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7in Flyer tablet demoed by HTC

15 Feb 2011
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Small tablet comes with capacitative stylus

HTC has announced and shown off its first Android tablet - The HTC Flyer. It's a 7in device with a 1,024x600 LCD display. As we'd expect from the company behind the Legend, the Wildfire and the Desire, the design is smart and minimalist with some nice curves. At 420g, it's a tad heavier than the original 7in Galaxy TabSamsung Galaxy Tab at 385g.

Unfortunately, we can't say a lot more because it wasn't available for hands-on play, instead being secured away behind glass. HTC representatives told us that it was a pre-production model, and it has a rather vague Q2 release date, so we'll have to wait for now.

STYLUS

Thankfully, there's plenty to discuss anyway. Most surprisingly, HTC will be bundling each Flyer with a capacitative stylus. The idea id to give users a more precise input device, and this will be supported by apps and customisations in HTC's Sense interface. For example, you'll be able to make a snapshot of the screen by simply tapping upon it, and then annotate that snapshot using the stylus before sending it to a friend - could be handy for maps, or fun with photos.

HTC Flyer Stylus

No mention was made of text recognition, but this could easily be added by apps. The representative we talked to also suggested business uses, as customers could sign for deliveries using the stylus. Of course, this could be done on any tablet, so it really is down to Sense to make the difference.

SINGLE CORE

The Flyer uses a single core processor, rather than the dual-core examples in Samsung's and Motorola's offerings. To compensate, the clock speed has been boosted up to a rapid 1.4GHz. It'll be interesting to see how it compares in performance to other tablets. There's 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage provided.

GINGERBREAD

The Flyer was demonstrated with Android 2.2 Gingerbread, rather than the upcoming 3.0 Honeycomb specifically for tablets. This, we reckon, is down to the amount of customisations in Sense, which would need to be reworked to get a 3.0 version up-and-running. HTC said a Honeycomb version is on the cards, but this isn't likely till after launch.

HTC Flyer Sense

One example of this is the pseudo-3D desktop. As you tilt the tablet from left to right it subtly adjusts the angle of objects. You can actually see behind the front of HTC gadgets, for example, there are gears turning away behind the clock gadget. It all sounds a bit like a frippery, but we applaud the manufacturer for trying something different.

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