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Hands-on with the HTC Flyer; an Evernote tablet

HTC finally entered the tablet space with the HTC Flyer and in order to differentiate their entry into this growing market they added support for inking with a pen. While this may seem like a throw back to a few years ago with the UMPC, the pen functionality works quite well and has its uses. The Evernote integration is also key to the device usefulness and capabilities.
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Topic: Laptops
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1 of 51 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

HTC finally entered the tablet space with the HTC Flyer and in order to differentiate their entry into this growing market they added support for inking with a pen. While this may seem like a throw back to a few years ago with the UMPC, the pen functionality works quite well and has its uses. The Evernote integration is also key to the device usefulness and capabilities.

Check out my full ZDNet Mobile Gadgeteer blog post with more thoughts and a video walk through of the device.

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The back of the box lists the primary specifications and features of the HTC Flyer.

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The Magic Pen is not included with the US WiFi only model, but this model is also hundreds less than the European model with the pen so the $80 pen is not as ridiculous as many have been stating.

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When you take the top off of the box lid you will find the HTC Flyer encased in soft plastic material.

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You don't get much in the package, just an A/C charger, USB cable, and some pamphlets. People have been whining about HTC not including the $80 pen, but the US model is still a couple hundred less than the same model in Europe.

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Even though the end of the A/C adapter looks strange, a common microUSB cable will fit into the Flyer and let you charge and sync it up.

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This comparison shot shows how the HTC Flyer stacks up to two other new tablets, the BlackBerry PlayBook and iPad 2.

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When you stack them up on top you can see the PlayBook is thinnest with the others about the same.

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The HTC Flyer is just a bit narrower than the BlackBerry PlayBook, but enough that it lets you put the Flyer in my pants pocket.

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You will find a front facing camera on the Flyer, although I haven't yet found a video chat application to use with it. The Snapbooth application lets you use it to take crazy self-portraits.

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The back is unibody aluminum and houses the stereo speakers and 5 megapixel camera.

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The stereo speakers are mounted on the back and do a fine job with music and movies.

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There is a white bezel around the camera with a protective piece of plastic to protect the lens.

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You can find the volume buttons, microphone, power button, 3.5mm headset jack, and 5 megapixel camera all in the upper right area of the HTC Flyer.

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You can pop off the upper back to insert your own microSD card and expand the memory of the device.

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The HTC Magic Pen comes in its own retail package and is available for $79.99.

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HTC includes printer functionality right on the HTC Flyer and it was easy to find and setup my WiFi-enabled Canon printer.

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You can choose from 8 different colors with the stylus as you capture note.

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There are 7 different pen tips, including an eraser, so you can control your inking.

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There are 5 sizes available for your tip as well.

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You can bring in web page screenshots and combine them with inking in notes that are synced to Evernote.

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Websites look great with the default Android browser and you can even install other browsers like Opera, Firefox, Dolphin HD, and more.

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You will find 8 available Home screen panels in HTC Sense 2.1 for Tablets. Standard smartphone sense has 7 screen panels.

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The HTC eReader application is powered by Kobo so you can purchase and buy titles directly from Kobo. You can also import EPUB titles and read them with the HTC Reader application.

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HTC enhances several applications in landscape orientation.

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The four lock screen icons can be customized and you can have your local weather appear too.

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Bible study is made easy on the Flyer with the pen.

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Landscape note taking and mark ups are also supported.

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Weather is enhanced in landscape orientation as well.

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HTC is known for their weather functionality and the HTC Flyer is their premier weather device.

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You should never wonder about the weather when using an HTC Flyer.

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Apps like YouVersion Bible are great on the HTC Flyer. Here you can see YouVersion lets you listen to the Bible on the go.

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The HTC Music player is pretty slick, especially in landscape orientation.

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When an alarm sounds for an appointment you can use the lock screen drag and drop to manage it.

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There are 3D and scrolling effects on the Home screen when in landscape orientation.

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Peep lets you preview Tweets, including images, on the right side of the panel in landscape.

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The Gallery application also looks great in landscape.

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Google Music is great on the HTC Flyer and support for this service may compel people to pick up this device.

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There are different actions you can take with a tap and hold on your songs.

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There are several options when tapping and holding on Google Music, including enabling offline music support.

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HTC News is a Google Reader application with enhanced landscape support.

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The HTC Press Reader application lets you enjoy your daily newspaper.

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Frys tempts me with its newspaper ads, but there are no Flyers there so no reason to visit.

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The HTC Dock Mode gives you some cool options, including a photo frame with music support.

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The HTC News widget with integrated Google Reader support will change how I read the news.

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HTC Locations, powered by Route 66, gives you the ability for offline map navigation. There is a subscription fee to use it, but you get 30 days to test it out.

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Our two stadiums in Seattle as shown in HTC Locations.

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The Car Dock is another useful utility on the Flyer.

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You can mark up web pages with the HTC Flyer.

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HTC Flyer image gallery thumbnail 1

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HTC Flyer image gallery thumbnail 2

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