Hands-On Review: HTC View 4G Tablet
CREDIT: Sprint. HTC View 4G tablet.
ORLANDO, Fla. — TechNewsDaily got its hands on the recently unveiled 7-inch Sprint tablet — which launched here today (March 22) at the CTIA Wireless conference — and took the device, along with its pen accessory, out for a test drive.
First, the 7-inch screen on the new HTC View 4G is noticeably smaller than the iPad and Motorola Xoom. However, the custom version of the HTC Sense interface (on top of Android 2.3) fits the screen well and works seamlessly. The new 1.5 GHz processor also makes commands and screen transitions snappy. Flipping through menus and widgets is smooth and responsive.
The HTC View 4G has the standard capacitive touch buttons (home, back, etc.) in the bezel at the bottom of the screen. The HTC View 4G also has capacitive buttons on the side, so that when the user rotates the screen into landscape mode, the buttons still appear on the bottom. It may seem like an insignificant feature, but knowing that the buttons will remain in the same place no matter how it's held enhances the user experience.
The overall design is sturdy but unremarkable. It's thin and gray just like every other tablet you've seen. There is also a volume rocker, an HDMI port and a microSD card slot on the sides. Of course, the thing that makes the HTC View 4G stand out from other Android tablets is the pen accessory that allows the user to write and draw on specialized apps. We had time to make our own scribbles and were quite impressed with the results.
One of the most noticeable things about pen-enabled tablets is the lag time between the strokes the user makes and when the corresponding squiggle actually shows up on the screen. However, the HTC View 4G response was quite fast when we wrote in real time.
On the bottom right-hand corner there is a special capacitive button that works with the stylus pen. Tapping it brings up a semicircular menu that has an array of brushes and style strokes, as well as options for erasing, point size, color and documents.
The drawing and writing apps also have recording functions that capture audio while the user is writing, which is useful for taking notes. The notes and audio are synced, so tapping on a word will rewind the audio to the moment the word was written. The drawing app also keeps a history so that the user can rewind to any point in the drawing process.
Overall, the HTC View 4G isn't necessarily a groundbreaking device — and the older version of Android holds it back a bit — but it is indeed a well-built device that has enough perks and innovations to draw consumer attention.
The device is expected to be released in summer 2011.