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HTC Shift + ThinkPad X300 + MacBook Air = Perfect Notebook? 108

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pipe-dreams dept.
Tom's Hardware has an interesting look at the HTC Shift, the newest contender in the ultralight portable arena, with a strong compare and contrast to the other two heavyweights, the ThinkPad X300 and the Macbook Air. "As some of you know, I actually like the Macbook Air but found the Lenovo ThinkPad X300 to be a vastly more useful product in the class. I'm one of the few folks that have been using an early version of the HTC Shift , a smaller screened ultra light tablet with a keyboard and a touch screen which is superior to both offerings in some ways and just released on Amazon.com for $1500 (someone screwed up, this wasn't supposed to happen until next week). This got me thinking: The perfect next generation ultra-sexy notebook should be a blend of all three products."
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HTC Shift + ThinkPad X300 + MacBook Air = Perfect Notebook?

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  • by Microlith (54737) on Friday March 21, 2008 @02:50PM (#22822988)

    the other two heavyweights, the ThinkPad X300 and the Macbook Air.

    Shouldn't that be "lightweights?"
  • There's so much wrong with this thing. A thumbpad that sits to the right. A EEE PC sized screen to run Vista or a hardware switch that turns it into Windows Mobil, aka a cell phone. Why not just get what he really wants for $400?

    It's got is WAN but those should be available for EEE as a USB device. Is there anything this can do that EEE does not?

    • by geekoid (135745)
      A thumb pad should be on the right. Having a thumb pad has always been stupid..except for aliens with an arm growing out of their chest.
      • A thumb pad should be on the right hand side for that 85% of the population who are right-hand dominant at a computer -- they put it in the center as a compromise for the other 10% who are left-hand dominant. The remaining 5% couldn't care less where it is, but probably prefer anywhere but the middle :)

        I'll tell you... it's next to impossible to use one of those "ergonomic" mice with your left hand. As I fall in the 5% category, I just go with the majority however.
        • by croddy (659025) * on Friday March 21, 2008 @04:03PM (#22823736)
          no, think about it for a second -- put your fingers on home row. where is your thumb? a thumb pad always belongs in the middle, whether you're left-handed or right.
          • by thegnu (557446)
            there you go again, injecting logic into the debate. sheesh.
          • by Dun Malg (230075)

            no, think about it for a second -- put your fingers on home row. where is your thumb? a thumb pad always belongs in the middle, whether you're left-handed or right.
            Who says it's a thumb pad? I've never seen anyone use their thumbs on a touchpad.
    • by MrHanky (141717) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @06:22AM (#22828286) Homepage Journal
      No, the writer is Rob Enderle, the guy who defended SCO against the evil Linux copycats (and praised the VROOM-VROOM start-up sound on his Acer Ferrari). I doubt he wants to use a 'free software scam' like the Eee for anything.

      Which raises the question of why a fluff piece by this idiot should be posted to Slashdot (or to Tom's Hardware in the first place).
    • There is an enormous financial cost for trying to go from a 3 lb. device to 2 lbs and certainly a loss of functionality in terms of screen size and keyboard utility. The one rule breaker to this is the Eee PC which weighs only two pounds, but costs $400 (or less depending on the configuration). Of course, it's not a terribly powerful device relative to a desktop, but it will probably suffice for most on the go surfing needs. One model that is overlooked here is the OQO model 02. It is generally expensive,
  • Perfect? For whom? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    My perfect laptop includes the following.

    15-17" monitor
    5" attachable monitor
    webcam and mic on the front panel
    as big as a keyboard as possible in relation to the monitor
    swappable battery, dvdrw and >4 usb ports
    and wifi
    • My ultimate laptop has a 4:3 screen and not the widescreen crap.
      If I want wide screen, I'll use dual monitors so web pages and documents are still 4:3.

