BARCELONA: HTC has confirmed that it will enter the tablet market in the second quarter with a 7in Android device, as the firm looks to build on the success of its smartphones.
The HTC Flyer will ship with Android 2.3/2.4, and HTC claims that it has not waited for the release of Android 3.0 Honeycomb because it has spent a lot of time integrating its brand new Sense user overlay with Gingerbread.
However, the manufacturer explained that an upgrade to the tablet-specific Android 3.0 will be made available after release.
Key hardware features of the HTC Flyer include a 1.5GHz processor, 7in display with a 1,024 x 600 resolution and HSPA+ and Wi-Fi connectivity. A rear 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera will be included.
Like the forthcoming HTC Desire S, the Flyer will also come with a unibody design.
HTC is touting a standby time of 820 to 1,470 hours and around four hours of video playback. The device will weigh 415g, making it slightly heavier than the 7in Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The HTC Flyer will support multi-touch finger input, and a pressure sensitive stylus will be included to allow extra precision. HTC Scribe technology will let users write naturally, as it uses waves of integrated digital ink, the firm said.
The Timemark feature will be particularly useful to business users as it synchronises written notes with recorded audio. By tapping on a word in the notes, users will instantly be taken to that exact place in the audio recording of the meeting, HTC said.
Notes are also integrated with the calendar so that a reminder pops up when there is an appointment, and the Flyer will synchronise with the popular cloud-based Evernote application.
The Flyer will also see the debut of the HTC Watch video download service, allowing users to download HD movies on demand directly to the device.
The tablet will start shipping during the second quarter. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but the tablet is a high-end device and this will be reflected in the price, HTC said.
Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight, was generally impressed with the HTC Flyer and expects it to appeal to a broad market.
“The tablet is intriguing because the 7in category is becoming crowded and many of the tablets so far are running on Android 2.2 Froyo,” he said.
“HTC has cleverly engineered the hardware so it can ship it with a Gingerbread release and then upgrade the device to Honeycomb.”
However, Wood noted that the capacitive stylus does bring an added element of differentiation which could make the device appeal to enterprise users.
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