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HTC Flyer: Release date 9 May. Plus our hands-on impressions.

In the midst of HTC’s ‘sensational’ reveal of their latest flagship smartphone, and updates to HTC Sense, a concrete date for HTC’s first tablet, the Flyer, was also announced, and it’s set to arrive in the UK on 9 May 2011.

Arriving exclusively on the Vodafone network, with a staggered release on Three, Orange and T-Mobile in June, the HTC Flyer attempts to differentiate itself with its own stylus, bringing with it a wealth of new ways to play with your tablet.

We managed to sneak a longer hands-on play with the HTC Flyer at HTC’s big party on Tuesday night, and it was running a new version of the HTC Sense framework, replete with sweet 3D-esque carousel effects.

Different parts of the tablet require finger or stylus input, and a handy glowing icon found to the left of the physical button range tells you which. Green means go for stylus, red means use your fingers.

We took a few photos, and were able to colour in the pictures, and generally deface them to our heart’s content. You can pick from a range of different “pen” effects, adjust the size of the it and even the colour. Then, though a little hidden away, the photos were easy to share through all our social network outlets.

The tablet itself doesn’t have any sort of awkward storage place for the stylus, which we think is a good thing, and doesn’t unsettle the HTC house style.

It wasn’t a finished model; parts of the tablet were locked down, but we’re certainly looking forward to getting one in for review in the next few weeks.

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