Wi-Fi HTC Flyer Announced as Best Buy Exclusive

Best Buy has been doing a lot of work when it comes to be the exclusive retailer in the US to carry new mobile technology. Now, another product they’re adding to their portfolio is the Wi-Fi only HTC Flyer tablet. This is the same tablet that was announced by Sprint under the name EVO View, just without the cellular radios. The specs of the flyer in case you aren’t aware are:

7” 1024×600 multi-touch display

HTC Scribe pen

Android 2.2

Adobe Flash 10.1 support

5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front facing camera

16GB built-in memory with microSD card slot

4,000 mAh battery

The press release doesn’t give an exact release date, just mentions it will be launching this ‘spring.’ And the price also isn’t mentioned.

Best Buy® and HTC Announce Exclusive Launch of the Wi-Fi HTC Flyer Tablet at CTIA Wireless 2011

Wi-Fi HTC Flyer slated to launch this spring

ORLANDO, Fla., March 22, 2011 – Best Buy and HTC today announced the exclusive launch of the highly-anticipated Wi-Fi only version of the HTC Flyer™ tablet. All Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile standalone stores, as well as BestBuy.com, will have the tablet when it launches this spring.

The HTC Flyer is a fast, portable, light-weight tablet that integrates the immersive and highly intuitive HTC Sense™experience and enables content including videos, music, games and more to be easily accessed and enjoyed. For those attending CTIA, Best Buy and HTC will have devices on-hand at Pepcom’s Mobile Focus event on Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

“Over the past few months we’ve seen several new tablets enter the market, and we’re especially excited to partner with HTC to bring the Wi-Fi version of the HTC Flyer to our customers as a national retail launch exclusive,” said Scott Anderson, head of merchandising for Best Buy Mobile. “We have worked hard to bring a large assortment of great tablets to Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores, and the HTC Flyer is a great example of that effort.”

The HTC Flyer features a strong aluminum unibody case that is lighter than an average paperback book. Truly separating the HTC Flyer from the pack is the integration of the acclaimed HTC Sense experience and unique HTC Scribe technology. The new HTC Sense experience offers an interface rethought for the tablet format which allows users to easily scroll and locate photos, entertainment, weather, calendar and mail. An optional HTC Scribe™ digital pen unlocks HTC Scribe technology, which enables the ability to capture and annotate any on-screen content with notes and drawings. Also, with Timemark, handwritten notes taken with the digital pen are synchronized with audio, as well as the popular Evernote™ application, turning handwritten notes into true meeting minutes. Additionally, with front and rear cameras, people can also make live video calls using a variety of available video chat applications available in the Android Market.

“Best Buy offers a number of the hottest products on the market, including the all-new 4G LTE HTC ThunderBolt™and now the Wi-Fi version of the groundbreaking HTC Flyer, which brings the acclaimed HTC Sense experience to a tablet for the first time,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas. “Like all HTC Sense products, the HTC Flyer was inspired by our customers, and offers the most simple and natural experience available on a tablet.”

Other key features of the HTC Flyer include:

Integration/compatibility with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® 3.0

7″ 1024×600 display with multi-touch capability and an optional digital pen that enables users to take synchronized notes and annotate content

Built-in dual microphones for noise reduction

Android™operating system

Adobe® Flash® 10.1 support

5 MP Color CMOS camera with auto focus

1.3MP front camera for video chatting

16GB eMMC memory plus microSD card slot

4,000 mAh battery

Best Buy Mobile offers an array of services aimed at improving customers’ experience, including Walk Out Working, Geek Squad Black Tie Protection, Buy Back and a full array of accessories for customers to protect and personalize their devices.

What do you guys think of the Flyer? Something you’re willing to invest in?

Motorola’s Wi-Fi only Xoom launching March 27th for $599

After all the hoopla surrounding Apple’s iPad 2 launch has settled, Motorola announced that a Wi-Fi-only version its Android-based Xoom tablet will be available in stores on March 27.

While the lack of a 3G wireless connection may limit its appeal, the device may appeal to cost-sensitive device buyers who will primarily use the tablet at home or work and don’t want to pay an additional monthly fee for connectivity on the go

The device will be available at seven distributors: Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Staples, Walmart and select Sam’s Club locations. The device can be bought for $599 in a physical store or online.

The specs are the same as in the 3G version which launched weeks ago — dual cameras, 10.1-inch screen, Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, 32GB of storage and so on — besides the obviously missing 3G connectivity.

Personally, the idea of Wi-Fi-only devices isn’t appealing to me. Sure, Wi-Fi is certainly available in plenty of places these days, especially in big cities, but with what is essentially a mobile device, I hate to be out of service just because there’s no Wi-Fi.

That’s not to say the demand isn’t there by any means. So far some of the major manufacturers have been offering the more expensive 3G models, and it’s a no-brainer for Motorola to bring its slick tablet to those who are willing to negotiate connectivity for affordability. Combine that with the big-time retailers that are going to carry the Wi-Fi Xoom, and Motorola is sure to shift some units.

The timing of the announcement is clever: it was certain that the iPad 2 was going to steal all the attention of tablet-minded folks around the world when it was released. After a pause, Motorola is reminding everyone about Android tablets again, even if some people are not too impressed with the OS as an iPad killer. And with recently announced Flash support and a more competitive price, the Wi-Fi-only Xoom is a serious alternative for potential tablet buyers.