Tag Archive | "htc flyer"

HTC Flyer Goes on Sale in Error, Stylus on Sale for Real (we hope)

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htc flyerThe HTC Flyer was reportedly on sale today at Best Buy for a mere $99. This would have been an excellent price for the WiFi-only version of the HTC Flyer as the 3G variant began retailing at a whopping $529. I was immediately suspicious to see that the $99 price tag wasn’t an on-contract price, and that suspicion appears to be warranted.

According to Droid life, the drop to $99 was an error in Best Buy’s pricing system, and it will be fixed shortly. Best Buy hasn’t said whether or not they’ll be honoring some of the orders that went through, but I’m seriously doubting it (sorry folks).

There is a silver lining here though. The HTC Flyer’s active-stylus, which is sold separately, appears to be on sale for real. The price has been slashed 50% from the original pricing, down to $39.99 from $79.99. There is a chance that this stylus-sale is also in error, but it hasn’t gone ‘out of stock’ according to the system, and Best Buy has only mentioned that the SKU specific to the HTC Flyer was the one that was listed incorrectly. So at very least, if you didn’t pull the trigger on the stylus at launch, perhaps you can pick it up for a more reasonable price now.

If this non-sale has sparked your interest in the Flyer, the first Android tablet to feature a dual finger/active-stylus sensor, Chippy has had lots of hands-on time with the unit that you’ll want to check out. If the active-stylus concept intrigues you, you’ll want to know that the HTC Jetstream (10″) and Evo View 4G (7″) all support the stylus. Additionally, Jerry is currently running a series on the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet which is 10″, runs honeycomb, and also comes with an active-digitizer screen for smooth and accurate digital inking. See the latest installment here, and stay tuned as he’s got two more articles on the way.

 

 

HTC Flyer Live Review Part 1 – 5 Now On YouTube

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Just a quick note for those interested in the HTC Flyer that the live review videos are now available. Ill be writing up my review soon.

Part 2 is embedded below. You’ll find all the videos on the HTC Flyer product page and in the YouTube channel – stevechippy

HTC Flyer (Retail Version) Overview and Unboxing Video

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Don’t forget that we’re doing a Live Review of the Flyer on Wednesday evening at 2100 CEST (your timezone here) where we do a detailed, 2hr review of the HTC Flyer with you in the chat session asking questions and steering the testing. It’s free, fun, detailed and interactive and likely to give you all the answers you need.

In the meantime, here’s the unboxing and overview video. I’ve got no comments at the moment apart from saying that the start-up sequence was smooth and that I’m a little bit underwhelmed by the pen input. Annotations seem OK but this is nothing that competes with the pen input capabilities of Windows 7, even on mobile PC devices.

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Here’s the unboxing video…

HTC Flyer Arrived. Live Review Details.

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The HTC Flyer I ordered on Friday has literally just arrived at the door and Im looking forward to ripping this open and seeing how it compares to the Galaxy Tab which is currently the most popular 7″ tablet on the market and has been a very good companion to me for over 6 months now. Expect an unboxing video soon. The Live Review will be held on Wednesday evening at 2100 CEST (Berlin.)

In terms of features, there are definitely a few to talk about and some that are unique to the Flyer ensuring at least some sales. The #1 feature is the digitizer input layer and active pen that integrates with a special input mode on the Flyer. Annotations and notes.made though this layer can be captured into the Evernote cloud storage, OCR and search application. It’s a well known and well trusted application and the integration will carry a lot of value. I hope a full Evernote license is included for offline notes.

There’s also the 1.5Ghz CPU to consider. It should provide a noticeable jump in performance over the Galaxy Tab.

There are two major issues to consider and either of these could be show-stoppers. Firstly, assuming you want to use a 7″ tablet for pen input (something I’ve never been a big fan of over the years that I’ve been reporting about tablets) you’ve got to remember to take the pen with you. There’s no integrated.storage which is really quite an issue. I’ll have to test that all-important palm rejection too.

Then there’s the price. As i write this, the Flyer 16Gb WiFi version is €499. The Galaxy Tab WiFi is available for €269. This issue will reduce over time as margins reduce but it may never catch up with the price of the Tab due to the screen technology used. You’ve got to be a pen-input fan that remembers to take the pen or someone that really really needs the extra CPU power.

