HTC won’t confirm this for us, but we’re almost certain we’re looking at another Super LCD on the Flyer. Color fidelity at oblique angles is too good for this to be just some run-of-the-mill TFT display. We enjoyed our use of the Flyer immensely, it has plenty of brightness (which never overwhelms the picture), vibrancy, and sharpness to go around. Going outdoors was an especial highlight, as the Flyer dialed things up and did a superb job of overcoming natural light to provide us with great usability. Web browsing, movie playback, Angry Birds, nothing was hampered unduly by the influence of the sun. We also haven’t been able to spot flaws of any sort, whether they be an inconsistent backlight, improper color reproduction, or touchscreen sensitivity deficits. It’s just a very, very good screen.
Usable in the sun? I’m pleasantly surprised. Previous Super LCDs didn’t perform that well in the sun. I wonder if HTC added a custom film to reduce reflections. The HTC Flyer is a 7-inch Android tablet running Gingerbread but the pixel format is limited to 1024×600.
And now we come to the Flyer’s headline differentiator: the Magic Pen. A lot of work has clearly gone into making this stylus a coherently integrated and value-adding element of the Flyer’s retail proposition. We’re inclined to believe the major reason HTC is bundling a case in with this otherwise sturdy tablet was so that there could be a place to stash the Magic Pen, which in itself is styled very much in keeping with the Flyer’s aesthetic and is also made of aluminum. The Flyer’s Notes app is almost entirely dedicated to the Pen and serves to show both its greatest strength and weakness. The strength is the sheer variety of useful things you can do with the app, the weakness is that it’s the only one that truly harnesses the stylus to its full potential.
I don’t like using a stylus to navigate within a UI, but I do like the idea of using one to jot down notes or just doodle. The HTC Flyer combines a regular Android tablet with the ability to take notes. I like it.