HTC Flyer and Palm Rejection Test

Posted on 04 March 2011 By Steve Chippy Paine


flyer-pen

The question remains on the HTC Flyer – does the pen input mode  allow you to rest a palm on the screen and then use the pen without the writing / snipping / scribbling ending up like a heart monitor display? It’s known in the natural input world as ‘vectoring’ and if it’s present, it makes the process very difficult indeed.

Sascha Pallenberg (Netbooknews) and I had some time with Vodafone Germany and it looks like we were given a slightly fresher build of the HTC Flyer than the one we had tried on the show floor. You’ll see the ‘palm rejection’ working well. We also take a look at some of the apps and the UI in general.

As mentioned in the previous article about the HTC Flyer, the design and software isn’t final yet so you’ll have to wait a few months before the final versions are available.

I’d love to know if you feel the extra CPU power, pen capability and Evernote processing is worth the premium over the Galaxy Tab? Personally. knowing that the Tab is getting 2.3 and that the price is excellent and quality proven, I would still recommend the Galaxy Tab unless someone really needed handwriting input (assuming it really works!)

21 Responses to “HTC Flyer and Palm Rejection Test”

  1. chris wren says:

    Being able to take notes on a device this size,makes this a very powerfull business/productivity tool and lifts it well above the simple media/games experiance of the Galaxy.

  2. Rodfather says:

    You know I’ve always been interested in inking. I currently have a Galaxy Tab but keeping my eye on this.

  3. I was going to get a Xoom until I saw the handwriting capabilities of the Flyer. I also really like the Sense interface. I used to have the Fujitsu T2010 and U810 Tablet PCs, own a Livescribe Pen and a stylus for my iPad. None of them have been able to replace my 5″x8.25″ Moleskin notebook to my satisfaction. Combined with Evernote, I’m hoping that this one will fit the bill. I’m looking forward to your full review of the final, production unit.

  4. Kenrick says:

    Looks like the pen can’t be used to navigate – except for the menu that is brought up in the lower right corner for selecting pen options? That might take a little getting used to, as Sascha kept trying to do, but entering scribble mode instead unintentionally.

    I have high hopes for this though!

  5. Lee says:

    For those in the US, stay away from the Verizon version of Galaxy Tab. I’ve had too many problems with it, it only has 2GiB of internal memory (very limiting for apps in my experience), no bluetooth keyboard, mouse or game pads (only bluetooth audio), and EA won’t let you play most of their games on it (this is more general to Verizon Android devices).

  6. John in Norway says:

    Are you going to be able to write properly because all I’ve seen so far is people drawing large doodles with it.

    As an aside, Chippy, here in Norway the Galaxy Tab costs 4295kroner whereas the ipad 16GB wifi is 2890kroner (3G is 4190kr) – I’m not interested in the 3G component so this is the direct comparison for me. If the Tab goes down below 3000kroner then I’ll buy it.

  7. Jim says:

    Did you just enter your passcode onscreen!?

    Anyway, it doesn’t seem like you can easily switch between the pen and your finger. When you do switch to the pen, it looks like it has limited functionality. You can write but you can’t do anything else like navigation and controlling apps.

    Other than inking, I would have loved the accuracy of the pen tip especially in a browser. From the video, it just looks cumbersome.

  8. jason says:

    Any updates on battery life? Last I read, it had 4 hours of video playback (assuming your video file or stream actually plays). That doesn’t bode well for its overall battery life.

  9. Lee says:

    Some one correct me if I’m wrong but I think the lack of wifi versions of tablets is entirely on Google for not allowing the Android Market on wifi only devices. People can hack to get Android Market on wifi only devices but Samsung (and friends) can’t have both the Android Market and have it be wifi only. When Google finally decides to allow this we will start seeing cheaper Android Tablets.

  10. alpha says:

    Google allows the Market on WiFi only devices. Google does require wireless internet access built into devices be it WiFi, cellular radio or both.

  11. who_the says:

    @Jim: It looks like it switches automatically between pen and touch input, but doesn’t allow them to interchange with each other. When the pen is near or on the screen, the system will let you write and draw, but not navigate. When you are using your finger, it’s touch navigation as with any Android.

    I’m going to guess that any writing application will also have some pen-activated interface elements to switch pens, start a new document, etc.

    I still use my Newton 2100 for longhand handwritten notes every single day, so I’m eagerly anticipating anything that can outperform this (wonderful) 14-year-old device. The only thing that compares is Windows tablet, but their devices are too large for my needs and battery life is too short. I get about 2-3 weeks of battery life with a couple hours of daily use on my Newton. I don’t expect anything close to that on the Flyer, but I’m hoping for somewhere closer to 6-8 hours of use with less processor-intensive activities than playing movies.

  12. Lee says:

    What is an example device that does this without modification.

  13. alpha says:

    You can read the current Android Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) here:
    http://source.android.com/compatibility/overview.html

    “Device implementations MUST include support for one or more forms of data networking. Specifically, device implementations MUST include
    support for at least one data standard capable of 200Kbit/sec or greater. Examples of technologies that satisfy this requirement include EDGE,
    HSPA, EV-DO, 802.11g, Ethernet, etc.”

    The reason devices like Archos don’t get the Market is because there are a whole of other things they’re not implementing hardware and software wise.

  14. alpha says:

    Here’s company that actually met the requirements.
    http://blog.laptopmag.com/samsung-galaxy-s-wifi-4-0-and-5-0-hands-on-ipod-touch-killers

    “Both Galaxy S WiFis have identical software collections which include the official Android Market and Google applications like Gmail, and Google Maps.”

  15. tac says:

    WiFi only Motorola Xoom. WiFi only Galaxy Tab.

    Many manufacturers of non-Google certified Android devices aren’t properly implementing drivers that give the correct responses (if at all) to the OS and apps when they try to access hardware the device doesn’t have. The CDD tells manufacturers what their drivers should respond with if they don’t use the optional hardware.

    That’s why devices that are modified for unofficial Market access may often have crashes and/or bugs when using apps from the Market (ie. all Android based Archos devices).

  16. Lee says:

    All those devices are not released yet (I was asking for something available now as an example), I was under the impression that Google would have to lighten up on their policies for their to be more wifi only devices but it looks like it is that most manufacturers couldn’t meet their policy. From a users standpoint all that means is Android Tablets are expensive in comparison to the iPad 2.

  17. Chris says:

    The power of these tablet devices is to use them on the go, meaning 3G or better connections.

    If you are sitting on a wireless connection at home or office, you might as well have your laptop.

  18. Lee says:

    Yeah but you can get your 3g/4g from a phone or a mifi like device. There is less reason to have 2 devices with 3g/4g and pay double for wireless internet.

    The only reason I’ve got a Galaxy Tab Verizon is because I don’t want to pay for voice minutes I don’t use simply to get wireless internet. But thats got to be rare.

  19. sam says:

    That’s because the current WiFi only Android tablets are made by small, cheap and crappy companies that don’t put in the work to properly produce a product. I bet even though their tablets are cheaper, they’re still making a lot of profit compared to more expensive tablets.

    I’m glad some real companies are staring to make WiFi only tablets.

  20. GSMRocks says:

    You should go with a GSM carrier. You could just use the same SIM card in all your devices 3G/4G devices. That’s what I do.

  21. Tristan says:

    As a creative/arty type, I’ve had zero interest in tablets and pads until something with a stylus came along.

    I am definitely watching this one.