Or are the other features worth considering? It’s true that not many tablets offer video content for download and streaming so HTC Watch will be an important service to check out. If the content and price is good, it’s a great feature. OnLive-CloudGaming is also a feature to check out. Dual-location on-frame buttons (that enable and disable depending on rotation) Skype video and HTC Sense are also unique features.I’ll also be interested in the ‘HD’ video recording  support and other hidden features that are sure to crop up.

On the downside, it looks like there’s no voice stack (I assume that includes SMS, MMS and Video calling (over UMTS) support. Its something I use a lot on the Galaxy Tab thatnks to Multi-SIM. I get the same number on my Tab and my smartphone.

Is there enough to entices people here? As time goes by and the price comes down into the same range as the Galaxy Tab and Acer Iconia Tab A100, I think there will.

Stay tuned here for the unboxing or subscribe to Twitter, RSS Facebook, or YouTube for notifications.

HTC Flyer Unboxed [video]

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slashgear unbox photoOur pal Chris Davies over at Slashgear has a solid unboxing video featuring the upcoming HTC Flyer [tracking page]. We’ve got lots of upcoming coverage for this device, but this is a great way to get a jump-start on becoming familiar with this very interesting 7” tablet.

I’m happy to see that the Flyer includes a good-looking case. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen any decent included accessories in today’s tablet-world.

Chris’s video will take you through the box and into the software for a brief look at the totally new HTC Sense and you’ll see some stylus action.

I’m really disappointed to see that the stylus doesn’t work system-wide. As you’ll see in the video, there are times where the stylus can be used for some things, but the finger has to be used for others. I’ve seen such issues before on the Nokia N810; it creates a bothersome disconnect between finger/stylus input usage for the end-user. This could likely be fixed through software, but it’s going to cause some annoyance for people who are interested in using the stylus.

Also don’t miss their gallery at the bottom of the post!

HTC Flyer Demonstrated as an Artist’s Canvas, Unlikely to Satisfy Serious Digital Artists

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htc flyer inkingThe upcoming HTC Flyer [tracking page] is one of the only (if not the only) Android tablets that is built specifically with stylus driven input in mind. NotebookItalia.com has caught a video of an artist demonstrating what it’s like to use the Flyer as a drawing tool.

I don’t speak Italian, but the video gives us somewhat of an idea of what experience you can expect from inking on the HTC Flyer. My initial feeling is that while the N-trig capacitive/active digitizer screen will feel great for digital inking, the software on the Flyer is going to determine how seriously this tablet could be used for art.

I’m no artist, but from what I understand, layers and a robust brush tool are vital to creating digital hand-drawn art. Artists need to be able to selectively work on various layers of their projects, and need to have a huge brush-head selection to be able to do mass-outs and draw textures what would be difficult to achieve with manual strokes.

At first glance, HTC’s drawing application might look ok, but a major roadblock that I can already see is that brush sizes appear to be quantized, meaning that only specific pre-set sizes can be chosen, rather than being able to select from a virtually unlimited number of possible brush sizes. Layers also don’t seem to be present, so when if you are looking at the Flyer as a seriously digital-drawing art tool, you might be better off sticking with your Wacom pads. Drawing (not writing, mind you) on the HTC shift appears to be more useful for simple sketches than masterpieces.

Digital ink for note taking, however, will likely be well received to people unfamiliar with using a real stylus and active digitizer. HTC has talked about Evernote integration on the Flyer which happens to be my go-to digital ink (and regular text-based) note taking app, so they definitely picked a good ally in this department.

The on-device inking experience might not be up to professional artistic standards, but HTC could potentially pull a Notion Ink and allow the Flyer to function as a wireless drawing pad for a full blown computer. The Flyer appears to have pressure support (a must for life-like digital inking), so conceivably it could work as wireless drawing pad when linked up to an application like Photoshop. HTC hasn’t yet announced such functionality, but here’s to hoping (or at least a clever third-party implementation)!

The HTC Flyer is launching in the UE region on the 8th of May for a steep $792 (479 pounds) for the base model. Thus the Flyer is unlikely to be anyone’s first choice as a dedicated digital inking pad as Wacom’s industry-recognized Intuos drawing pad line starts at $299.

