HTC's Flyer Tablet Makes Honeycomb Obsolete

htc flyer title image

Photo: Steve Kovach

HTC’s first tablet, the Flyer, is here. I got to spend some time with the Flyer yesterday, and aside from a few little quirks, I enjoyed it.Click here to see photos of the HTC Flyer >

I’ll have a full review next week, but in the meantime, here are my initial thoughts:

  • It’s thick and heavy. Even though the screen is just seven inches, the Flyer is thicker than the first iPad and just as heavy. However, when you hold it in landscape, the curved edges make it comfortable to grasp.
  • Since the Flyer doesn’t run Honeycomb, HTC did a great job modifying Android to adapt to the larger tablet-sized screen. I’m a big fan of HTC’s sense skin, and it makes the Flyer much more user-friendly. It even feels more polished than the last version of Honeycomb.
  • The stylus is a neat idea, but I don’t think it’s worth the extra $80. There’s a note-taking app that syncs with Evernote (pretty neat), and you can use the stylus to highlight and take notes in e-books.
  • I think the pricing of the tablet is off too. At $499.99, it’s the same price as the cheapest iPad, but still has a smaller display. Plus if you really want the stylus, you’ll be paying $580 for the full Flyer experience. That’s pretty steep.

Overall, the Flyer feels like a solid device. It’s definitely the best 7-inch tablet I’ve used so far. Check out the photos at the link below to see for yourself.

Here's the box. The Flyer is only at Best Buy for now

HTC's Sense skin looks good on the Flyer

HTC's signature weather and time widget is here too

The 5 MP camera take good photos. The white rubbery part you see here slides off so you can add more storage with an SD card

There are stereo speaker on the back. But like most tablets, the sound quality isn't that great

When the Flyer is horizontal, each home screen appears in a neat carousel animation. You can swipe through each screen.

The stylus is neat, but not worth the extra $80

You can also highlight text using the stylus

The front-facing camera is 1.3 MP

The backing is very similar to the metal one on the iPad

The bottom has a port for charging and syncing with your computer via USB

This side view shows how curvy the Flyer is. It makes it easier to hold

View from the top: Power button and headphone jack

The iPad still dwarfs the Flyer

But the flyer is still thicker and feels just as heavy

The flyer is also the same price as the iPad. That probably puts it at a disadvantage

Here's the Flyer next to another 7-inch tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook

The Flyer has the same screen size as the PlayBook, but is a bit shorter.

But the Flyer is still a lot thicker and heavier than the PlayBook

The Flyer is still much easier to use than the PlayBook thanks to HTC's custom skin for Android

You can download books from Kobo's online store

The HTC video store is on the Flyer, but the selection isn't that great

HTC's sense skin makes it easy to switch between home screens

Now check out one of the Flyer's 7-inch rivals

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