Goal: leave the notebook behindBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
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The HTC Touch Pro smartphone may not be Sprint’s answer to Apple's iPhone, Google and T-Mobile's Android, or RIM's Blackberry, but with a Qwerty keyboard, high-resolution screen and Windows Mobile, the HTC Touch Pro smartphone sure offers a lot to a business person on the run.
Although the Touch Pro isn’t about to replace anyone’s notebook computer, the device's capabilities bring it pretty close to the mark. With pocket versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel, plus Microsoft Outlook email client – most users should be able to accomplish many of their tasks without having to boot up the notebook. For example, an included dongle can be used to hook the device up to a projector, allowing users to run power point presentations for a group of people. The familiarity offered by the mobile version of Microsoft Outlook makes scheduling, emailing and other chores a simple task for Microsoft shops and their users.
At 4.5 ounces and 4.53" x 2.47" x 0.47", the Touch Pro isn’t the thinnest and lightest device on the market, but it's not huge either. HTC has done an excellent job of cramming a lot of functionality into that small package, but there are still some compromises. The unit requires an external (albeit very small) "hub" to attach other components. What’s more, the unit does not offer a standard mini-USB port for charging, synchronizing or performing other tasks.
While far from perfect, the HTC Touch Pro does offer solution providers a new and exciting option when it comes to selling handheld devices. Although those addicted to their iPhone will not find the Touch Pro anything special, users looking to maximize connectivity with their Microsoft Exchange servers and other Microsoft products will find the HTC Touch Pro a welcome breath of fresh air.
Sprint started shipping the unit in the beginning of November and bundles it with various data plans at various prices. Supplies have been limited and "unlocked" units can be found for around $700 from alternate distribution channels, making the device a somewhat expensive option. Interested solution providers can contact Sprint for additional information and for channel specifics.