It's hard to categorize the HTC Advantage X7501. It's not exactly a smart phone, nor is it a full UMPC. Instead, HTC hopes that people will see the Advantage as a mobile computer that they can use on short stints, freeing them from having to carry their laptop at all times. While powerful and full-featured, we think it'll be most attractive to early adopters and gadget-hounds rather than the mass public--for now, anyway.
The HTC Advantage consists of two parts. The main body houses the 5-inch TFT touch screen and an 8GB hard drive, while there's a flat piece that has the full QWERTY keyboard on one side and magnetically attaches to the bottom of the main unit.
However, unlike a smart phone, you're not going to be holding the Advantage in both of your hands and using your thumbs to compose e-mails and such. It's more of a notebook experience, and as a result, the keyboard feels pretty cramped. The keys are also extraflat, and there's minimal tactile response.
The device measures 5.2 inches long by 3.8 inches wide by 0.6 inch tall and weighs 12.6 ounces, so while it will fit into bag or purse, it's certainly going to add some heft to your load.
The HTC Advantage X7501 is equipped with a 3-megapixel camera and flash, which are located on the back. We found it pretty difficult to get a clear shot, since it's a bit unwieldy to hold the large device and press the capture button.
Compared to a smart phone, the individual buttons are large and there's a good amount of spacing between them. At least, that's what our first impressions were of the full QWERTY keyboard.
For even more protection, HTC ships the Advantage with a leather pouch. The leather cover is of good quality, and it's thoughtfully designed as there is a cut-out for the camera lens. The plastic pieces that hold the main body in place don't interfere with any of the side controls.
When you're not using the device, you can turn the keyboard over and use it as a protective cover for the screen. There's a small clear window along the bottom, so you can still view the time, battery life, network strength, and other information.
The right spine holds the stylus, the camera activation key, the Comm Manager launcher, and the power button.
Depending on how you look at it, the HTC Advantage X7501 is a really big smart phone or a really small laptop. And even though the Advantage is sort of in a category of its own, you could liken its form factor to a UMPC such as the Oqo Model O2.