There’s no browser, no office mobile, not really much of anything at all. Paul over at MoDaCo has fiddled with his Shift and managed to restore a semblance of the full winmo experience however I’d initially decided to try and get on with Snapvue, but all too quickly decided that I couldn’t.

The idea of the suggested week long standby Winmo device which I can use for a great deal of my daily routine was just too appealing (you don’t get a week either) so on went Paul’s liberate pack to restore the start menu, explorer and office mobile. It’s a breeze to do this, following Paul’s instructions it takes about 20 minutes to sort it out and you get a system that will really do most of what you want.

Other additions are:

Under Vista:

  • Microsoft OneNote 2007
  • Microsoft office 2007 professional
  • Microsoft Groove 2007
  • Skype (works very well with the built in webcam)
  • Sophos antivirus ( the included trend micro internet defence reports that the CPU on the shift is up to the task when you try to install it)
  • The licensing situation is a bit sketchy at the moment as it’s unclear if HTC have actually paid Microsoft for full Winmo, if they have and have decided to cripple it so badly by implementing Snapvue that’s actually even more incomprehensible. In any case this is being typed in Outlook 2007 in Vista so no naughtiness here. 🙂

    The keyboard is quite fiddly, too fiddly perhaps, the keys are pretty small, I haven’t tried handwriting recognition for any length of time just yet, the biggest problem however is the fact that when I’m using the top row of the keyboard my fingers keep catching the bottom of the screen and moving the cursor to a different part of the document I’m working on, I’m sure I’ll get used to this over the week.

    Size is pretty good, the device is a little heavier than I expected but it feels very sturdy and looks like it can take a bit of a battering.

    So far the device has performed well, vista doesn’t grind, at least not yet (aero is off and the windows experience index is 2.1 based on the CPU) , the shift experience has been a happy one so far.

    Watch this space for more updates!

    EDIT: Part two of the Living with the Shift series is now live.

    Posted by: Alasdair

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    Posted in: Reviews

    About the Author:

    More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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