HTC's Evo View 4G on Sprint's 4G WiMAX network is a dandy device for taking notes. The Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" tablet is only 7 inches, rendering it on the small side for major multimedia consumption.
(NYSE:S) become the ultimate purveyor of mobile devices steeped in clever
gimmicks? It sure seems that way, but if the devices are gimmicky, they're also
a whole lot of fun.
First was the
Kyocera Echo dual-screen Android smartphone, which launched
in April. On June 24, Sprint rolled
two new novelty devices on its 4G WiMAX network: the HTC Evo 3D 4G
smartphone and the HTC Evo View 4G tablet computer.
The Evo 3D 4G,
which I reviewed
last week, has two 5MP cameras to enable 3D photos and video creation and
consumption. 3D viewing without glasses is pretty cool.
, which I just spent the last week using as my personal tablet, has
a much different trick. The tablet lets users take notes with the well-crafted
HTC Scribe digital pen and save them, or just scribble all over the screens in
fits of whimsy. Users can save those doodles, too.
This is my
favorite feature of the tablet, which is why I mentioned it up-front. I'll
circle back to it later after I hash out the specs.
The View 4G is
petite in length (less than 8 inches) and width (less than 4.5 inches) but
chunky in the middle at slightly more than a half-inch thick. The device also
mercifully weighs less than 15 ounces. Anytime you get a tablet under a pound
it's a bonus.
The View 4G is
encased in nondescript soft, gray plastic and features the same rounded edges
as most of its smartphones, such as the aforementioned Evo 3D 4G and ThunderBolt
4G. The tablet feels really comfortable in one palm and is super-manageable
with two hands.
Right out of
the box, I had two strong reservations about this tablet. My first concern was
its 7-inch screen (1024 by 600 resolution) real estate, a form factor I became
familiar with from the original Galaxy Tab and more recently RIM's
(NASDAQ:RIMM) Blackberry PlayBook.
(NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad set the standard with 9.7 inches of bold, beautiful
tabletry. The Motorola Mobility (NASDAQ:MMI) Xoom's 10.1 inches of screen and
the Samsung Galaxy Tab's 10.1 went a bit farther and proved the ideal size for
concern was the OS. "Gingerbread" was built for smartphones, while
the Xoom and Tab 10.1 use Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 3.0
"Honeycomb" branch, built specifically with the larger tablet form
factor in mind.
HTC and Sprint
said that the View 4G will get the Honeycomb bump, but that won't be until the
launch later this year of Honeycomb 3.2, which is tailored for tablets of 7
Gingerbread performed well for most of the applications I tested here,
particularly those wed to the HTC Sense 2.1 user interface HTC designed specially
for its tablets. Facebook and Twitter for HTC Sense were a pleasure to use, as
was Foursquare, YouTube and Angry Birds.