• It’s smaller than most current tablets, runs on an older OS and includes an old-fashioned stylus-like pen…how on earth will the HTC Flyer compete? 

    It might seem a little late in the day to launch a new tablet that isn’t running on the made-for-tablet Android OS 3 (aka Honeycomb) but it hasn’t dissuaded HTC from doing just that.

    Unlike Samsung, which launched its Galaxy Tab running Android 2.2 last year, with the result that it looked much like an oversized Galaxy S, HTC has at least used its Sense UI to attempt to bridge the gap between 2.x and 3.x.

    With most tablets having gone down the 10-inch screen route, it’s nice to see something more portable, even if it will make people think the same as the Samsung: that the HTC Flyer is really just an oversized Desire S.

    Most manufacturers are hedging their bets and even HTC is rumoured to be working on a 10-inch model of its own, but for something that mixes a large display with improved portability, the Flyer strikes a good balance.

    With its 7-inch screen displaying 1024×600 pixels, matching that of Samsung’s first Galaxy Tab, it’s not far behind the iPad (the Apple coming with a 4:3 ratio screen against the Flyer’s 16:9 one), but with the smaller physical size of the device, the Flyer screen looks far slicker.

    The only problem here is that HTC’s flagship Sensation smartphone, with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has a 960×540 pixel resolution on a much smaller 4.3-inch screen. This means the Flyer has a little over 18 per cent more pixels, on a screen that’s over 60 per cent bigger. It seems that if you’re after the highest definition display, you’re better off looking at the smartphone.

    One lump or two?

    However, this review isn’t trying to discuss the merits of buying a tablet over a smartphone (HTC would likely want you to buy both), especially when iPad owners seem content with a tablet that has a screen that’s little bigger in resolution terms to an iPhone 4.

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