Man, it's getting crowded out there. Seems like every day brings news of a new tablet. HP jumps in, LG steps up, and now HTC has revealed its plans to join the melee with a new tab it's calling the Flyer.
The HTC Flyer sports a relatively modest 7 inch screen and a custom version of the company's popular Sense user interface. Under the hood its got an impressive 1.5 ghz single-core cpu , 1 gb of RAM, 32 gb of on-board storage, expandable via micro SD cards, and 1024 x 600 resolution. Its also rocking a 5 megapixel camera on back, and a 1.3 megapixel camera around front for video calling.
One big potential drawback of the new tab is lack of Android Honeycomb support. HTC says it didn't have time to integrate the new tablet-specific platform, and the Flyer will instead run what it's calling Gingerbread 2.4.
Samsung's first entry into the tablet arena with the Galaxy Tab also shipped without Honeycomb support to lackluster reviews. Another potentially problematic similarity to the original Galaxy Tab is the Flyer's 7 inch screen-- a demure display size when compared to the 10.1 inch competitors from Apple, HP and now Samsung with the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Interestingly, also among the Flyer's features is a new pressure-sensitive stylus system called either HTC Scribe or "Magic Pen." We're pretty anti-stylus around here-- the little pseudo pens being one headache we were happy to see fade out. But if anyone is going to try and reinvent the pen experience, it might as well be HTC.
The Taiwanese company has been one of the red-hot smart phone era's biggest success stories, transitioning from a quiet partner of big firms like Google and T-Mobile to become a namebrand powerhouse in its own right. The Flyer's got its work cut out for it if it wants to be competitive in the new white-hot tablet race, but if HTC follows it up with more of the strong, feature-rich, well designed products it's known for, we expect they'll make a mark.