HTC Shift First Look Review

by Reads (8,112)

We finally got our hands on the HTC Shift. This tiny tablet is quite the power house. I had no problems surfing the Internet with it or navigating through applications. It sports a Intel A110 800MHz processor and has a 40GB hard drive. The touchscreen was practically flawless and I enjoyed using my finger more then the pen. Although, the pen was helpful for more intricate navigating.

HTC Shift specifications: (price: $1,499)

  • Intel Processor A110, 800MHz
  • Windows Vista Business OS
  • 1GB DDR2 microDIMM RAM
  • 1.8″ 40GB or 60GB hard drive
  • 7-inch (800 x 400) TFT-LCD display with adjustable touch-sensitive screen
  • Network: HSDPA/UMTS, HSDPA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE available
  • Slide out QWERTY keyboard
  • Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.11b/g
  • 1x USB
  • 1x VGA out
  • 1x 3.5mm stereo out with microphone
  • Card slots: 1.8/3V USIM/SIM card slot, SDIO slot with hotswap functionality
  • Fingerprint sensor and Webcam
  • Battery: 2700 mAh rechargeable Lithium-ion polymer battery, up to 2 hours
  • Dimensions: 207 mm (L) X 129 mm (W) X 25 mm (D)
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs.

(view large image)

Design and Build

The HTC Shift has a solid design. In fact it is actually kind of heavy. You can tell the chassis is sturdy and that this thing could take a few bumps and bruises from everyday commuting. It is a gunmetal color and the slide out keyboard is black. It hides fingerprints very well. Nothing about the Shift feels cheap.

(view large image)

Being so small the Shift can travel anywhere with you. It is perfect for checking email or surfing the Web while on-the-go. It comes with a nice leather portfolio to keep the Shift safe and secure. It feels like a little book. Although the Shift feels heavy, it only weighs in at 2.4lbs, which isn’t that much.

(view large image)

The keyboard is small and hard to type on, but you get used to it after using it a few times. It is similar to the Eee PC, so if you like to do the “peck style” typing you would have no problems. The pen is small and silver and reminds me of a stylus for a PDA. It works just fine and is perfect for jotting down notes or opening and closing windows.

(view large image)

The Shift will have heads turning where ever you take it, those business meetings or the classroom. I mean, it looks like your standard slate tablet until you slide the keyboard out and tilt up the screen. It’s easy to use, but the screen sticks and takes more force then you would expect to pull up.


The 7-inch (800 x 400) touchscreen display is nice. It is very responsive and accurate. It is easy to navigate with your finger or pen. I like that is responds so quickly and doesn’t take much force to open applications. You don’t have to hit the icon two or three times.

(view large image)

The colors are bright and vivid and the viewing angles are fine. Even in slate mode the Shift is easy to read. The screen doesn’t give off much of a glare. As I mentioned before the touch-sensitive screen is very accurate and fun to use.


The Shift doesn’t come packed full of features, but does have one USB port, one VGA-out, a microphone/headphone port, and SDIO slot with hotswap functionality. It also comes with a nice USB hub giving you three more USB ports. The packaging is very nice, but I don’t think that makes up for the steep price tag.

Front side. (view large image)

Left side. (view large image)

Right side. (view large image)

Back side. (view large image)


The Shift isn’t meant to be some high performance gaming machine. It is meant to be that portable device great for email and office work on-the-go. It is a companion to your other notebooks. The processor didn’t really show any signs of lag and to my surprise the Shift didn’t get hot, not even warm, when running benchmarks and surfing the Web. Most form factors like this don’t disperse heat well, but the Shift does.

Battery life seemed good enough for the time I have spent with it, but a optional slice battery would be the perfect option for power users who are away from the office all day. Something for HTC to keep in mind. The wireless options are great. I was surprised when I got home and the Shift was picking up signals from everywhere including my own Wi-Fi and my neighbors.

Comparison Results for PCMark05

PCMark05 measures the systems performance as a whole.

Notebook PCMark05 Score
HTC Shift (Intel A110 800MHz, Intel 950 GMA graphics) 891 PCMarks
Motion Computing F5 (Intel Core Solo 1.2GHz, Intel 945GMS chipset) 1,557 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz ULV, Intel 945GMS chipset) 2,113 PCMarks
Asus R1E (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, GMA 965 chipset) 4,679 PCMarks
Gateway C-140x (Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, ATI X2300 HD graphics) 4,342 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 4,171 PCMarks
HP tx2000 (AMD Turion 64 X2 2.3GHz, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics) 3,738 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 3,473 PCMarks
Toshiba Portege M700 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA 965 chipset) 3,399 PCMarks
HP tx1000 (AMD Turion X2 2.0GHz, Nvidia Go 6150) 3,052 PCMarks
Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,724 PCMarks
LG C1 (Intel Core Duo 1.2GHz, Nvidia Go 7300) 2,568 PCMarks
HP Compaq 2710p (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 2,453 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 2,334 PCMarks
Gateway E-155C (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.06GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,205 PCMarks
Toshiba R400 (Intel Core Duo ULV 1.2GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,187 PCMarks


First Impressions

Overall, I am impressed by the Shift’s capabilities. It works hard, while staying cool and quiet. It is the perfect size for traveling and has unique business features like the always on access to important information with HTC SnapVUE. This screen gives you instant access to your emails with Microsoft Direct Push technology, access to local weather, calendar and your contacts.

The SnapVUE screen is a convenient feature and can be switched back an forth from it and Vista (the Internet) with a push of a button. The speakers sound decent, remember this is a small tablet. The benchmarks were better then I expected and I expect it to have similar Super Pi and wPrime scores as Fujitsu’s U810. I will have more testing and benchmark results in the full review to come next week. There will be a nice video to show off the design and features as well, so stay tuned.





All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.