Hands-on with the HTC Flyer with magic pen (photos)

Summary:The HTC Flyer will be available at Best Buy this Sunday, but we have one in our hands. This photo gallery compares the Flyer to the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Android tablets have become a dime a dozen, but HTC's foray into the space has some major distinctions from the pack. The HTC Flyer has the more portable 7-inch form factor, and is running Android Gingerbread instead of the tablet-optimized Honeycomb. HTC has also added the ability to take notes on the screen with a digital pen, a first for an Android tablet.

I just received the Flyer so I can only share my first impressions of the tablet. The HTC Flyer will be available at Best Buy this Sunday, so until then take a look at the photo gallery below to get a look at it. The gallery has photos comparing the Flyer to a couple of 7-inch tablets on the market, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Check out the HTC Flyer with magic pen photo gallery


Image Gallery: HTC Flyer -- with comparisons to Galaxy Tab and BlackBerry Playbook
Image Gallery: Charge
Image Gallery: Charge

Hardware specs:
  • CPU: Snapdragon 1.5 GHz (single core)
  • OS: Android Gingerbread (2.3) with HTC Sense 3.0
  • Storage: 16GB internal, 1GB RAM
  • Display: 7-inch (1024x600) capacitive with active digitizer for optional pen input
  • Connections: 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB (charging, connection to PC)
  • Camera: front- 1.3MP; rear- 5MP
  • Connectivity: WiFi (b/g/n); Bluetooth 3.0
  • Sensors: Ambient light, G-sensor, digital compass
  • Dimensions: 7.7" x 4.8" x 0.52"; 14.82 ounces

I will be posting a full review next week, but after an hour's use of the Flyer can offer up these quick impressions.

Pros:

Nice aluminum and plastic construction

Fits nicely in the hand, especially in portrait orientation

HTC Sense 3.0 provides useful widgets and makes the transition from portrait to landscape well

Cons:

A bit heavy in the hand (almost a pound)

Thicker than other 7-inch tablets

Only special screen controls can be tapped with the pen, making it necessary to constantly shift between pen and finger control

No place to store the pen without buying carrying case

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, HTC, Laptops, Mobility

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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