The UMPC – black sheep and disappointment of the entire mobile computing industry – launched into a questionable market after an extensive viral marketing campaign. And maybe you heard of the $700 price tag that the UMPC was supposed to launch with? Yeah, that never happened, in a big way. So, why are we even talking about it? Well, disappointing as the price tag is, there still is a market for this device. If you need something more portable than a laptop or tablet, but need something with just as much get up and go, then you need a UMPC.
The 7-inch screen of the HTC Shift puts it squarely into UMPC territory. This thing is packed to the gills with features like 3G connectivity, 1.2 Ghz CPU, 30GB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 and even has a slide-out qwerty keyboard! And how awesome is that tilting screen feature? The Shift basically ups the ante on HTC’s popular sliding-keyboard smartphones, with the ability to run full-fledged Windows Vista. Combining industry-hardened experience in the mobile computing industry with unique and innovative design, this UMPC takes top place on this list. (no pricing or release date info)
With a sleek brushed-metal design, the UMPC offering from Asus brings style and feature-packed power to the table. What would you say to built-in GPS, Wifi, and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR (enhanced data rate)? Well, if you’re anything like us, you’d say that’s a helluva piece of kit for the price! (~$950).
The more powerful bigger-brother of the Q1 lineup, Samsung’s Q1P really earns its leader badge. It’s a pricey bugger, at least for the UMPC segment, but you get full-fledged Pentium M performance backed up by a whopping 1 GB of speedy RAM and SSD (Solid State Disk) storage! And of course it has the glossy finish that just screams “Samsung.” (~$2,000)
If not for the HTC Shift, the Kohjinsha SA1 would take the cake for most unique and innovative design. The device takes design cues from a lot of convertible Tablet PC’s out there, using a swivel screen to quickly switch from comfortable typing to portable touchscreen machine. It doesn’t really pack in the features, but at least you can spec it out with 1GB of RAM and 80GB of hard drive storage. And then there’s the exclusivity factor, cuz this things’s not available in the US – you can only scoop one up from your friendly neighborhood importer. (~$1,100)
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