July 7, 2011 Leave a comment
Today, I snuck by Best Buy to get a quick run-through with the all new HTC Evo View 4G. The new tablet released on June 24th, the same day as Sprint’s new flagship device, the Evo 3D. The new, 7-inch tablet rocks a smooth, aluminum shell, and is incredibly lightweight. Will this tablet draw you away from the temptation of the iPad?
Unfortunately, as big of a fan of Android and the Evo line as I am, I really don’t feel that this tablet is all that impressive. It’s loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with the beautiful Sense 3.0 overlay on top of it. But to be completely honest, the smaller tablet idea just doesn’t do it for me. This thing feels tiny in comparison to the iPad, and if you’re ultimately looking at the Post-PC world, as I am, then this simply will not work for you.
The basic concept of the View 4G is very similar to that of the Evo smartphone line that Sprint is working so hard to build. The tablet essentially feels like an oversized Evo 4G. In holding the device, it actually feels incredibly comfortable. I could only get the View to work in Landscape mode (I wasn’t sure if there was some kind of screen rotation lock that was activated). The tablet itself is relatively lightweight, which does give it a bit of the advantage over the iPad, but, as you’ll continue to see, the screen size is not a good sacrifice.
Let’s talk a bit about the software. As I mentioned above, the View runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Sense 3.0 laid on top. Of course, Sense looks slightly different on the View, taking away the Rosie bar at the bottom and replacing it with quick launch buttons. I’m pretty disappointed with this. In a world where Android 3.1 Honeycomb is reigning supreme in the tablet world, having a new tablet release with Android 2.3 is pretty upsetting. HTC has said that the update is in the works, but has not specified when. Though I may be disappointed with this, Android 2.3 runs very smoothly with pretty much no lag.
The tablet came preloaded with some content, courtesy of the new HTC Watch service. I was able to watch a few seconds of the trailer for The Green Hornet. The quality of the video was pretty good, and it sounded good, but it felt really small to me. Even just those 2 inches more of screen space that the iPad has would have made it look all so much better.
One unique feature that the View has going for it is the new Scribe technology. I unfortunately did not get to test this out, but the concept is simple. You can purchase an $80 pen (yikes!) and have the ability to “write” on anything on the tablet. For $80, it seems ridiculously overpriced. If they can bring the price down dramatically, I think they might be onto something with this.
I really want to love the View. I’ve been a huge fan of all of the HTC Android devices, and this one came across as a total disappointment. Maybe HTC just wasn’t ready to join the tablet revolution just yet. Whatever the case may be, I can’t recommend the View. For essentially the same price you can get an iPad with a larger screen, or a Xoom. But this one just isn’t worth it.