Yesterday at Mobile World Congress, HTC lifted the veil on their first entry into the tablet market: The HTC Flyer. It's a 7 inch tablet, reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy Tab released last fall. The Flyer runs Android 2.4 on a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and comes with HSPA+ (4G/3G+) capabilities for high-speed data usage.
HTC reported that we should expect it to be available in Q2 2011 but had nothing to say about pricing. Thanks to Amazon.de we now have an idea of what the cost will be for HTC's first tablet, with the product page showing a price of €669 (roughly $906 US!). However, this is the pre-order price and it does include Germany's Value Added Tax, so you can expect to see a somewhat lower number once the device is actually released.
This price tag seems a bit too steep to make the device competitive - after all, even if the off-contract price is closer to $750 US, this tablet is lacking the dual-core processor and Honeycomb goodness available with the likes of the Xoom and Optimus Pad. They have added a number of cool new features to the Flyer, like OnLive cloud gaming, their new HTC Watch video download service, and the extremely interesting "Scribe" stylus input capability. They also claim that Honeycomb will come shortly, but even with HTC's above-par reputation regarding updates, it's probably best to remain skeptical. With these facts in mind, it's hard to justify not shelling out the extra cash for a tablet with significantly better specs.
But do not despair, HTC fans. With the recent announcement of the WiFi-only Xoom at $200 less than the mobile data version, there is hope that we will see a WiFi-only version of the Flyer at a price that is a little easier to swallow. If this turns out to be the case I'll finally be able to do away with those clumsy paper notepads!