I've not been a fan of what I've seen of Ultra-Moble PCs (UMPC), but the forthcoming HTC Shift may actually change my mind -- particularly if it is paired with Intel's latest UMPC chip desigined to get up to 24 hours of battery life (I hope someone manufactures some larger PCs with this type of chip). If it's as good as it looks, it just might be soemthing that would make me leave my laptop at home. (Although I might want a folding keyboard and bluetooth mouse to go with it.)
Here are some of its specs, courtesy of Engadget:
- VIA CPU (the one we tried had a 1.2GHz chip)
- Vista business (yes, it was running Aero)
- 7-inch sliding, tiling wide-touchscreen
- 30GB drive
- Tri-band UMTS / HSDPA, quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE
- WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0
- Biometric reader, front-facing camera
Seeing what it looks like in the video makes me think this wolud be an ideal eBook reader -- particularly if it has 24-hour battery life. If it had an SD card slot, something like this could also be a wonderful device for photographers.
In a move that could potentiall increase speed, durability, and battery-life of portable computers, many manufacturers are moving towards using solid-state drives (SSD) in lieu of hard disks. Rumor has it that even Apple will be jumping into the fray with a 12-inch MacBook Pro with SSD later this year. (Sorry, I can't find the link).
In other news, HP is moving in the opposite direction of ultra-portable and is coming out with a 12-pound, 20-inch laptop.