HTC planning a tablet with 'something unique'

HTC is planning a tablet -- and it claims to have smoething unique up its sleeve to challenge the likes of the iPad.

HTC is planning a tablet -- and it claims to have a real trick up its sleeve to challenge the likes of the iPad, Asus Transformer Prime and Google Nexus 7.

HTC told PC Advisor that a tablet is definitely on the way, and that it will have "something unique to offer".

HTC's only entry into the tablet game so far has been the HTC Flyer, pictured above, one of the earliest 7-inch tablets. Despite the name, the Flyer never took off. But with the success of the Amazon Kindle Fire in the US and the coming of the Nexus 7, compact 7-inch tablets are much hotter now than they were then -- could HTC be looking at building another dinky slate?

The fact the latest version of Android has arrived works in HTC's favour. The Flyer used Gingerbread, an older version of Google's Android software that wasn't designed for the larger screen of a tablet. But version 4.1 Jelly Bean works across phones and slates. Arriving this month on the Nexus 7, Jelly Bean is here in good time to make an appearance on a new HTC device.

At least the Flyer had a decent tablet interface, in the form of a tweaked version of HTC Sense, the interface for HTC phones. 

But most importantly, what's the unique feature set to be? The Flyer was unusual at the time for including a stylus. That's no longer unique, however: the Samsung Galaxy Note comes with an S-Pen stylus, and even Apple has worked on souping-up the humble pointer into a fancy digital pen.

The market-leading iPad provides the tablet template, and in order to stand out, many other tablets have had to come up with their own gimmicks. The Sony Tablet P folds in half, the Microsoft Surface has a kickstand, the Transformer Prime docks with a keyboard, and the BlackBerry PlayBook... er... makes an excellent doorstop.

I'm interested to see what HTC comes up with. The Flyer was a false start, but HTC makes great phones -- like the excellent One X and Sensation XE -- so an Android tablet could be just the ticket.

Can HTC make a killer tablet? What unique feature would you like to see? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Hit play on our video below to see whether the Flyer soared.

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