HTC 7" Flyer Tablet Is All About the Digital Pen

Lest you be distracted by the new EVO View 4G tablet HTC launched with Sprint last week, HTC wants you to remember that the 7" Flyer is still coming. HTC introduced the flyer at World Mobile Congress in February and has promised a spring 2011 ship date.

While there's still no word on the actual ship date -- or the official price (an unlocked device is expected to be about $600), the company released a six-minute YouTube video showing off all the fancy features the Flyer will possess, particularly its one-of-a kind digital pen technology. The device looks like it will be geared toward students rather than businesses.

The Flyer has been creating some buzz, not all of it in a good way. While the (optional) digital pen and adaptation of the HTC Sense UI are earning praise, the fact that HTC is opting for a version of Android that is not Honeycomb is a head-scratcher. Will Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) apps run without a hitch on a tablet? (And why not go with the latest handset version of Gingerbread, Android 2.4, which is rumored to be out this spring, too?) Will there be enough tablet-optimized apps for people to choose this over the iPad? And does the 7" form factor have a future? Some have already declared it a non-starter.

HTC Flyer

Perhaps the biggest question of them all: can this list of hardware and the digital pen make up for the tablet's shortcomings?

  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor
  • 16GB internal memory with microSD slot
  • Two cameras: rear (5MP) and front (1.3MP) that support video chat
  • 7" touch screen (1024 x 600 TFT) that takes input from fingers or optional digital pen
  • Wi-Fi capability (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Adobe Flash support
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with stereo headsets lets you enjoy music and movies wirelessly
  • Output to larger screens enabled through MHL port and DLNA capability
  • SRS WOW HD surround sound audio over the dual speakers or through headphones
  • Sensors include: G-sensor, GPS/aGPS, digital compass, ambient light sensor