3 Comments

Summary:

Steve offers up an under six-minute hands-on look at the HTC Shift and now I can see why he’s adament about having a keyboard on a UMPC. He HAS to be the fastest two-thumb typist I’ve ever seen! While that’s definitely a valuable skill, I don’t […]

HtcshiftSteve offers up an under six-minute hands-on look at the HTC Shift and now I can see why he’s adament about having a keyboard on a UMPC. He HAS to be the fastest two-thumb typist I’ve ever seen! While that’s definitely a valuable skill, I don’t know that most people can or want to thumb type on a full computer, but I could be wrong. My main premise for not having an integrated keyboard is that if it’s too small for true "blind" touch typing, it’s not offering the value of a portable, full-sized keyboard. Hey, to each his or her own; input choices are definitely a personal decision. If you haven’t had enough of the Shift, check out Steve’s vid.

Related stories

  1. “Portable, full-sized keyboard” sounds a lot like “Government Intelligence” :)

    I’m firmly in the “gimme-a-keyboard” camp. Even better if you can thumb on it. Personally, the whole point of an ultra-mobile computer is to be able to use it on the go. Touch typing, by definition, requires a stationary surface to set the thing down on, where I can comfortably whip out my Sharp Zaurus or Fujitsu U8240 on the bus and type to my heart’s content.

    The two-handed thumb typing grip is also far more stable and secure than using one hand to hold it, and the other to type or tap on the screen.

    I’ve spent upwards of 4hrs straight typing on my Zaurus, and I’m quite good at it. The Zaurus form factor is almost perfect – convertible clamshell gives you twice as much usable surface area when you open it, you can open it flat for use on the go, open it less than flat and use it on a table without needing a stand, or use it as a tablet. Its keyboard is also the best thumb size keyboard I’ve ever used.

    Unfortunately, Sharp’s shortsightedness on the usefulness of the device stopped them short of putting enough ram in it, or investing enough in software.

    My UMPC is a Fujitsu U8240, which retains all the advantages of the convertible form factor, but isn’t quite as nice to type on as the Zaurus.

    I figure that if you’re going to plunk it down some place and not move it to type on it, you might as well use one of the larger ultra-light laptops, or a stowaway keyboard of some sort. People looking for touch typing keyboards on these devices are losing sight of the intended mobileness of them.

    Or, they’re called ultra-*mobile*, not ultra-*portable* :) (UPPC?)

    /rant off

    Share
  2. Kahm, I don’t disagree, but I’m quite happy to be mobile and ink. I can input text on the go, don’t need a stable surface (or any surface really), and just prefer a slate. I think there’s room in the world for both convertible and slate designs, but I don’t think I’ve lost sight of the mobileness of these devices. I actually use my Q1P without a Bluetooth keyboard more than I use it with one. Different strokes for different folks…

    Share
  3. It’s good to have options. If you like thumbing on the go, there’s the Fujitsu U1010, OQO2, and Flipstart. If you want a small, light weight convertible, theres the Shift, Kohjinsha’s, P1610, and Flybook.
    Whatever floats your boat or your intended use.
    For me, I want a machine for both productivity (typing) and inking in an all-in-one unit. So it’s convertibles for me.
    My thumbing, on the go device is my iPhone. ;P

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post