[via netbooknews.com]

Honeycomb Upgrade Confirmed for HTC Flyer Tablet, but How Will It Work with Inking and HTC Sense? (Updated With HTC Response)

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flyer android 3.0After watching the official HTC Flyer intro video, you’ll see that a lot of the device’s identity relies on customizations made to Android 2.2 made by HTC. The inking, for example, is completely dependent on the proprietary HTC ‘Sense’ UI, which has been modified from it’s phone roots to play nicely with tablets.

HTC has now confirmed that the Flyer will receive an upgrade to Android 3.0 once it becomes available. On their official Twitter page, they responded to someone inquiring about Android 3.0 on the Flyer with this:

We will be offering a Honeycomb upgrade when it’s made available. What feature are you most excited about?

What is less certain is how this will impact the Flyer’s inking capabilities and the features that rely on the custom HTC Sense UI. For the time being, Google has delayed the Android 3.0 source-code which means that developers have not yet been able to get their hands on the raw software for modification. Google also may desire to keep a tighter grip on the modifications that they will allow to be made to the tablet-specific interface (likely to reduce the potential for fragmentation that has been seen with the smartphone version of the Android.

There’s also the issue that the HTC Flyer has capacitive Android buttons built into the bezel of the device while Android 3.0 moves these into the software… which would create an odd redundancy, or force HTC to disable the buttons on the tablet (or within the software).

I’ve reached out to HTC to find out whether or not they’ll be able to retain the important inking features, and whether or not they’ll be allowed to bring the HTC Sense interface over to Android 3.0. I’ll update this post if we hear anything back from them.

via NetbookNews

Update: HTC has responded, rather vaguely, when asked if they’d be able to make Sense and inking customization to Android 3.0 with the following:

HTC will continue to implement the popular HTC Sense experience on future Android updates.

I’ve asked for further clarification, but this seems to indicate that there will be no barriers to adding HTC Sense and inking to the Flyer post Android 3.0 update.

Official HTC Flyer Intro Video

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htc flyerJkk (via SlashGear) posted this video of the HTC Flyer tablet earlier today. It gives a good idea of how HTC expects people to use their first Android tablet (though we can’t forget about the HTC Shift!). None of what you’ll see in the video is footage of actual use though, it’s all proof-of-concept. Have a look at the video below, and scroll further down to see Chippy’s brief inking test with the device at CeBIT.

The video shows off the HTC well, but it’s important to look through the marketing speak. After some time with HTC’s ‘Sense’ UI on Android, I’m not looking forward to the version that’s designed for tablets. It looks like they’ve bulkified their already-chunky widgets for use with the bigger screen.

The section about gaming is very interesting but will probably go overlooked by most because the video didn’t give a lot of info about it. HTC has made a sizable investment in the cloud gaming service OnLive, according to SlashGear, and there will be a version of their controller than can connect to the HTC Flyer and allow you to play console quality games through it. There’s also a virtual on-screen controller option but that’s pretty much a joke if you are trying to play any real-time game. This will be the first Android tablet with OnLive integration and could give HTC an advantage over it’s competitors if the service stays exclusive to HTC. With the service you can be gaming on your computer, then pause the game and pick up right where you left off on the Flyer, that’s pretty darn cool.

It’s clear that HTC has taken a lot of inspiration from the LiveScribe, and they are saying that inking and notes will be integrated with Evernote which is really good news. The closer that HTC can work with Evernote, the better. Evernote has a lot of experience with (PC) tablets and note taking. I’m just hoping that the integration will be sufficient to create wholesome workflow. Without thorough integration, people are still going to have to lug their computers around to work anyway, which sort of defeats the purpose of attempting to relegate everything to a tablet. Google Cloud Print could also be an important piece to the all-in-one productivity puzzle that HTC appears to be aiming for.

As for the ‘write anywhere’ capability, it may be less useful than it seems. After looking at Chippy’s test with the inking (video below) it appears as though as soon as one writes on the screen, it immediately takes a screenshot and then annotates the screenshot, instead of actually interfacing with the content on the screen. That’s just a guess though and it’s early software, so we’ll have to wait and see how it really pans out.

