The Shift is HTC's first full step into the UMPC arena. Unlike the Advantage it is a complete portable PC, runs a full version of Windows Vista (Business Edition) and has a 7in widescreen touch display, full sliding keyboard and capacious 30GB hard drive.
Being an HTC device, the Shift is also packed full of connectivity with Triband UMTS/HSDPA, Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0 and WiFi. Other specs including its dimensions and weight were not revealed but HTC described the Shift as 'similar in size to a couple of DVD cases' so there's the science.
“The HTC Shift is combining the power of Windows Vista with advanced connectivity in a sleek mobile computer design,“ said Bill Mitchell, Corporate VP of Microsoft's Windows Mobile Platforms Division. “HTC and Microsoft have been innovating on smartphones for years, so it is exciting to see them bring that experience and innovation to mobile computers.”
Now one of the most interesting aspects of the Shift for me is how it will be sold. As the company's first proper mobile PC it is unlikely to be picked up by networks – as T-Mobile did with the Advantage – so HTC would appear to be going head to head with the likes of Samsung, Sony, Asus and OQO. Brave stuff.
The Shift will be out in Q3 and HTC assures me its sales strategy as well as a complete spec list will be revealed then.