Android tablets are in fashion this year. As such, it will be very hard for any single manufacturer to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. HTC may have done just that, though, with their HTC Flyer, a 7-inch slate that offers pen-friendly operation better than anything we’ve seen so far.
Don’t worry, HTC didn’t throw a strange touchscreen our way. Instead, the tablet still comes with a capacitive touchscreen for that finger-friendly multi-touch you’ve been used to by now. They just got a bit more creative with how the bundled stylus pen works.
Since capacitive panels won’t register the pen’s pressure (so you can’t make a line thicker by pushing harder or thinner by treading lightly), the pen measures that variable on its own. It then passes the information wirelessly to the Flyer, which responds accordingly. Using the pen, handwriting and sketching on a modern tablet should finally mimic the accuracy you get with one of those Wacom accessories for a computer (feedback from MWC sounds fantastic, in fact).
Details for the tablet itself include a 7-inch display (1024 x 600 resolution), a 1.5GHz single-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual cameras (5.0 megapixel in the rear and a 1.3 megapixel webcam in front), WiFi, 32GB of built-in storage and slot for an SD card. The whole thing is wrapped in a sleek aluminum unibody package.
We’re not sure why, but the HTC Flyer will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, instead of Honeycomb. The article on Wired says Honeycomb will be an OTA upgrade, although it could also be that Google isn’t allowing its tablet OS on anything that doesn’t run a dual-core CPU. Either way, it’s an interesting product — one that could be very useful for tech-lovin’ sketch artists and students who want to use their tablets for taking notes.