Friday, May 23, 2008

Would You Use a PC on the Wireless Cellular Network?

This week, Rogers Wireless announced that it would be offering the new HTC Shift, a computer that's a mix between a portable notebook and a data-intensive smartphone but for one small detail: it doesn't include phone functionality! What is such a product doing on the Rogers Wireless 3G HSPA network? Isn't that supposed to be for phones with data capability, not dedicated PCs? What's more, would you buy a PC that operated on a wireless network, or one that used traditional Internet Service Providers (which, of course, also includes Rogers High-Speed Internet as an option). I'd tend to stick to the latter.

True, the computer is very portable at just 5.08" x 8.14" x 0.98" (h/w/d) and 1.76 lbs., so it's meant for on-the-go usage just like mobile phones. And it does have integrated WiFi if you prefer to use a free or paid HotSpot instead of the wireless spectrum. But the most data-intensive plan for this device on the Roger's Wireless network is $100/mo. for up to 5 GB of usage. Any data over this will cost you $0.03/KB. A comparable Rogers High-Speed Internet plan runs for $99,95 for 95 GB ($1.25/GB over). So I definitely wouldn't select the wireless plan if I was using the device at home. On the road, you'll end up incurring hefty roaming fees if you're traveling outside of the province or country, but then you can connect virtually anywhere, anytime. Wait, isn't that what BlackBerries are for? And you can chat using those as well!

I just can't wrap my head around who the market might be for such a device, especially at a price of $1,600! I can use a smartphone to access files, write e-mail, and surf the 'net on the go; and if I'm traveling on business, I can use the hotel's WiFi service to connect using my full-sized notebook, and any HotSpot out there, the most expensive of which I've ever logged onto at $15/24-hr period. When Rogers adds the GPS functionality to the Shift, it'll certainly become a bit more enticing. But I think before Canadians will accept neat and cool devices like this one (and it is indeed very cool!), we need to see more affordable plan options and unlimited offerings. Until then, I'll admire the Shift from afar.

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Anonymous said...

I would definitely benefit by using the shift as a sales rep on the road. Here’s why I won’t buy it. I don’t like Windows Vista, would much prefer XP, especially on a mobile unit. Also, the data plan is too expensive.

yeunglui said...

If it's the original HTC Shift, it should have come with the build in GPS and Cell Phone capabilities

If Rogers is offering it without those 2 feature, then it's a major rip off.

You can buy it online from overseas for less than that, including shipping.

Anonymous said...

If Telus had the HTC Shift available, I would purchase this in an instant cause I have their $100/month Unlimited NORTH AMERICA Data plan. Telus no longer offers this data plan but I am glad I got it before they canceled the offering. Feels great that I can use the Data anywhere in North America, cause I have my TomTom on my PDA phone and need the traffic info. BTW, I use a UTStarcom PPC-6700 with Windows Mobile 2006

I am surprised not many people noticed the unlimited Data plan from Telus(Not unlimited Web but ALL DATA).

Anonymous said...

I'd consider it if the cost weren't so much.