I have been very lucky to get hold of a Shift for a couple of weeks, and figured I’d start with a first impressions article, written entirely on the Shift.
I was very impressed by the packaging, very nicely presented like the Touch Cruise. The Shift came wrapped in its beautiful leather case, a really nice addition. Removing it from the case, I was immediately taken by it. It feels really solid in the hand, and looks like a quality product.
The display is very bright, but unfortunately it’s only 800×480. Honestly that’s pretty pathetic for a second gen, and quite pricey UMPC. Using it in the 1024×600 interpolation mode is very usable, and since turning it on I’ve spent most of my time in this mode.
I’ve given the handwriting recognition a quick go, and while it is very good at getting the right words, it is a bit uncomfortable to do since a slight brush sends the pointer scooting across the screen. Will keep trying it over the next few days to see if I can make it work for me.
Built-in HSDPA is great to have, and combined with the instant-on SnapVue means email is only a few seconds away. I get much better signal that I do on my BlackJack II, and surfing seems to be pretty fast.
The keyboard is, well, difficult. It reminds me a lot of the keyboard my Jornada 628 had, looked great and felt nice, but was too cramped to type on properly. I have typed this whole article on the Shift and my hands are feeling very cramped and uncomfortable.
I’ll post another update in the next few days as I tote the Shift with me to uni.