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Old 05-21-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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HTC Flyer quick impressions

This isn't a formal review, as I don't own the device, but I spent about 30 minutes with it at Best Buy this morning.

The device was solid, almost heavy. I can see getting tired trying to hold this in one hand. It felt well-built and, aside from a well-documented separation where the plastic meets the aluminum body on the bottom left corner, it's up to par with the HTC's usual standards.

I found it just a bit uncomfortable to hold with one hand, as opposed to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which feels quite good in one hand. I had to really stretch to hold it one hand.

HTC's Sense UI on the device ran pretty well, but I saw lots of sluggishness launching and switching between apps. Coming out of lock mode took about 6 seconds. That's not too good. The weather app animations were smooth, though, as was playing video from YouTube and onboard videos. Other than same nice animations, I don't see much improvement over stock Android in terms of user experience.

The built-in reader application had a nice book browser and was speedy and responsive. Several reading themes were available which varied the background, font type and size. I could not figure out how to read in landscape mode. There was this odd setting that said something about 'optimizing' the book for mobile reading. Page animations were smooth. The formatting looked bad, at least for the on-board books, which included Jane Eyre and Dracula. I couldn't find a way to fully justify the margins. For me, though, the built-in reader wouldn't be used as I would just load the Kindle app.

Overall, it looks like a nice tablet. It matches the form factor I want but it's too big for one hand. And it's priced way too high at $499. The pen, which is supposed to make this tablet unique, wasn't on display and I couldn't demo one. Plus, it's $80 bucks more. I couldn't see anything about the device that made it so much more than the Samsung Galaxy Tab. So I think I will pass and either get the Samsung Galaxy Tab (on eBay for under $300), the Nook Color, or see what Amazon has rolled up their sleeves.

Last edited by astrodad; 05-21-2011 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Minor tweak.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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Just to add one thing: I asked them if they had any left in stock and their answer was, "yeah, we have tons of these things.". Not exactly flying off the shelves, although the official launch date is the 22nd.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by astrodad View Post
The pen, which is supposed to make this tablet unique, wasn't on display and I couldn't demo one. Plus, it's $80 bucks more.
That's too bad, it's the pen that would sell me on this thing if the pen apps are what they're cracked up to be.

Dont't get me wrong, I love my SGT, but if it could also replace my LiveScribe smart pen for taking meeting notes it would be wonderful. And I've read that HTC will be bundling the pen for everyone except BestBuy (prices not yet published).

I'll also be keeping my eye on Asus' EEE-Note.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:17 PM   #4
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just watched a review for it. The HTC Sense UI does not make me miss Honeycomb for a tablet this size. This really looks like a sweet device but as always $500 for wi fi only is a little tough swallow, especially with an Asus Transformer going for $100 cheaper.

but price withstanding I like what HTC has done here.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70y78...feature=relmfu
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:26 AM   #5
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I also played it with for a few minutes at my local Best Buy. I didn't notice any sluggishness (actually, I thought it was quite snappy.) The screen was pretty good. The onscreen keyboard is superb, maybe the best I've seen on a tablet. It's really comfortable to type on it. I was in a hurry so I couldn't stay more than a few minutes, but I think this is my favorite 7 inch tablet. Too bad is so pricey.

When do you think its price will drop?
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #6
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i'd guess in 6 months, kinda like the galaxy tab did. i wonder how much the 10" htc tablet is gonna cost giving the price on this thing. looks very nice, but i won't be giving up my galaxy tab any time soon for it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:41 AM   #7
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Engadet has an extensive review on the device:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/16/htc-flyer-review/

A closer look on the stylus and scribe:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/15/a...-aka-htc-scri/

I would be mostly interested in the pen-feature on this device, especially being able to highlight text in the reader and on PDFs.

I read that the Flyer is using the SDK from Foxit, this is a big plus since Foxit is a proven PDF reader.

The pen included with the Flyer is from N-Trig, one can only hope that handwriting-recognition on the Android platform is not too far away.

