jkOnTheRun review- a day in the life of the HTC Advantage

Say what you will the HTC Advantage is an interesting device that is trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up.  Or maybe it won’t grow up and will just stay a small notebook-like PDA.  I think the Advantage is having a hard time figuring out what it is, a speakerphone, Skype machine, PDA, blogging machine or an ebook reader.  Actually it is all of these and more.  I decided to put the Advantage through its paces all day today so here’s how it went.

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First thing this morning I picked up the Advantage and used it inlaptop mode with the snap on keyboard.  I fired up Google Reader inInternet Explorer and quickly went through over 200 RSS items ofinterest.  I used my finger to scroll down the list thanks to thepanning added by Pocket Plus 4 andtapped items I wanted to add a star to for later reading.  The wholeprocess took me less than ten minutes with the fast HSDPA connectionwith AT&T.  After processing my feeds I checked the email from mythree email accounts, two POP accounts and one Exchange Serveraccount.  I quickly fired off replies to those emails that required itusing the little keyboard.  I had forgotten how easy it is to tap outstuff on this keyboard.   After completing this it was time to head outfor my day so I threw the Advantage in the front pocket of my gear bagand off I went.

Once I got settled into my car I pulled out the Advantage and fired up the GPS using TeleNav.  I entered in my first stop of the day about 25 miles away and the Advantage talked me all the way to my meeting.  I tapped the mute button, put the Advantage back in my bag and headed into the meeting.  I used my HP 2710p Tablet PC to take notes in the meeting as usual and everything went well.  The cool thing about the Advantage in this process is how it was sitting in my bag the whole time connecting to the network to retrieve email when needed.  Once meeting time was over I had time to head to a local coffee shop before my next meeting so I instructed TeleNav to find the nearest coffee shop and it pointed me to one I had never seen before.  I find the POI searching in TeleNav to be better than that on the TomTom I normally use.

Once in the coffee shop I needed to do some heavy email replies and I wanted to get some writing done so I pulled out the Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard and it connected to the Advantage as soon as it was opened and I hit a key.  I worked for about thirty minutes this way and had to stop several times as people stopped to ask me what "that thing" is.  The Advantage attracts more attention and creates more excitement than just about any other device I have used.  People immediately see that it could replace a laptop in some settings (like the coffee shop) and that interests quite a few people.  When I wasn’t giving demos of the Advantage I got a lot of writing done using Word.  The full keyboard and Word made it just as productive as if I used a laptop and it always makes me feel cool to use it this way.  Once my writing was done I processed some email and my RSS feeds and it was time to go.

My next meeting went much as the first with the exception of my forgetting to mute the volume.  Right after the meeting started my bag started beeping to notify me of the meeting I was sitting in.  I had to take the Advantage out of my bag and dismiss the reminder which led to a bunch of oohs and aahs about the Advantage, something I have gotten very used to happening.  The meeting was delayed a few minutes getting started as I passed the Advantage around the table for all to see and play with.  This never fails to happen.

Cimg0307This was my last meeting of the day so I headed out to lunch and while I ate my General Tso chicken I read my ebook on the Advantage.  If I am sitting in a chair somewhere reading I flip the Advantage into portrait mode for reading but while eating like this I leave it in clamshell mode so I can eat and flip pages with the arrow key on the keyboard.  I can read nicely as the screen is at a comfortable angle and not have to hold the device which is good since my hands are very busy.  :)  I use eReader Pro for my ebooks and the newest version is really nice.  The reader has been given a facelift and the ability to buy books directly from the Advantage is really nice.  It’s my favorite reader by far and especially on the big screen of the Advantage.  Once my meal was properly consumed I checked my email and headed for home to get some real work done.

Once in my office I fired up Resco Radio on the Advantage and turned on my Plantronics 590A Bluetooth headset (Facebook video) and listened to some smooth jazz while working on the MacBook Pro.  I had a lot of boring financial work to do so the music was a nice way to get through that.  I worked this way for about two hours and then decided to call it a day.  The rest of the evening I watched some football on TV while sitting with the Advantage to keep up with email.  I read some more in my ebook from time to time and made a few calls to family members using the Plantronics headset and the Advantage.  I plugged the HTC Advantage in to charge as my day ended and I headed up to bed.

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