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and it's got GPS and 3G built in. QWERTY, check; Wi-Fi-, check; true slate format because the keyboard is magnetic, check. But the HTC Advantage (I reviewed it at http://www.itpro.co.uk/reviews/133941/htc-advantage-x7500.html) runs Windows Mobile; is that the only reason it didn't generate the same excitement as the Eee PC?

EDIT: note - I'm curious in terms of how many people have said they want the Eee PC with a 3G card, which means I consider it fair game to price the Advantage with a data contract, reducing it significantly from the non-contract price. The comments make me think it's the price for the size that is appealing to most of you,.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
akicif
21st Nov, 2007 16:25 (UTC)
Price may have something to do with it....
marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 16:32 (UTC)
£163 with a contract vs £238 for the Eee PC? It's only expensive unlocked...
autopope
21st Nov, 2007 16:39 (UTC)
Given that everybody and their dog has a mobile phone these days, you've got to consider the contract to be part of the purchase price -- or the buy-out from your current contract, whichever you prefer.
fjm
21st Nov, 2007 19:41 (UTC)
The price on the wen site is £563.
marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 19:59 (UTC)
IT Pro quotes the highest price with no contract. As per subsequent discussion, pricing a connected device is hard because of the huge variety of tariffs and the affect they have on the initial purchase price which goes as low as £55 depending on what contract you have for how long. I don't see the point of buying a connected device without a contract unless you want it to use on an existing SIM. There will be an additional cost to make the Eee a connected device - the 3G card Asus is working on (or an external 3G dongle) and the contract that comes with that.

Leaving the OS question aside the Advantage has features the Eee doesn't (GPS, Bluetooth for example). That doesn't make it good value if you want a standalone, disconnected device. It may not even be good value if you want a connected device if it's not what you want. What interests me is what it is about a bigger, heavier device with fewer features and a comparable price as a connected device that gets so many more people interested - and a lot of the people I've seen talking about buying one have talked about wanting the 3G option, which is why I brought the subsidised prices into it.

If you price the Advantage as a disconnnected PDA it goes up against the Wi-Fi-enabled Archos 605 video music player with Opera and Flash or the tiny Fujitsu tablet PC or the cheapest Sonys - and the Eee is a huge change in this space because of the price.
autopope
21st Nov, 2007 16:30 (UTC)
Okay:

Keyboard is worse, much worse. (I can touch-type on the Eee.) Screen resolution: it's got 25% less real estate. And that 4Gb moving magnetic platter is just asking for trouble in a pocket device (ask any former Palm Lifedrive owner.) Software: well, you could splash out on Textmaker, but otherwise you're stuck with Microsoft's execrable excuse for a mobile office package (rubbish import/export filters, no macro programming, not a real word processor at all). Windows Mobile isn't really suitable for general purpose work -- doesn't have the application support of XP or the range of funky customizable shit you get with Linux.

Oh, and it costs three times as much as the Eee, unless you get it as a mobile phone and let them handcuff you to a contract that'll end up costing you another couple of hundred quid again.

A more significant threat would be the Nokia N810 -- if Nokia had the wits to pay Dataviz to port Documents to Go 10.x to the N810, it'd be a credible mobile office machine at a close price to the Eee.

Edited at 2007-11-21 16:32 (UTC)
marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 16:41 (UTC)
I find the Advantage keyboard better than the Eee PC; this may be because I expect less of the Advantage and more of the Eee rather than for pure

Lots of people want the 3G card in the Eee PC. If you want a connected 3G device you're going to have to have a data contract. Apart from one sensible US network who does 24 hour 3g connections, you're going to pay a chunk of cash for 3G connectivity. The iPhone costs £1300 including the 18 months of data contract. Yes, mobile data is far too expensive at the moment (especially as the back haul is so universally appalling). But as it stands the data prices will be the same for both so if you're looking for a connected device, the Advantage is actually cheaper. Actually, a lot cheaper - £55 with some contracts.

If you don't want 3G then yes, the Eee is much cheaper. But I'm hearing a lot of people say they want an Eee and they plan to put a 3G card in it.

It is 8Gb in the HTC and 4Gb in the Eee PC. I'm inclined to blame Palm rather than microdrives for the bad rep; I had one in my OmniBook 300 that still works and that did a lot of travelling. Flash is the future though, agreed.
bohemiancoast
21st Nov, 2007 17:02 (UTC)
I don't understand that £1300 figure for the iPhone. Mine will cost £269 + 18x£35 for a total of just about £900. That's with an unlimited personal use data contract, which as far as I know nobody else is offering at all.

My iPhone contract is *cheaper* than the previous O2 BlackBerry contract it replaced, and has better data terms (it has worse voice & txt terms, but as 200+200 is approx 150+150 more minutes and texts more than I have ever used in a month, I'm not too fussed). As I was never going to have a non-data contract again, the back-end costs of the iPhone are pretty irrelevant.

Obviously the iPhone and the Eee PC are serving totally different markets; despite my typing speed I moved away from keyboarded portable devices several years ago and I haven't really missed them.
codepope
21st Nov, 2007 17:15 (UTC)
It's easy to get to £1300... You take the most expensive tariff for the iPhone and multiply by 18.... and round up to the next £100. Which is just sloppy.

