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HTC Flyer, HTC’s Android tablet lands: 7-inch screen, stylus runs on Gingerbread, will upgrade to Honeycomb

The HTC Flyer, HTC’s Android-powered tablet has just been announced. It’s an interesting looking tablet to be sure, and one that bucks pretty much every tablet trend set this year.

It’s got a 7-inch screen. Not the comfortable 8.9-inches of the LG Optimus Pad, not the expansive 10.1-inches of Motorola’s Xoom, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Acer’s Iconia Tab A500.

It won’t be running on Android 3.0 initially – it’ll be running on Gingerbread out of the box, and will receive an upgrade to Honeycomb over the air.

It’s also got a stylus. When was the last time you saw one of those with any mobile device?

Despite Steve Jobs’s jibe that 7-inches isn’t big enough to use properly, HTC’s reasoning is that a smaller sized device will be more portable and “comfortable enough to fit in a jacket pocket.”

HTC has also implemented a version of it’s Sense UI for the Flyer tablet. HTC Sense is easily the best custom UI for Android out there, one that looks fantastic and works just as well as stock Android, if not better.

With this tablet-ised version of Sense, HTC has managed to implement things such as a 3D homescreen and carousels of widgets on a device running Android 2.4. Obviously, a Flyer running on 3.0 – software that’s been made specifically for tablets – would be better, but HTC believes that Sense will compensate for not having Honeycomb built in at launch.

The stylus that you use with the HTC flyer isn’t your common garden telescopic metal spoke either. It’s a battery powered, pressure sensitive device that HTC is calling an Active Stylus. It allows you to ‘draw’ on the screen of the Flyer with digital ink, annotate documents and make notes in the margins of eBooks.

The stylus features two buttons, one that allows you to select text and the other that allows you to erase any notes you’ve made.

The Flyer also sees HTC stepping into the worlds of mobile gaming and movie entertainment. Cloud-based gaming provided by OnLive comes built in to the Flyer will provide titles such as Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Lego Harry Potter from launch. A service called HTC Watch will see you able to download and enjoy movies on the Flyer.

The HTC Flyer comes wrapped in a stylish aluminium unibody. This is becoming something of a trademark for HTC. Not only does it look cool it also cements the Flyer as an HTC device.

In keeping with current tablet orthodoxy, the HTC Flyer comes with a dual camera set-up; a 5-megapixel main camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. There’s two external speakers as well, for surround sound audio enjoyment as well as your standard 3.5mm audio jack.

Other features of the HTC Flyer include a single 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, GPS and Wi-Fi.

No release date of the HTC Flyer has been given yet; as always we’ll keep you posted.


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