Mar 31 AT 4:06 PM Sean Riley 59 Comments

HTC wants to show you why the Flyer is unlike any other tablet

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.

Via: Android Community

Source: HTC Youtube

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 5 years and covering mobile for the last 6. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://Website Paul Atreides

    HTC may be on to something with this. Thinking like a student, artist, architect, engineer, KIDS! These are the kind of tablets a lot of people could use now in many fields. Everything isn’t for everybody of course, but once the price point drops a tad bit lower it could flourish. If they are smart they would donate some of these to different fields.

    • http://Website ari-free

      There are so many vertical applications. Someone in a warehouse could use this to check off inventory.

    • http://Website metafor

      What worries me about these types of custom software — even great ones like these — is that I am reliant on the manufacturer and them alone to both enhance, update and release software for the device.

      While HTC seems to have done a great job, without opening up a pen API and creating a developer ecosystem where people can write more pen-friendly apps, I will be tied to HTC as soon as I purchase this, which I don’t want to be. I’m already sick of being tied to iStuff, I don’t want another manufacturer that holds exclusive software.

      I would’ve preferred it if Google were to create a pen-friendly tablet OS that also supported multi-touch. I know Lord Jobs hates the stylus but for many things, it really is the best way to input information and there are tons of potential applications for it.

      • barry99705

        HTC said they are opening the api to 3rd party devs, so there ought to be some apps created for it.

  • http://Website droidwolf

    This seems like something I could realy get alot of use out of in my every day life. It seem like more then just the newest tech toy. I realy like it but it is still new an I know the second gen of this tablet will be better and probly have dualcore so naturally I’ll wait it out.

  • http://Website ari-free

    They need to integrate vision objects with this for the total solution.
    They have an android version but writing with your finger is pretty dumb.

  • http://Website Kollin

    As an artist and graphic designer, this is the tablet I am truly interested in. I want to be able to sketch out ideas without an actual sketch pad always at hand. Not being able to afford something like the Wacom Centique, the HTC Flyer has my full attention. I can’t wait to try one out.

    • http://Website ari-free

      Even cintiq requires you to be stuck in front of a computer. With flyer, I would be able to draw from life from anywhere and have all the advantages of the digital format.

      • http://Website Thinker

        There’s a EP 121 Slate for artists which gives you freedom Cintiq doesn’t give as well as Wacom technology which is superior to Flyers NTrig. That said, it still does not have true portability or battery life of a tablet such as Flyer, so i’m wondering…

  • mralimcb

    Is it just me or the rumoured 4 hours video playback battery life terrible?

    Otherwise, it looks like a very interesting tablet for students! The Sensation skin also looks Desire-able (sorry Desire user here lol)

    • http://Website ROflyer

      flyer is so poor,just like the philly flyers! donkey tablets…

    • http://Website ROflyer

      flyer is so poor,just like the philly flyers! donkey tablets……..

  • mmitchum

    As an information technology manager at a university, I think this would be great during the many meetings that I attend! Up until yesterday, I was taking a school owned first gen iPad to meetings for note taking. It was ok, but limited with what you could do. It was better than a padfolio and more environmentally friendly though.

    As I’m currently in the process of getting a small business off the ground, I also see great potential for using this to gather customer info on the fly.

    This Flyer has way more functionality for note taking than the iPad. I just wish it were 10 inches instead of 7; not wild about the smaller form factor. I also wonder what the rest of the experience is like, aside from the pen-based interaction. I just checked out the Xoom yesterday for the first time and I really like the experience on it.

    I’m a big fan of HTC products and the Sense UI (typing on an EVO right now) so I had been waiting on their flavor of the Android tablet. I’m eager to see what the complete experience is like and I’m hoping for a WiFi only version.

    I guess it’s a good thing that more Android tablets are making it to the market and making users like myself think hard about which one to abduct…

    • http://Website jlo

      Interesting. The biggest turn off for me with the iPad is the 10 inch size. I am writing this now from a Nook Color ($250.00) that has a 7 inch screen. The unit is a compact size that fits neatly in my purse and goes everywhere with me. :-) The iPad would not be convenient for me to carry around.

