BARCELONA–The tablet market became ever more crowded with HTC’s release of the Flyer tablet, which debuted this week at Mobile World Congress. The device combines natural touch and pen interaction and features the company’s Sense user interface. It runs a hybrid version of Gingerbread (Android 2.4). Many of its competitors use the latest version of Android, called “Honeycomb,” which was specifically designed for tablet devices.
Encased in an aluminum unibody, the tablet boasts a 7-inch touch-screen display, 1.5Ghz processor and high-speed HSPA+ wireless capabilities. The Flyer’s tablet-focused Sense platform features a 3D home screen with a carousel of widgets. The tablet also offers enhanced Web browsing with Flash 10 and HTML 5. The company said the Flyer would be available to customers globally during the second quarter of the year.
Scribe technology introduces integrated digital ink innovations the company said makes it easier and more natural to take notes, sign contracts, draw pictures or write on a Web page or photo. A feature called Timemark enables users to capture the audio of an event in line with written notes, so tapping on a word in the notes instantly takes users to the exact place in time in the audio recording of the meeting.
Notes are also integrated with the calendar so when there is an appointment reminder, users are automatically prompted with an opportunity to begin a new note or in the case of recurring meetings, to continue where the last meeting left off. The Flyer tablet also features built-in synchronization with Evernote, a notes application and service.
Other features include 32GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a microSD memory card expansion slot, micro-USB port, 5-megapixel color camera with auto focus and a 1.3-megapixel front camera. The Flyer also comes with an ambient light sensor and digital compass, an internal GPS antenna and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP for wireless stereo headsets.
“Clearly, smartphones have transformed our lives but as we observed how people use smartphones, computers and other technologies, we saw an opportunity to create a tablet experience that is different, more personal and productive,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. “We are progressing down a path as an industry when people will no longer be in a single device paradigm, but have multiple wireless devices for different needs; this is the direction we are moving.”
The company also announced HTC Watch, a connected video service that will debut on the Flyer tablet, and will collaborate with OnLive to launch a cloud-based mobile gaming service for the tablet. The Watch video download service enables on-demand progressive downloading of hundreds of High-Definition movies and instant playback over the tablet’s high-speed wireless connection.
The tablet will also integrate OnLive’s cloud-based gaming service, which lets users play video games on their televisions and computers without the need to buy gaming hardware or software. When integrated fully, the OnLive service will enable customers to pipe the OnLive service through the Flyer’s broadband wireless to their television sets, or let them play directly on the tablet.