HTC Jetstream Honeycomb Tablet Speedy, Heavy

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-10-17 Print this article Print

To top it off, the Jetstream costs $699 with a two-year deal from AT&T. Why would anyone purchase a Jetstream at that sum when they can buy a Tab 10.1 for under $500 and an iPad 2 for $500? And with the Amazon Kindle Fire coming down the pipe Nov. 15, that will clearly be the Android tablet to beat this holiday season.

Somewhat assuaging is that AT&T offers a new postpaid tablet option to let users subscribe to a $35, 3 GB monthly data plan option with a two-year contract. Moreover, customers who do not choose a long-term commitment may elect to use postpaid for $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB.

Still, as the Jetstream stands,  I can only conclude that HTC endeavored to build and sell a premium tablet through AT&T. It's got 32GB of memory, 1GB of RAM and no ports save the micro USB charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack. The screen is a crisp, gorgeous 16m color, WXGA HD display that reacts quite nimbly under the fingers.

The camera might be the best I've ever experienced on a tablet. 8 megapixels certainly provides for cleaner, brighter shots than the 5MP shutters of most tablets, and there was so little lag time I felt as though I had a high-end digital camera that just bangs out photos by the second. The video recording in 1080p sparkled, too, and I used the 1.3MP front camera to take self portraits and test video chats with minimal effort.  

Battery life was for this 7300 mAh charger lasted me a respectable full day, even after viewing three hours worth of movies via the Jetstream's preinstalled mSpot movie application.

I was most excited to test the Jetstream because it afforded me the opportunity to use the Scribe digital pen and input software that I grew to love on the 7-inch display of the Evo View 4G on larger real estate. And boy did that deliver. Scribe is truly a gem of a hardware software combo from HTC. I wrote in 5 different pen strokes, from pen to marker to paintbrush, and erased and highlighted using the buttons on the pen.

I also took several pictures and handwrote captions on them, sent them to friends and saved them. I found that pretty empowering, especially for someone without a lot of artistic talent. I felt as though I had capabilities other tablet owners don't. That was nice.

The HTC Scribe digital pen is free for Jetstream buyers early on as a promotion, an $80 discount off of the pen's retail price when it's purchased alone. Scribe also integrates with the Evernote note-taking application to let users store annotated documents in the cloud, which makes for a nifty little business use case for the Jetstream/Scribe combo.

Despite the Scribe delight, I don't think the Jetstream is a good option because of the chunky hardware, which is cumbersome to handle. If HTC put this software in a thinner, lighter form factor, they just might have a hit on their hands.




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