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CNET First Look
HTC FlyerThe HTC Flyer tablet puts a new spin on Android 2.3 by integrating a digital pen for taking notes. But is this 7-inch tablet too pricey, too little, and too late?
Hey, I'm Donald Bell. Today, we're taking a First Look at the HTC Flyer. This is a 7-inch tablet running Android 2.3. Because it works over Wi-Fi, there are no contacts or cellular plans to worry about. This price is $499, which is a little steep for an Android tablet that's not running Google's latest honeycomb OS especially with similar tablets out there like the Samsung Galaxy Tab that are priced at around $349. Like the Tab, the Flyer is more or less a super-sized smartphone. If you can think of the Tab as a giant Galaxy S Android phone, the Flyer is like a giant HTC phone. Personally, I really like the way HTC skins Android with their sense widgets and their 3D design style, but I don't love it enough to pay $150 premium for it. The thing that really does distinguish this tablet is the magic pen. Usually, a stylus is an indication that a tablet is using a cheap resistance screen, but this guy is different. You don't need the pen to use the tablet; in fact, you can't even use it for navigation. It's just here to take advantage of the Notes application and for signing documents, which might sound a little bit dull but the whole thing is very well thought out and includes integration with Evernote to store your notes online. Depending on who you talk to, this pen is either sold separately for $80 or bundled as a promotional offer. Either way, if you're going to get this tablet, we definitely recommend getting the pen and probably some sort of case to keep everything together. So that's the Flyer from HTC. Now with all the great 10-inch Honeycomb tablets out there for $500 or less, it's tough to justify the cost. But if you have your mind set on a 7-inch tablet and the pen technology sounds like something you'd really use, the Flyer could be the perfect fit. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.