      Its interesting to note that I do have said laptop. Its a Pentium 3 with a 15" 4:3 screen.
      I had to go back that far to find one with a 4:3 screen. Its wonderful though.
      Whats the extra space created by the screen used for? A second hard drive. :)
      • by darthflo (1095225)
        Get a ThinkPad. Each of the current series (that's R, T, X) offers at least one standard aspect model. Z series are no longer produced (merged with T widescreen), the X300 is the only current model without a direct 4:3 variant, but X60[ts] take good care of that.
      • If I want wide screen, I'll use dual monitors so web pages and documents are still 4:3.

        or, get a 16:9, and not maximise every window you have open. maybe even have 2 windows open across half the sceen at a time? eg: have space for 2 docs on one screen lets you read a main document, click links throughout and have them open up on a second window in your main desktop viewport.

        i've been on 1920x1280 17" laptops for a couple o yrs now, and simply cant abide by 4:3 when i sit down in front of one.

        ( esp. given the 'panel' arrangements of the various ide's i use day to day)

        and of course, using dual

        • That would be acceptable if I then didnt lose the maximize feature. :P
          • lose the maximise feature?

            que?

            minimize iconifies the window down to task bar, restore ( or click, or tab through ) return it from whence it came: size location and all. ( windows, linux, mac, all the same behaviour iirc ).

            you probably already use non-maximised windows for things like new emails, instant messenger chats/buddy lists, etc, so realising you can do the same with web browsers/word processors is a pretty easy step... 16:9 res only makes it all the more usable.

            pretty easy to get the hang of too, an
            • Every window on my screen at the moment is maximized. I dont run programs any smaller.
              Also even if I did, I would lose the snap feature where a window sticks to the edge of the screen.

              Little things like that are even more annoying than 16:9 for me.
  • Yoda (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is a very confusing headline.
  • All I want is an EEE pc with a GSM radio.. I wonder how long I will have to wait for something like that.
  • I used one (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2008 @02:57PM (#22823060)
    it's a toy. Don't buy it because it's too expensive. Tom's hardware is a joke in the meantime.

    In my mind, if you want a laptop, there are two rifts. Either one that will serve alongside a desktop sibling which will be vastly more powerful, or a desktop replacement.

    So either an EeePC or a MacBook Pro/IBM notebook. The HTC is EeePC at nearly the MBP price. Yuck.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by p0tat03 (985078)
      Disagree on the Eee PC front. A friend of mine got one, and as light and nice as it is, the keyboard is simply unworkable. If I'm on the road and need to type up a long email, or just to take notes at a conference, the Eee PC would have my fingers aching in no time at all. IMHO the two sides of the rift are the MacBook Pro/ThinkPad/workhorse laptop, and a 12-13" notebook like the MacBook, XPS M1330, etc. The sub-10" market IMHO will not replace this, and will remain a relative niche.
      • I had a hands on with an eee for the first time today.
        You are right, the keyboard is horribly compressed.

        Meanwhile I have an apple wireless keyboard for my nokia and its amazing.
        I don't know how Apple managed to make the keys so big and easily hitable.
      • by cel4145 (468272)
        It is not "unworkable." But it is "unrealistic" to expect that after using regular size keyboards for a lifetime that everyone would instantly find the much smaller keyboard as usable without some practice.

        If you read the EeePC User Forums, you'll find that most people get used to the tiny keyboard. Some people even find that they can type faster on it than on a regular keyboard. I have very large hands (I wear XXL gloves), and after a few months of some somewhat regular use as a mobile platform (not as a p
    • why is no one mentioning this?.....DELLs XPS 1330 is superior to all of the above and cheaper in similar configs(the shittiest 1330 houses the base MBAir).....i know dell is sour in this community, but trust me....this model is the real deal....
  • by ichthyoboy (1167379) on Friday March 21, 2008 @02:57PM (#22823068)
    Yr doin' it wrong.
    • by Myopic (18616)
      Seriously. The headline is atrocious! I had no idea what it meant until I clicked thru to the article, which uses plus signs and an equals sign to make the meaning more clear.

