HTC Flyer 7″ Review

From its beginnings as a designer and builder of private label mobile devices, HTC now features its own branded line of tablets and smartphones. These innovative designs focus on craftsmanship, endurance and performance according to the HTC website. A centerpiece of their line of tablet computers is the HTC Flyer. Made in versions that utilize cellular carrier’s networks and traditional wireless networking, the Flyer is a compact performer.

The Flyer features a 7″ screen and is generally available with either 16 or 32 GB storage space. It is powered by a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm processor and runs the latest Google Android operating system. The Flyer is unique in its ability to use the optional HTC Stylus Scribe Digital Pen, which offers pressure sensitive input and enables such things as advanced drawing.

The display size of 7″ is comfortably usable and the 1024 X 600 resolution offers superior viewing for the size. It has front (1.3 MP) and rear (5 MP) cameras as well as Bluetooth connectivity and SRS WOW HD surround sound through speakers or headphones. 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz wireless networking keeps it connected in a variety of environments.

In Use

The Flyer is built on HTC’s unique aluminum uni-body frame. As such, it is chunkier than other much slimmer tablets. In operation, the feel is very good. It will work in both portrait and landscape modes and three buttons, Home, Menu and Back, stay at screen bottom in either orientation.

Battery life is admirable with the tablet easily performing an entire day without recharge. On the side are volume buttons and a micro USB port. On the bottom there is a power/sleep button and 3.5 mm headphone jack up top. There are stereo speakers on the rear but the sound quality is very bad. Sound over headphones is much better.

The unique advantage of the Flyer lies in the optional HTC Stylus Scribe Digital Pen. This writing and drawing accessory is quite similar to the Wacom tablet pen devices. Offering pressure-sensitive input, it can allow great creativity on the tablet. Suitable for both drawing and note-taking, it serves to set the Flyer apart from other tablets.

Apps for You

Current Flyer tablets run the Android “Honeycomb” operating system. Many users claim increased functionality with the pen device under Honeycomb. Standard browser, calendar and gallery feature split views, which are handy when researching multiple sources. A whole range of Google apps is also available for the device.

User Reactions

Flyer users commonly rave about the digital pen. Stating both ease in note taking and versatility in drawing, the pen is a hit. There are minor complaints about the size as some find it a bit awkward. Users particularly like the pen under Honeycomb as the latest Android offers much better support for the device.

Some users initially put off by the smaller 7″ screen find it to be just right in use. The size makes it more easily portable and seems ideal for thumb typing, particularly in portrait. Users also find the unit very reliable.

Bottom Line

As current prices for the Flyer are quite affordable, the unit represents a great value. The rugged aluminum construction makes very durable. Most of all, the digital pen cannot be beaten.