Thinking of a 7 inch tablet? Don't forget the powerful HTC Flyer

As excitement builds for the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, people should also consider the powerful and functional HTC Flyer that is now priced at just $299.99.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

In my Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet article I mentioned that I have an HTC Flyer. I think the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are excellent devices for the price and most people will be quite happy with them. Those who are looking for a more powerful 7 inch Android tablet may also want to seriously consider the HTC Flyer that is now priced at just $299.99, $100 more than the Kindle Fire and just $50 more than the Nook Tablet.

The Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire can be tweaked and hacked and can be made into full Android tablets, but they are still missing Bluetooth, microphone (Nook Tablet has one), GPS, and cameras. The HTC Flyer is a full Android tablet that you can use as an ebook reader with Nook and Kindle apps. By default, HTC has their Reader application that is a branded ebook service powered by Kobo that even includes a home screen widget. In addition, the HTC Flyer has support for digital ink with integrated Evernote service. I use my HTC Flyer to take notes in meetings and during Sunday sermons and find it to be a natural and engaging experience.

On our latest MobileTechRoundup podcast Kevin mentioned that the Kindle Fire user interface is simply a launcher on top of Android and you can find and install that on devices like the HTC Flyer and Samsung Galaxy Tab. Kevin now has a great post on GigaOM that mirrors my thoughts for the HTC Flyer. One reason I was thinking of keeping the Kindle Fire (I still may do so) is the ease of integration with Amazon services, but you can get all of these same services through apps and the browser on the HTC Flyer. Amazon Prime videos can be viewed through the browser and if you look around you can find the .apk file to put a more seamless app on the HTC Flyer too.

While I think the Amazon Kindle Fire hardware is excellent, I find the HTC Flyer hardware to be even better with a solid aluminim and white plastic body, beautiful display, and easy to navigate user interface. It also comes with 16GB integrated storage and capability for external storage with a microSD card slot.

HTC also optimized many applications and services on the Flyer so you get a top notch email experience, excellent photo browser, and more. It looks like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet will open people's eyes to the 7 inch form factor and before you jump on one of these two, I recommend you think about what you really want and need in a small tablet and consider paying just a bit more for the HTC Flyer.

UPDATE: I find the HTC Flyer to be so beneficial to how I roll that I just ordered a 3G one so I can be connected at all times without having to tether. It's funny that trying out the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet rekindled my desire for my HTC Flyer and put it back in my hands more than ever. BTW, the 3G model works on T-Mobile 3G and was priced at less than $500.

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