What's so exciting about the inclusion of this technology is that along with the impressive quality screen, it's a true sign of the future. It is quite within the realms of possibility that this sort of device will be displacing pen and notepad in the very near future. Combined with a powerful note taking app, it could certainly make my job easier!
The addition of those touch sensitive buttons on the bezel hints at the fact this tablet doesn't, and won't, use the tablet-centric Android 3.0. Instead the demonstration unit was running Android 2.4, which is a very slightly tweaked version of 2.3 as found on all the new Android smartphones. While this does mean you miss out on some of the neater tablet-friendly interface tweaks of 3.0, and you won't be able to simply update the software as soon as the newest version of Android is released (you'll have to wait for HTC to apply all its tweaks), from what we saw, the functionality of the device hasn't been compromised - it's still a breeze to navigate around. You also still get various tablet optimised versions of certain apps, like the email reader so all that screen space is being used efficiently. What's more, you can actually use it to make calls if you like.
As well as the 3G powering the ability to make calls and get a data connection on the move, there's inbuilt Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Alternately a Wi-Fi only model will also be available.
Keeping the interface purring along nicely is a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor. Just as we said with the HP Pre 3, this faster single core chip should actually be of more benefit to everyday use, than the dual-core versions now commonly on offer. The CPU is backed by a considerable 1GB of RAM, 32Gb of flash storage, as well as a microSD slot for adding even more storage.
All told, while we had our reservations about the Samsung Galaxy Tab taking a large phone approach to the tablet market, it ultimately only really fell down on performance, and from what we've seen the HTC Flyer won't suffer this problem. Add in the extra ability to doodle on the screen, the ample features, and more portable form factor and... we think we should probably not end with a pun about flying high or soaring into top top spot, so we'll just say it looks like it'll be a great buy if the price is right.