After first breaking cover less than a week ago, the first details for the upcoming tablet will feature hardware very similar to the
Norwegian site Amobil was the first to publish the specs, which include a 7-inch 1024x600-pixel resolution screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 5-megapixel rear camera, and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. Other details, later confirmed by a second source, include support for HDMI and DLNA (media streaming) as well as Skype preinstalled (video conferencing). Just like the Galaxy Tab is often considered a large Galaxy S phone without voice capability, I suspect the Flyer will be likened to the Desire HD.
In an interesting bit of news, Amobil predicts that the tablet will come with a stylus even though it will have a capacitive touch screen. On a similar note, HTC is said to have adjusted its Sense UI for tablets. While not quite the same as Honeycomb, this tweaked experience will sit on top of Android 2.3 for the Flyer. According to these sources, HTC doesn't want to wait around for Android 3.0 to roll out, choosing to optimize the experience itself.
The Flyer is rumored to be arriving in the United States in March, followed by Europe in April. I'm not certain which carriers will pick it up, but ideally HTC will make it available to multiple wireless service providers, much like was done with the Galaxy S phones. In any case, I'll be interested to see how it fares against not only the Galaxy Tab, but the larger tablets on the horizon. Will users flock to its portability or might they wait for a larger device?
One word of caution to those looking to scoop this up on day one, however. The hardware details indicate support for HSPA, which means theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps. Anyone paying attention to the 4G wars raging between carriers knows that some of today's devices can already achieve higher speeds. Adopting early in this case may ultimately result in buyer's remorse. Being that HTC is rumored to be prepping at least two other tablets for later this year, I might wait a little longer.
Update: CNET'sis now available.