The HTC Flyer as first glance looks great. Look closer though; it’s 7″ screen may not be enough real estate to keep you in the moment. I was interested to see what HTC would do in the tablet space. I will say I am impressed at first. It will be a strong competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ but not the Xoon or iPad. Why you may ask?
First I do not want an accessory that I am going to lose. That is what will happen with the Scribe pen. The note taking and drawing you can do with it are wonderful. I only ask one question; LiveScribe are you getting a check? The pen and recording software is a blatant rip off of the LiveScribe Pen. HTC boast that you can sync your notes with Evernote but so can iPad.
For the entertainment side of things. Music was glanced over but not shown off. What was shown off was a program called HTC Watch for streaming movies. The prices are 1.85 rent & 9.99 to buy. No Netflix or Amazon buddy
One can not be in tablet fight without some gaming. It’s big business just as Angry Birds and Farmville addicts. The Flyer has access to OnLive; the streaming game system. Now not much is know about this yet since only the Arena was shown. No actually gaming.
The Flyer looks great. The UI is classic HTC simplicity at its best. No word on what networks it will be on or price just yet. We will hold out full judgement untill more information is released but 7″ is not going to cut it.
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I have been using this for 6 weeks and I am pretty new to Andriod. I have been using apple products for years and the experience has been pretty good so far on Andriod, Its is the best Andriod tablet as of today (1/18/2011) and it will not be dethrone in Feb by Dell streak 7 (dual core CPU) due to the lousy low resolution screen.
4th lightest 7″ tablet in the market today (1st Archos 70, 2nd Archos 7 home tablet, 3rd viewsonic viewpad 7). The tab weigh 380grams which is still pretty light.
Screen (The most important)
This is the highest resolution money can buy right now for any 7″ tablet 1024×600. With the tab you will hardly see the dot pixel with naked eye. I wish they would go as high as iphone’s retina dislay @ 326 DPI (dot pixel not visible at all). The text is the same size as Ipad (use firefox bigger text plugins). In comparison, the text in Ipad looks blurry. I would go with the Archos if not for the screen low resolution of 800×600 (but lots of people call it high resolution which puzzle me including Archos themselves). At this 800×600, its 143DPI which is in between Ipad and galaxy tab. Dot pixel is pretty visible on half’s an arm’s length & viewing angle is limited, you can’t share a movie with someone beside you.. screen color distorted at this angle (Deal breaker). The IPAD and galaxy tab has super wide viewing angle with no distortion.
Lying down in bed with the tab on your chest feels very natural. The size is just right @ typical viewing distant of 12″, On couch, it feels as natural as reading a hard cover book. with a 169DPI, it feels like reading a book (Dot pixel hardly visible). IPAD is too heavy plus dot pixel too big. See apps for reading..
Superb battery life. Charge an hour and a half & use 10 hrs (normal web browsing with WIFI and watch a full length movie, installing apps and crashing etc).
WIFI strong signal
The tabs has extremely good wifi reception. Places where Iphone 4 would not even detect. (router @ 1st floor and watch youtube HD @ 3rd floor – Not a single dropped connection).
The Andriod 2.2 OS running the tab is not design for Tablet. Wait for Honycomb (design for tablets). Most of the apps design for smaller screen, so what you will have is apps not really utilizing the good screen estate. You will have an inch of black bar all around or extremely large text that filled the screen. But this is slowly changing. I find that most apps will have a jerky motion scrolling up and down (not even multitask yet).
Proprietary cable is never a good thing.
Slow transfer speed, IPAD is much faster. I have the Sandisk 32gb HD and speed hover around 4-5mb /sec. SO if you transfer a 3Gb @ 4,000 bitrate H.264 movie, it takes a long time (10-15mins). I know I could get a class 6 & up but the total cost will far exceed any tablets in the market.
Apps that I test;
Firefox 4.03B – Like it for its plugins (esp the bigger text). With this, text appear as large as IPAD Safari without distortion. Page loading is a little slow but still fast enough for me. This is one of the apps that have smooth scrolling (still cant beat IPAD’s page on water smoothness) & with the best text render. It also make use of the 7″ real estate very well. It crashed once in while & no flash (Still Beta). Love the slide right to add fav.
Dolphin HD – Love the flash support but text render is small (like all other browser). Scrolling up and down is extremely jerky. So bad, I got headache (more like motion sickness). The flash is not that great either as embedded video jerk and lag too much – so bad the audio get out of sync. Touch respond has a delay. I am puzzle why people like it so much. The browsing experience is bad even when Flash is turn off, it can’t even display AMAZON (my favorite website of all time) in full desktop mode – all the texts are corrupted, overlap and pic load half way. Good thing it doesn’t crash that often and loading speed is faster than Firefox.
Dolphin MINI – Same as HD but smoother scrolling but still very jerky with flash turn off.
Opera mobile 10.1(currently using) – The fastest loading page and the smoothest of all for scrolling. but.. can’t load amazon desktop mode (EDIT 2/8/10 fixed – load amazon desktop mode)- . text is so small I need magnifying glass or zoom in and out like Iphone (Edit 2/8/10 fixed – change font size by typing in “opera:config” in the URL) . This browser is not design for 7″ anyway. Heard they are working on a 7″ format with the same smoothness and better text size.
I have also test every browser on the and all have jerky scrolling.
Best PDF reader:
ezPDF reader (paid). This is the most beautiful reader in the market. It uses folders and have night mode reading, text reflow etc..and you can jump into any page at any time. The scrolling is as smooth as IPAD even with a 700 page book. I have loaded up 200mb file and it still has smooth scrolling. I scanned tons of magazine in 300dpi color and it display beautifully on landscape. No motion sickness. I have also scanned 14″ diagonal magazine to be display in 7″ landscape and every word is readable .. even the fine prints (thats when the 1024×600 becomes very important). I use Scansnap to scan (best scanner).
Best Youtube downloader- (free)
Youtube original apps (latest): A very fast apps that search videos in less than 1 sec .. Another jerk free apps . loading is so fast.. its faster than my PC. Streaming HD is fast too.. try tubemate too (best youtube downloader – download multiple videos)
Best Video player: Act1 Video ($2.79) – Its has folders (good if you have 300 ++videos). This is one of those (the only one) video player that correctly remove the annoying black bar, a 4:3 aspect will display a full screen @ 1024×600 with without stretching the video. It simply cropped the video. Love the black background especially good for night viewing. The Best video player with tons of features (touch right to ffw 30 sec, slide right to FFW etc)
Advanced task manager: Kill background apps with 2 tabs. It gets really slow cause apps don’t close by itself.
Slingplayer (29 bucks): Expensive and lousy video quality. No HD streaming like iphone. 2 black annoying bars no matter what aspect I use. Its a waste I have the HD version and it doesn’t stream HD (Edit 3/1 fixed, now play HD quality but frame rates is poor).
Skype: use like a phone and call quality is good.
Kindle & Nook: Best ebook reader. Too bad.. Nook doesn’t support magazine subscription for its apps. I am waiting for Zinio apps andriod.
XiiaLive ($.99) – play internet radio with beautiful UI (runs in background too)
Generally the Galaxy tab is very expensive. If you can wait.. wait for Tegra 2 (dual core CPU) I will be selling this once Tegra 2 is out and I am eyeing on playbook (support andriod apps) and I am sure the motion sickness will be cured.
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