One thing that I’m not happy about with on the Flyer (other than the ugly white plastic on the back) is the lack of pen-silo for the stylus. Despite how much they’d like to say that the Flyer is totally designed for inking, I don’t know how convinced I am if there is no way to store the stylus on the device. Folks are not going to want to haul that around as a separate piece, especially if they don’t use it all the time.

Here’s Chippy’s brief hands-on with inking on the HTC Flyer:

HTC Flyer and Palm Rejection Test

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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!)

HTC Flyer Hands-On Gallery and Video

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The HTC Flyer is in no fit state to be assessed right now and I wonder why HTC actually bother showing such a critical device in their portfolio at such big events. The pen system doesn’t work, the software is not complete and even the design of the device is changing. I expect to see this sort of activity from, lets say, 2nd-tier ODMs but not someone like HTC.

So what is there to say about the product? It’s got a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor (single-core, apologies for the error in the video) and Android 2.4. Google applications are available and it’s a similar size to the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

HTC Flyer (8)

IF the pen feature works for both handwriting and ‘snipping’ it’s an interesting idea but the pen has no silo and even requires batteries. I can’t see anyone remembering to take the pen with them or even bother to get it out of their bag when needed. There’s no voice, SMS and MMS capability either.

Yes, the processing speed is good. Yes the HTC Sense adds value to many. Yes, the price will drop soon after launch.

Is it enough to tempt people away from the Galaxy Tab which is likely to be half the price in Europe when the HTC Flyer launches in May or June.

HTC Flyer (17) HTC Flyer

More photos in the gallery including images of the applications and a look around the device.

Here’s the video….

HTC Flyer, 7″ Android Tablet Launched At MWC 2011

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Mobile World Congress is well underway with announcements and product launches coming from a bevy of manufacturers, HTC included.

flyer1At their press conference this morning they announced no less than 6 new Android devices, one of which is the Flyer, a 7 inch 1.5GHz packing tablet weighing in at  415 grams.

The Flyer has up to 32GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card, 1GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, 3G, GPS and both front and rear facing cameras at 5 and 1.3 megapixel respectively.

flyer2HTC plan to differentiate from other tablet manufacturers by including a capacitive stylus for handwriting, note taking and general annotation. Notes can be captured in ink or voice and have built in Evernote synchronisation. Also included with the Flyer are access to several new key services from recent partnerships or acquisitions that the company has made. Their recent investment with OnLive, a gaming service that renders 3D games and streams games to your device see’s integration with the Flyer whilst HTC’s acquisition of Saffron Digital will provide access to downloadable movie titles via the new HTC Watch application.

At first it looked pretty chunky to me in the press photos but JKKmobile has managed to get his hands on and compare it to the Galaxy Tab and the difference was fairly minimal.

Whilst its certainly got a lot of character I have to wonder about the new tablet version of HTC Sense running on a Android 2.4 core, sure there will be a lot of additional functionality added in typical HTC fashion but with Honeycomb around the corner, its a risk.

Whilst we wait for Chippy to do his thing and get some hands on time check out JKK’s video;

HTC Flyer to enter 7″ Android Sector – Specs Revealed

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It would be silly of HTC not to consider bringing an Android Tablet to the market. They’ve done a few tablet-like devices in the past but with the 7-10” consumer tablet sector booming, this is one that could set some seriously big sales numbers, especially given the maturity of Sense, HTCs well-respected user interface, utilities and applications suite. Looking at the rumored specs I see strong competition for the Galaxy Tab but there’s lots more to find out before it can be recommended.

List of current 7″ Tablets from the UMPCPortal database.

The specs put forward so far (by Amobil, who also posted an image) are:

  • 7” screen at 1024×600
  • Snapgragon MSM8255 (1Ghz single-core with Adreno 205)
  • HDMI-out
  • DNLA support
  • 5mp rear camera with LED flash (1.3mp front camera)
  • Launch timeframe:March (via Digitimes)
  • Android 2.3 (upgradeable to 3.0)

Of course, price is unknown along with size, weight, battery life and all the other important things you need to know to make a decision. We’re hoping they will be revealed/leaked during MWC or CeBIT at the latest. With lots of people talking about dual-core, don’t get led into thinking it’s yesterdays CPU. Dual-core means less battery life under load, more cost and that GPU could outperform the one on the Galaxy Tab. A 3.0 upgrade should also be taken into consideration.

Via GottabeMobile

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