Final Words

If you view tablets like the iPad 2 or Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 as being the target for perfection, something like the Flyer will come as a disappointment. If you're like me however, and view tablets as a line of products still in their infancy then there's room to discuss something like the Flyer.

Most Android tablets get the job done when it comes to web browsing, email, music and video playback. I believe these are some of the biggest selling points for buying a tablet today and an ASUS Eee Pad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 does a good job here.

HTC's Flyer delivers a decent experience in these same areas. Web browsing is better on a larger tablet, but if you want portability the Flyer is nicer to carry around with you. Performance is competitive, although battery life definitely suffers as a result of the Flyer's relatively small battery. Where HTC expands on the Android tablet experience is in its personalization via Sense and and the Scribe accessory.

Whether or not you like Sense really boils down to personal preference. The customization junkies out there will likely appreciate what it is and in many areas HTC has improved over the stock Android (at least Gingerbread) experience. Although the Flyer doesn't run Honeycomb, it's not all that missed as a result of what HTC has done.

HTC Scribe turns the Flyer into a note taking specific productivity device. I have a feeling that after reading about the Flyer you'll know right away if it's the right type of device for you. It's not the holy grail of a productivity oriented tablet, but it does carve itself out a niche in the productivity segment. A sensible feature set and integration with Evernote making Scribe a real selling point of the Flyer. It's a shame that the Scribe isn't bundled with the Flyer and will set you back an extra $80 on top of the $499 you need to pay to get the tablet in the first place.

How well did HTC do with thinking outside of the box on this one? Everything from the form factor to the SoC choices flies in the face of every other Android tablet we've reviewed this year - and I can't really say that HTC was wrong in anything it decided to do here. I don't believe that there's one tablet for everyone, and I do hope to see a more general purpose tablet from HTC in the future as well, but for what it's intended to do, the Flyer is functional, portable and a competitive performer.

While personally I believe the best bet with any tablet is to wait and see how the next generation turns out - if you're a part of the niche that the Flyer addresses, I don't believe you'll be disappointed.

Battery Life
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  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    .. and should include the pen. Oh well. Reply
  • nitin213 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    At a recent roadshow in Singapore, HTC flyer was available for S$550 in a whispered deal (~US$460) and came bundled with the scribe and a cover.. I guess wait for similar deals in US if you really want it bundled.

    That said, I still went with an iPad even though i bought N1 immediately at launch. The key reason was quite simple... while numbers suggest that flyer is lighter, the smaller size meant it has much more heft and thus fingers get tired a bit faster (I was always holding flyer with a stronger grip). the scribe though useful addition wasnt always avlbl right away as there is no old-stylus style storage area on the tablet.. And lastly, the old adage.. never buy a first generation product from a company...I like HTC and am sure their next gen product would blow the competition, but flyer was not for me.

    cheers
    Reply
  • m.amitava - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I've seen that HTC Sense's facebook app captures higher res images of your contacts than the regular facebook app so that when you receive a call ( I am on a Desire HD on Gingerbread) from your contacts, their pic doesn't come out as a pixelated hash.

    So in that small way I do prefer the Sense implementation
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    HTC's whole FB contact integration system works better than the native one from the official FB app... That and the lovely lockscreen previews of calendar events, messages and music (plus app shortcuts now!) are the two biggest advantages that Sense has over stock Android. There's other minor things here and there (camera interface, motion sensing settings for the ringer, notification pane toggles, etc) but you can replicate most of them with market apps, and in some cases it's stuff that Honeycomb has addressed (and ICS surely will too). Reply
  • arbarath - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    nice tablet.. but too expensive.. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't pay more than $200 for this. 7", not 10". Gingerbread, not Honeycomb. Poor battery life. You'd think with the that much thickness, they could have fit a huge battery in it. Oh well... Reply
  • xSauronx - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I think 300 or so is a fair price with the scribe stuff included, tops, considering the size and screen quality. Maybe 250 (since the nook color can pack an ips panel in a 7" tablet for that)

    but 500? No way. Why do companies keep pricing their devices so poorly?
    Reply
  • Souka - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    in attempt to recover part of development cost and because people keep buying them Reply
  • ap90033 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    I agree this is a rip off and not that great of a product... Reply
  • Cow86 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    In Europe the pen IS included with every purchase, and the 16 GB model goes vor 499 euro's here...after the conversion maybe not really better value, but it's worth noting anyway. Puts it 20 euro's above the Ipad 2 16 GB wifi though, and I'm not sure a lot of people would pay that, except maybe the niche that really wants the scribe. Reply

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