      Submitter is the one at fault here.
      • by argiedot (1035754)
        Perhaps Slash ripped those characters out of the headline? Because the RSS feed has it listed properly with +'s and ='s.
        • by Myopic (18616)
          Very interesting, I see that. Okay, I rescind my blame on the submitter and instead blame technical error. But it remains a bad headline even with the pluses.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I had no idea what it meant until I clicked thru to the article
        Ha! Made you look ...

  • Purple Monkey Dishwasher? "Hey I know, instead of thinking of a coherent thought for the title I'll just throw in product names randomly, no one will notice!"

    I know this is Slashdot and the above statement is probably true but come on, at least pretend like you can speak in complete sentences.
  • Did no one notice? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcus (1916) on Friday March 21, 2008 @03:01PM (#22823102) Journal
    This bit was written by the ever adorable Rob Enderle?

    I'm surprised it even made it to the /. front page.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by grendelkhan (168481)
      I didn't even notice that until the end, and then I felt all dirty for clicking the link. Of course he like it better than the ThinkPad and the Air, he hates IBM and he hates Apple.
  • How about some revised parsing for those front-page titles, webmaster?
  • by nweaver (113078) on Friday March 21, 2008 @03:05PM (#22823146) Homepage
    I got far more than 2.5 hours out of the air at a conference, running compiles and mysql database work enough that the fan was on 100%.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by aetherworld (970863)
      On a sidenote: I don't get why people constantly compare the macbook air with other more or less lightweight notebooks or subnotebooks. The air is the most light weight notebook apple has to offer. And when I want or need OS X on a subnotebook, there is no alternative. Neither a HTC or IBM product will run OS X (at least not in the quality i'm used to).

      However, if you seriously don't care about the operating system and can run linux or (worse) windows just as well, then you're stupid if you buy a macbook ai
      • by MojoStan (776183) on Friday March 21, 2008 @05:30PM (#22824608)
        Maybe Mac users compare the MacBook Air to non-Mac subnotebooks because some Mac users want some of the hardware features found in other subnotebooks that the MacBook Air lacks (e.g. optical drive, gigabit ethernet, more USB ports, user replacable battery, memory card slots), even if it means sacrificing some the Air's form factor (but not weight). I think they compare them because other notebook makers have proven that you can include these features in a subnotebook, but Mac users have no choice but to move up to the 5+ pound MacBook or 15+ inch MacBook Pro.

        I guess what I'm trying to say is: they compare because they think Apple can do better (or offer more choice) in this category. Another thing some Mac users complain about: no Mac desktop that's not a huge dual-processor workstation and doesn't have a built-in display.

        • by renimar (173721)

          Another thing some Mac users complain about: no Mac desktop that's not a huge dual-processor workstation and doesn't have a built-in display.
          You mean, other than the Mac mini [apple.com]?
  • Sigh (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by geekoid (135745)
    The Air has style. It's about style. It's about the young female executive showing off her style, while getting work done. It gets the work an executives need done, done. Nothing else, but whether you like it or not how you look is a big factor in promotions.
    A lesson I wish I had learned when I was 20 instead of thinking what I produces would do me any good.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Itninja (937614)
      Do you mean 'promotions' as in 'getting a different job title'? Like moving from IS Engineer to IS Manager? Because I sure don't want that. I'm a short, fat guy with questionable fashion sense and minimal personal hygiene. And yet I get better reviews and make more money than most of the managers in the company. So I guess how I look was a big factor in me not getting promoted - but it wasn't a factor in making advancement.
      • by geekoid (135745)
        Dude, I'm talking about power players here, not your company measly upper middle management.
        You don't know that. you could be making more money at a bigger firm if you fit 'the mold'.

        I'm not defending it, and certianly what you produce should be the number one issue. I've just been an observer of these kinds of behaviors for a long time.

        And by promotion I mean moving up the org chart. People going for C*O positions. Golden parachutes, fat bonus, and having mil+ by 29.

