By April 14, 2008

Living with the HTC Shift (Part 3)

The HTC shift a week in:

I’ve been using the shift in anger for a week now and I am staying happy with the device overall, there are a few reservations which take the shine of the device but I have to say I don’t think if I had parted with my hard earned cash that I’d be suffering any of the technology disenchantment which is always a risk after a significant purchase.

I’ve got used to the keyboard, I’m not up to my usual speed with a full size keyboard but It’s perfectly functional for extended use even on longer documents, no more accidental screen swipes and if I wasn’t going back and forth between a full size and shift keyboard I’m sure my speed would improve.

HTC Shift keyboard

HTC Shift keyboard

In any case with the on board USB port and D-SUB out you’ve got the ability to connect to an LCD and full size USB keyboard when clattering away in Vista. The only hiccough is that this stays connected whilst using the Windows Mobile chipset so if you forget and tap away on the attached keyboard you can get some interesting additions to documents.

In Windows mobile the Wi-Fi components of the main chipset are not available which means you are left with cellular only for your connectivity, not so bad however there are still areas I regularly visit (like my mother’s house) that HSDPA or 3g just isn’t available and GPRS is patchy at best here the ability to use the built in Wi-Fi would be perfect but is denied.

The Wi-Fi and 3G interaction in Vista is also interesting, the only way I have been able to make the device connect via 3G under Vista is to disable the Wi-Fi connection manually, until you do this the cellular modem doesn’t even appear in the network connections list and the device won’t connect via cellular until this process if completed.

The touch screen I moaned about early last week has actually turned out to be a real benefit as I can easily navigate around the screen without resorting to the mouse pad and buttons on the Shift itself, so much so that I find myself prodding LCDs when using none touch enabled screens at Home.

The key I have been using a lot is the screen resolution changer, this give you the ability to flick back and forth between 1024 x 600 and 800 x 400 screen resolutions. Again a little anomaly is that when switching resolutions the keyboard input is suspended rather than buffered.

Battery life has been OK windows mobile is great for this, the shift managed to go all over the weekend with windows mobile usage, however without Paul’s liberate Windows mobile would be so crippled as to be useless and I’m sure I would have to resort to Vista far more frequently as it is I can get by in Word, excel and internet explorer without too much difficulty now they have been restored.

The biggest problem I have is the interaction between the windows mobile and Vista, to say the shift ‘does’ both Vista and Windows Mobile is a bit misleading, it’s really more like two distinct devices within the same packaging certainly in default settings.

With liberate this is improved a little in that at least you can see the windows mobile device from Vista ( I know we are cheating by having pocket Office installed but to be honest this is really the Shift’s USP and HTC have somewhat compromised their main differentiator out of the box)

Overall I’m happy the Shift is very man portable, reasonably good looking, although in windows mobile mode it does look all the world like some shocking great PDA, and sufficient for most of my daily needs. I’m travelling a lot more this week so I am hoping that the shift will really come into its own, watch this space.

Go back to Part 1or Part 2

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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