So let's see how much the HTC. Let's use this... http://www.expansys.com/p.aspx?i=156001 (Thats the cheapest monthly tariff that they have for the HTC).... £960. And I don't think there's any data in there. So the HTC is more expensive than the iPhone as it comes with data all in.

The EEE PC meanwhile. Still £220. Thats cheap enough to hack. Which is why people are excited by it.

marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 19:28 (UTC)
You can get the Advantage with Web & Walk 10Gb for 44/month for 12 months so £528 on the data and £792 for the 18 month equivalent of the Apple - plus however much they gouge you on the device. You can go for the cheapest device cost and put the £7.50/month Web & Walk on top. Either way, the network makes a chunk of cash out of you for a connected device; the Amazon Kindle pricing gets interesting here.

It's past time they made it clearer what data costs and simplified the voice plans too - I came across a neurologist studying reactions to impossible decisions using mobile price plans as a standard test.
codepope
21st Nov, 2007 20:24 (UTC)
It's only complex because people don't have a common way of comparing them. But then people get into using dodgy numbers like the cost of the phone+the contract for minimum contract term when they want to make something look more expensive, while quoting RRPs..... Anyway, looking T-Mobile Ameo, using the FlexT20+WebNWalk 18 month bundle, it works out to £754. It's ok, but.... another reason people don't get excited by the HTC? Well, it has no brand, heck, it has no common name. Ameo? Advantage? Anotherphonethingy...

But getting back to the start of this, the HTC *isn't* cheaper than an EEE PC, no matter how you grate the plans and discounts and it's not in the same marketspace as the EEE PC. The EEE PC says hack me. The HTC Advantage says "Don't hack me, I'm a phone". And thats the big difference.


marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 19:41 (UTC)
I wasn't comparing the iPhone and the Eee or even the iPhone and the Advantage; I was saying the cost of a connected device is more than the cost of the box in the first place and using the iPhone as an example of the difference between the price people think of (iPod ballpark) and the actual price (high end laptop ballpark).

(sums - £55/month on the top contract adds up to 1259).

Vodafone has had an unlimited £45/month data contract for about 18 months - they had it before the 3G BlackBerry came out - but the iPhone O2 is probably the least complicated voice/data contract we've seen. Kudos to Apple for achieving that on a deal where they take so much money back from the network. O2 has had the highest non voice ARPU of any UK network for several quarters so it's interesting that they see the iPhone as a big advantage to them, given the 30% of the UK they cover with EDGE.
the_magician
21st Nov, 2007 18:20 (UTC)
Personally, if I get a 3G "thingy" for an Eee, it will be USB so I can use it with my full sized laptop(s) as well, so I don't want it bound to a single device (yes, I have the 3G modem capability with my current P990i and a USB cable, or so I believe ... only tried GPRS so far ...)

I'm not planning on buying either (at the moment) but I'd want something with a fairly decent keyboard and an excellent screen if I was, and I'd like to be able to use my work mobile with the work sim in it rather than having to pay for a network connection (and since work won't be providing Windows Mobile phones anytime soon ... :-) )

But I'm an edge case (no not EDGE, though that's good too).

At the moment I can try out the Eee for 220 quid and if I don't like it, I can sell it on eBay for, say, £160. But if I have to get a contract to pick up an Advantage, then that's going to cost me a lot more ...

... still I wouldn't mind having a play with one sometime, as having a decent portable webbrowser with me as well as a decent database and writing machine would be great.
syllopsium
21st Nov, 2007 16:33 (UTC)
583 quid (ex VAT!) is a lot more than 225 inc!
marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 16:44 (UTC)
IT Pro always puts the buy it yourself rate; the cheapest I've seen it at is £55 on contract. See discussion over -> *there* about cost/value of 3G data...
marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 16:45 (UTC)
238 inc from RM BTW - it must be cheaper elsewhere?
cobrabay
21st Nov, 2007 17:24 (UTC)
Clove Technology are doing the EEE 701 for £219.72 inc VAT.
As to your question about Windows Mobile, I think that may well be part of it. As a WM5 user (HTC Tytn in T-Mobile disguise), I have to say that Windows Mobile has all the charm of Windows Me, but none of the stability. I end up having to reboot my phone far too often.
marypcb
21st Nov, 2007 19:11 (UTC)
WM5 is vile. Upgrade to WM6 - far more stable, significantly more powerful Office apps; very different beast. 25% better battery life on 3G. There are many Tytan ROMs about if TMobile isn't doing the decent thing.
mdlbear
21st Nov, 2007 17:17 (UTC)
I already have a phone; that plus the Windows Mobile are the main dealbreakers. The exciting things about the Eee are that it's not a cell phone, and it is Linux-based.
therealdrhyde
22nd Nov, 2007 14:19 (UTC)
Two things. Price and usability. On price, I don't care whether *some* people can get it for 55 quid or 160 quid. *My* usage pattern is that I make less than 50 minutes of calls a month. I can't see the phonecos falling head over heels to give me a good deal. And anyway, I already have a much better smartphone running PalmOS.

On usability - the HTC thing runs Windows. End of story. With Windows it would be just an ugly paperweight for me.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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