Mobile Phones Guide

HTC Shift review

HTC Shift - A Paradigm Shift

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Aesthetics & User Experience

Sophistication at a Price

Unlike some UMPCs that focus more on functionality at the expense of aesthetics, the Shift is a very impressive looking unit. Sporting well-contoured edges on its chassis, the Shift embraces a sleek, dark gray color scheme, lending it a whiff of sophistication. Laid out on the left side of the front display is an integrated video camera for video conferencing, and right below that are the left and right mouse buttons. At the left bottom is a shortcut key that brings you to the HTC's proprietary SnapVUE interface. Meanwhile, the top button on the right gives you direct access to the Shift's wireless manager, and below that is another shortcut button that allows you to toggle the Shift's screen resolution between 800 x 480 and 1024 x 600.

Basic mouse navigation is done either using the 7-inch touchscreen display, or the integrated mouse pad located on the right. More often than not, you'll find yourself utilizing the on-screen mouse due to the petite nature of the mouse pad. Similar to the U1000, the Shift comes with an integrated QWERTY keyboard underneath the display. However, unlike the U1000's two-piece design where you separate the keyboard and the screen and realign the display at a tilted angle to the keyboard, the Shift follows a one-piece design similar to the TyTN II, allowing you to slide the display up and utilizing it either completely flat or at an angle.

Tilting the display requires some due care and attention and you have to ensure that the screen has been fully pushed upwards (you'll hear a click) before attempting to tilt it. Whilst the keyboard is relatively wide, the individual keys are not exactly well-spaced and are thinner than we would have liked, making the typing experience less than ideal. This is however a common problem among many UMPCs attempting to fit in a full-sized QWERTY keyboard and HTC has not managed to solve it either.