The big news in mobile this past week has been the Amazon Kindle Fire announcement. There has been debate about whether the Fire will impact iPad sales, and while it will be some time before we will know the answer to that question, we are already seeing an impact on the price of 7 inch tablets. Today we learned that Best Buy is dropping the price on the HTC Flyer to $299 starting on October 1.
Previously, the HTC Flyer cost $499 and at that price, which is the same as the iPad 2, sales of the Flyer were not robust. Even though the new price for the Flyer is still $100 more than the Kindle Fire, I personally think the Flyer provides some attractive features that make it worth that price.
The Flyer is one of only two Android tablets, the new Lenovo Thinkpad tablet being the other, that supports a digital pen and writing in digital ink. Furthermore, the Flyer’s Notes app, which is the app that you use to write notes in digital ink, is integrated with Evernote. If you use Evernote for writing and storing notes, you will find the Flyer to be a very powerful and useful note taking tool.
You use Notes to create and edit notes written in digital ink, but it also can access any item in your Evernote database. All of the notes you create in digital ink are searchable and viewable within any Evernote app, be it on Windows Phone, Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows or Mac. The digital ink notes appear as image files in the Evernote apps, and Evernote’s image search capability make it possible to search on any words that you write on the Flyer.
Unfortunately, only the Flyer’s Notes app supports digital ink, although the Flyer has a screen capture capability with which you tap the pen on the screen to take a screenshot and you can then markup the screenshot, save it, or share it to any service supported by Android’s sharing function. The PDF viewer app on the Flyer also works with the pen for highlights, but it does not support digital ink.
The Flyer is my main tablet for work and personal use. It is a fully functional Android tablet, although it currently does not run Honeycomb, which is the tablet optimized version of Android. Basically, Android treats the Flyer like a phone with a very large screen although it does not have a Phone app nor does it have Contacts. Rumors are that HTC is working on a version of Honeycomb for the Flyer. If you heavily use Evernote and are in the market for a tablet, I recommend you consider the HTC Flyer.