        There are people who make more then uppe
        • by MrHanky (141717)
          No, you're not talking about "power players", you're talking about vain idiots. Of course, it's not uncommon for vain idiots to believe they are power players.
      • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Funny)

        by Otter (3800) on Friday March 21, 2008 @03:50PM (#22823608) Journal
        I'm a short, fat guy with questionable fashion sense and minimal personal hygiene.

        Maybe you and the young female executive with the Air could do one of those "I'm a Mac...And I'm a PC" commercials.

    • by Zeinfeld (263942)
      The Air has style. It's about style. It's about the young female executive showing off her style, while getting work done. It gets the work an executives need done, done. Nothing else, but whether you like it or not how you look is a big factor in promotions.

      I am currently writing this on an Air. As far as I am concerned it is the (almost) perfect traveling laptop. The price is entirely reasonable, it is still cheaper than the MacBook Pro. It is not outrageously more expensive than the MacBook.

      The only

  • by PlatyPaul (690601)
    Ok, let's try to find what Rob means by "blend":

    Starting with the Shift, the dual mode long battery life aspect is wonderful and it is also the most affordable of the three. The Lenovo is the most practical, usable and comprehensive product and the Apple is one of the most beautiful notebooks that is currently available. In addition, the perfect product needs the battery life and wireless capabilities shared by the Lenovo and HTC products and, were you to wrap all of this up in a bow, I think you'd have a

  • toilet paper tube... (Score:4, Informative)

    by stokessd (89903) on Friday March 21, 2008 @03:13PM (#22823242) Homepage
    800x480?! Why not just give us four handy red 7 segment displays to interact with.

    Sure, I understand that small computers have small screens, but my aging ipac has a 640x480 screen the size of a baseball card and fits in my pocket. I take it that people who want small light computers are also blind? A screen that size could be 1400x900 and still be very usable.

    Sheldon

  • Riiiiight.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Friday March 21, 2008 @03:17PM (#22823286)
    has a small 800 x 480 pixel 7" touchscreen

    For the same price I can get an ultraportable (3lbs) Sony VAIO with ~10" screen, real keyboard (only slightly scrunched), 1280x768 screen, and real everything else including optical drive and WAN radio. Heck, I've had two models over 5 years, wishing only for a stronger case and boot-from-USB; I carry it everywhere.

    I'm not sure where the author thinks this toy is usable for anything but an overblown cellphone without the phone.

    Next...

    • by lymond01 (314120)
      I think the phrase, "But it's a Sony" sort of covers all the bases.
    • by wellingj (1030460)
      Panasonic has some pretty small tough-book types.
      I prefer just regular old thinkpads myself.
    • by aurinko (950249)
      I have /tried/ to work on 7 inch, it is barely readable but for longer time utterly useless - funny thing it was on a ultraportable ibm 10 years ago, a thing with no keyboard and touchscreen, the memory kept falling out of it sockets too:) Then i have used 10", 11", 12" and 13" laptops, numerous palms and a few other strange things, and found that for everyday use of several hours, the minimum useful (for more than simple text) is 13" - otherwise it will be only useful for short transit, i would certainly
  • Rob Enderle.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Isn't the same guy who gushed over a Ferrari branded Laptop [slashdot.org]>
  • a laptop with a case made from eighth inch stainless steel diamond pattern floor plate...
  • by Nightspirit (846159) on Friday March 21, 2008 @03:51PM (#22823614)
    The thing most of you people are not realizing is that the shift has tablet functionality which neither the eee pc, x300, or airbook have. Not only that, but it runs windows mobile as well as vista. I also believe it is GSM quad band/HSDPA (or at least it was supposed to when I read about it 5 months ago), so essentially it can replace your phone, PDA, and travel laptop. If I had 1.5k sitting around I'd definitely get one.
  • WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Friday March 21, 2008 @04:38PM (#22824112)
    HTC Shift ThinkPad X300 MacBook Air Perfect Notebook?