      I am already drooling for a Flyer…..

  • http://Website JayMonster

    Niche device that will stay a novelty since developers are not going to bother with the API to integrate into their apps. Leaving it a toy with not enough software to use it to its potential.

    Look to pick it up on Spot for cheap this summer.

  • http://Website ROflyer

    What a miserable flyer, the iPad 2 is a worlds better than this shitty HTCrapgadget!

    • http://Website ROflyer

      What a miserable flyer, the iPad 2 is a worlds better than this shitty HTCrapgadget!!!!

    • http://Website ROflyer

      What a miserable flyer, the iPad 2 is a worlds better than this shitty HTCrapgadget!!!!!!!!

  • http://Website DB

    If I can use this to write out my notes (not typed) in math, chem, and physics, I’m in. Call it lazy American syndrome, but I’m tired of dragging around numerous notebooks all day. But the pen precision has to be there, I want my letters to be where I tell them to be.

    I’m also curious how much storage taking notes would use. Also, this Evernote program seems nice.

    • http://Website thehaggis

      Evernote is a must have for anyone that goes to meetings, classes or is a list maker. It’s intergrated with just about every platform and is a great way to organise pics, notes, web pages, web page snippets, etc..

      Yeah, i like it a bit.

  • http://Website UniqueNate

    I have to admit with that video it made it look better. It showed off what it’s capable of.

  • http://Website Tim

    In my line of work this would be handy but im not convinced, if htc continue working in this spirit we could see interesting thing to come.

  • http://Website Mast3rShake

    This is exactly shat I am looking for as a teacher. Other tabs are cool but don’t have more functionality than my phone. Theyh are larger and trendy, not worth $500 or $600. This actually has something to it. It doubles as a notebook or grading device. I can show students something on it at their desk by hand with the pen then just wipe it clean at the next student. This actually has unique ways that it can be applied that the other tablets severly lack. This is the first tablet in my eyes that is more than a gimmic. It is more than the newest cool tech item. I may wait for its price to fall or for one with better specs though, but I love where HTC is going with this!

    • http://Website @neidlinger

      “This is exactly shat I am looking for as a teacher.”

      you teach Engrish?

  • http://Website hiding behind ya fatass

    I believe people look utterly stupid & clumsy with a tablet in their hands!!!

    • http://Website hiding behind ya fatass

      I believe people look utterly stupid & clumsy with a tablet in their hands!!!!

  • http://Website Jared

    I am pretty much sold. Were I buying a tablet it would come down between this and the xoom.

    I would like to see it be able to fully integrate 3.0 apps and widgets though. Once I know I am not limiting myself, this could be the ticket.

    • http://Website :( YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING :(


    • http://Website :( YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING :(


  • http://Website Jorge

    It looks nice but I would rather obtain those features through third party apps and not be daunted by weather or not the operating system will be upgraded.

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell

    This Flyer looks like a great idea down the road espically if your a sprint customer. This device with 4g technology as the Evo View 4g is a great have but the first device in my stable will be my Htc Evo3d that will replace my Htc Evo 4g then I will consider the Evo View 4g

  • http://Website rovex

    To me a 1.5GHz CPU makes sense. #sure the dual cores coming out are nice, but Android only uses one core anyway so the real question is, How does the single core 1.5GHz snapdragon compare to a dual core Terga at 1.0GHz using only one core.

    Most of the Tegras current advantage is due to newer and better hardware acceleration and internal processes, NOT 2 cores. If this snapdragon is like the new dual core coming out there is no reason it shouldnt beat the tegra.

  • http://Website ffm

    I am really glad HTC is not rushing anywhere unlike Motorola with Xoom.

    Was bit disappointed, when Flyer was first introduced, but on the second thought it all makes Sense.

  • http://Website RockinEvo

    Always have to respect how HTC approach things


    ipad2 is better

  • http://Website Hans

    The question is: how well does the pen work? How accurate is it,really?

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    This video is ‘private’ won’t play…

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