If you were ready to dismiss the HTC Flyer as HTCs spin on the Samsung Galaxy Tab then HTC would like just six minutes of your time to try to convince you otherwise. It’s a well made video and worth checking out if you are mulling over a tablet purchase this Spring.
We’ve been over the specs before and they are solid but not world-beating; 1.5 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16/32 GB Storage and a 7″ screen with 1024 x 600 resolution. But the specs aren’t really the story of the Flyer. The work that HTC has done with Sense and the addition of a pen with a legitimate digitizer steer it in a completely different direction than the other tablets burning up the charts at the moment.
The fact that it isn’t launching with Honeycomb seems to be a sticking point for some and if you are a developer (or a user for that matter) that just wants the Android tablet reference design obviously you are not the target for the Flyer. However, if you are assuming that because it isn’t Honeycomb it isn’t optimized for tablets then I think you need to take a second look at what HTC has done with Sense and Scribe on the Flyer. In my opinion it looks potentially more like a tablet optimized experience than anything I’ve seen short of the Courier mock-ups.
While the emphasis on the pen might make this feel like a bit of a niche device HTC does have you covered if you are interested in videos or gaming on your tablet. The HTC Watch service looks competitive with the other offerings out there presently and the OnLive gaming integration is potentially quite interesting.
Before you rush to hit that pre-order button, I’m sure you take my advice that seriously, I want to be clear that I haven’t used one personally yet so I can’t attest to whether HTC has delivered on what they are promising. Two basic concerns I have with the pen are that it is an optional accessory which considering its deep integration with the device seems bizarre and as the former owner of a pen-enabled tablet I can assure you that the inability to store the pen in the tablet will be frustrating. With that said I have heard good things from a number of individuals that I trust who have had hands-on time with the Flyer so I’m not just being blindly optimistic.
Based on the video its safe to assume that HTC is focusing mainly on the student and/or enterprise user, which are the same demographics that manufacturers have failed to capture with Windows tablets for the last decade. If you fall into either of those categories I’m particularly interested in your opinions on the Flyer, but feel free to sound off even if you are just looking for a tablet for personal use.