    What the heck does this mean, anyway? And no, I don't want to read the article.
    • by treeves (963993)
      My guess is he tried to put some cute symbols in , like "+" and "->" and they got stripped out leaving a confusing concatenation of words.
  • "has a small 800 x 480 pixel 7" touchscreen"

    I can't think of a single application other than email that can be used efficiently at this resolution. Web browsing is pretty pointless with sites wanting 1024 or more these days. How in the world could you edit photos and videos on something like that? What about playing any games? Word and Excel might work fine, but man, could you imagine having to fight with only being able to see only a couple rows at a time?

    What a nightmare. It really sounds more like a con

  • Fuck HTC (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vegeta99 (219501) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nnyljr}> on Friday March 21, 2008 @04:49PM (#22824220)
    Fuck HTC.

    I bought an AT&T Tilt (HTC TyTN II Rebrand) and it came with the Qualcomm MSM7200 chipset that's supposed (and was advertized) to have ATi hardware 3D rendering and hardware video assist. It seems, however, that even though these features were advertised, HTC users weren't given them. Some amateur research says that it's because of a Broadcomm patent lawsuit against Qualcomm with a judgement preventing them from making drivers (but they were allowed to sell what processors were already being made under other contractual obligation).

    See this Firehose article. [slashdot.org] The videos on htcclassaction.org demonstrate the issue very well.
  • I'm getting a little disturbed by the whole "We hate it because the battery's not removable". Even here in the Tom's review they make the somewhat insane claim that the machine isn't portable because you can't swap batteries.

    Well let me tell you, if you're going to load yourself down with extra batteries (and one supposes, a power supply), an optical drive then it's not that portable anymore either. Maybe you'd be happier with a T61 Thinkpad or a full blown MacBook? Swiss Army Knife isn't the intended purpo
    • by Alan Shutko (5101)
      I carry around an extra battery for my HTC Apache phone, because it won't make it from morning to bedtime without it. So, on the Shift, it's probably a good idea to have an extra....
      • by gelfling (6534)
        That would make it an entirely unacceptable unsuitable product for almost everyone in the world. I applaud your tenacity.
    • by (H)elix1 (231155) *
      I'm getting a little disturbed by the whole "We hate it because the battery's not removable". Even here in the Tom's review they make the somewhat insane claim that the machine isn't portable because you can't swap batteries.

      You don't spend near enough quality time on an airplane. Airports - even with a club membership - are notoriously sparse on electrical outlets. While the flight itself may be three hours or so, there is a pretty good change you will spend a good chunk of time at the gate running on ba
  • "and has a small 800 x 480 pixel 7" touchscreen" - TFA
    This is instantly FAR from perfect... In fact - hardly usable - IMO.

    I don't care if this thing makes hot grits for me in the morning. There is no saving grace for a $1500 laptop that can't display most of the web sites I visit in their entire width.
    • I don't care if this thing makes hot grits for me in the morning.

      Sure, you say that now ... but if you could call Natalie Portman on the thing I'll bet you'd be singing a different tune.
  • I own MacBook Air among other laptops in my home. This is just different device and I'd say with just different approach on portable computing, if I can say so. I really can not get why people comparing it just by features? Because it does not have 5 USB ports as any 5kg weight Asus laptop has and does not have DVD drive?.. Well, IMHO it is kind of irrelevant. It is as same as compare BMW Z4 [bmw.com] with... let's say Huyndai Amica [hyundai.co.uk] (both are small) and complain that Amica has much more features (extra seats, extra d

  • The N810 is a tablet, runs Linux, has GPS, wifi, etc etc. And a third the cost, same resolution display, but fits in the shirt pocket nicely.
  • The Panasonic R7 is the best ultralight IMHO... 2 pounds weight, 2 gig ram, dual core CPU 1024x768 graphics and 8 hour battery life. Passive cooling (no fan) means it quiet too.

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