When I heard about the HTC Flyer I was very excited about the prospects of this little Android tablet. Why? Mainly because it had a stylus – yeah, yeah, seems kind of stupid that this one feature would win me over so much, but I really liked the idea of a small tablet with a pressure sensitive pen. So, when I heard that Best Buy was going to sell the Tablet a day early, I immediately rushed out to Best Buy to grab one. It wasn’t easy… The difficulty had nothing to do with lines or demand. Nope, it was just the staff at Best Buy didn’t even know what the heck I was talking about, and the staff didn’t even know if they had any. Worst yet, they didn’t even seem to have the pens, and told me they didn’t know when they would get them. On Sunday, the pens mysteriously went on sale… Horrible shopping experience aside, you probably want to know what I think of it? I’ve got lots to say, so I’ve decided to break this review into a few parts.
It’s been a very long time since anything came out of Dell that piqued my interest, it’s hard to imagine, but at one point, I was an avid Dell fan. I stopped being one mainly because their laptops stopped being interesting, and became drab business oriented machines. They paled in comparison to the pricing and styling that came out of other vendors like Alienware, HP, and especially Apple (ok, Apple’s pricing is not appealing, but their laptop designs are). When Dell managed to make a pretty impressively styled laptop, the Adamo, it was priced out of sanity, which ultimately doomed it. Now Dell wants to make a comeback with it’s new Dell XPS 15z.
A Slate computer, for those that might not know, is simply a laptop that is all contained within a screen, essentially, what an iPad would be considered. Although, tablet is probably a more common term to describe these kinds of computers today. Needless to say, the form factor isn’t new, and they’ve existed long before Apple reinvigorated the form factor. What the problem was though, prior to the iPad, all Slate/Tablets were Windows only, made by niche manufacturers for a very narrow markets, and thus, commanded a really high price tag. After Apple brought tablet/slate computing to the spotlight with an innovative product, it’s now the craze.The other difference is the shear power that can be put into a Slate today compared to only a few years ago. At this January’s CES, one Slate computer caught many peoples attention, it was the Asus EP121 Slate. Why? Because in this years sea of Android based iPad killer wannabe’s the Asus EP121 Slate is one of only a handful of Windows 7 based slates to hit the market from a major PC laptop manufacturer, which also means it’s relatively affordable. In the US, the only places that regularly carry the Asus EP121 are Newegg.com and Amazon.com . Both are regularly sold out within the same day their shipment of Asus EP121’s arrive. Luckily, I was able to pick on up from Newegg.
In a recent press release, it looks like HP is releasing a new updated version of their Elitebook Convertible tablet pc this month. The 2760p looks similar to it’s predecessors, but under the hood they’ve made some nice updates:
- Second Generation Intel i5 or i7 CPU
- 4GB RAM
- 320GB 7200RPM Hard Drive or SSD
- Improved Intel Graphics Accelerator
Most notable on the list is the hard drives. The previous generations had a relatively non-standard 1.4″ PATA drive, which is pretty much the same type of hard drive found in the old Apple iPod’s, the drives being as small as they were didn’t allow for much space and they were also slow (4200RPM). It seems HP’s been able to cram a normal 2.5″ drive laptop drive into the same chassis, so now you get the improved performance and storage capacity regular laptops already enjoy. All this does come at a cost, the base model starts at $1500, but you would be hard pressed to find a slim convertible tablet with as much to offer as the Elitebook 2760p. Too bad HP doesn’t advertise or promote them very well… Hop over to their underwhelming web site for more details.
I’ve been a long time fan of tablet and touch computing. I’ve owned various tablet devices and smartphones long before Apple made its big splash on the stage with their iPad. For me, the iPad is almost the best tablet out there, and I say “Almost” because of a few things that annoy me. In particular, the lack of a decent pen, something Apple will probably never give me (prove me wrong!). What makes matters worse is that most, if not all, tablet manufacturers are following in Apple’s wake with iPad wannabe’s trying to claim the crown of iPad killer, but all seemingly missing the point about why they are really in the tablet market space. It’s because of this vapid pursuit of the iPad that’s caused me to all but ignore Android Tablets; until I stumbled upon the HTC Flyer.
What’s so special about the HTC Flyer that piqued my interest? Simply put, a pen. They are the only major manufacturer that’s come along with an Android tablet that has this feature.