One Night Stand with the HTC X7500

Illustration for article titled One Night Stand with the HTC X7500

HTC was showing plenty of love for Windows Mobile at their 3GSM booth. Their number one star, however, was the X7500, the UMPC, laptop, smartphone hybrid that's seen more name changes than Prince. Spec-wise, we all know what the X7500 has to offer, so I won't rehash that. Instead I'll talk about what it's like using one cause after a quick date with the X7500, I have more gripes than I do love for it.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

First off, the keyboard. I'm glad that HTC included one (unlike a lot of UMPCs out there that don't), but for me personally, the keyboard isn't as sturdy as I'd like it to be. The keys are nice and big, they're spaced evenly, but my problem is that it's awkward to use (mainly because of the way the keyboard juts out) and it takes me forever to type out a sentence on it. To be honest, I never got a comfortable grip with it.

Now the cool thing about the X7500 is that there's more than one way to navigate around the interface. Don't like the keyboard? Well, because it attaches to the display magnetically, you can easily fold it back against the display (the same way you'd fold the cover of a paperback) and use either the stylus or the little nipple ball (on the upper left corer) to navigate. I found this was a lot more comfortable and natural.

Another gripe. Weight. The X7500 ain't making any rounds on the gadget catwalk. In fact, I found that it was a lot chunkier in real life than it appears in photos. Your pants pocket is not where this phone will travel (no matter how baggy they are). It's almost like carrying an old school Game Boy (the black and white one). Overall, it's an impressive machine, no doubt. But for me it's one of those Frankenstein devices that's too big to be a killer smartphone and to small to be used as a laptop.

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Two ways I would improve it, related to the original post:

1. Ergonomically-designed keyboard, arranged either for one-handed typing or thumb typing.

2. Steel strap hanger rings, so you can strap it over your shoulder like a messenger bag. Or a manbag, if you prefer.

That said, this seems more appealing than the Oqo, maybe just because it's slightly larger but not large enough to be a laptop.

....suddenly I have the urge to go look at the Kemplar website again.