Apart from that it seems that Lenovo is working on a similar tablet with a 10 inch IPS screen with a screen resolution of 1280x800 (only rumours so far):
http://thisismynext.com/2011/04/24/l...us-hit-summer/

Than there's also the new Echo Smartpen from Livescribe for serious note taking/audio recording (requires special paper). If you don't need the audio recording capability there's the:
G-Note 7100 which works with regular paper:

Last edited by thinkpad; 06-02-2011 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #8
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I did see the Engadget review. Very thorough. I'm still in the market but I have a feeling my wife may get me something for Father's Day. It will either be the Nook Color or the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkpadx View Post
Engadet has an extensive review on the device:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/16/htc-flyer-review/

A closer look on the stylus and scribe:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/15/a...-aka-htc-scri/

I would be mostly interested in the pen-feature on this device, especially being able to highlight text in the reader and on PDFs.

I read that the Flyer is using the SDK from Foxit, this is a big plus since Foxit is a proven PDF reader.

The pen included with the Flyer is from N-Trig, one can only hope that handwriting-recognition on the Android platform is not too far away.

Apart from that it seems that Lenovo is working on a similar tablet with a 10 inch IPS screen with a screen resolution of 1280x800 (only rumours so far):
http://thisismynext.com/2011/04/24/l...us-hit-summer/

Than there's also the new Echo Smartpen from Livescribe for serious note taking/audio recording (requires special paper). If you don't need the audio recording capability there's the:
G-Note 7100 which works with regular paper:
I have a LiveScribe smartpen and a 7" 3G Galaxy Tab. If this thing can replace both, I'd be on it in a second. Sprint is supposed to be coming out with their version of the flyer (this month?). I'll be watching it closely.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:16 PM   #10
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I guess I'm still stuck on the price.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:26 PM   #11
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I have a LiveScribe smartpen and a 7" 3G Galaxy Tab. If this thing can replace both, I'd be on it in a second. Sprint is supposed to be coming out with their version of the flyer (this month?). I'll be watching it closely.
On the demonstrations with the pen on the Flyer it doesn't look like it's up to par with a LiveScribe pen or a Windows Tablet for that matter.

Given the statement from the HTC-rep one can only hope that developers see a bigger potential and releases some useful apps.
Quote:
According to an HTC PR rep on hand, the company’s vision for the pen-enabled tablet is different from Microsoft’s vision for the Tablet PC. HTC views the pen as an added value and as a tool to quickly jot notes, doodle and draw, and communicate rather than as a more complex tool for handwriting and inking support.
http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/05...r-evo-view-4g/
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:32 PM   #12
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I guess I'm still stuck on the price.
The price is something that bothers me too. Heck for that price I can get a decent laptop. I would like to see it come down at least a $100.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:35 PM   #13
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The price is something that bothers me too. Heck for that price I can get a decent laptop. I would like to see it come down at least a $100.
I'm with you. At LEAST $100 and it becomes viable.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:15 PM   #14
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In the U.K it has already dropped from £480 to £400 in the anticipation of the 10 inch HTC Puccini release: http://www.itproportal.com/2011/06/0...ice-drops-400/
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:19 AM   #15
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Have held my HTC Flyer for a week now. Bought it 1/ beacuse it has built-in Kobo-reader, just sign in and it remembers you and 2/ price. It was mine for 0 euros, downpaymnts 18 e/ month for 2 years (no interest, total e432), 3g 10Mbits unlimited surf for 20 e/month. Here in Sweden that is, if not cheap, anyway a fair price.
I was happily surprized to find out that Android has a functioning Kindle app, I had thought that to read books in Kindle format you must have a Kindle.
I have bough the thing for just book reading. I travel a lot and it is a blessing that I do not have to fill my luggage with books.The format is right for books, which iPad is not, too big.Battery time is sufficient for book reading, I can leave it for charging overnight when I turn in, no problem.
All the other functions for me are extra plus, just helping lazy me not needing to get up to check things from the web.
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