Review: HTC Jetstream a tablet to beat
To be honest, the company’s previous attempt was sort of like a warm-up lap. The Flyer worked, but it didn’t blow you away with its small screen and somewhat dated software setup.
The Jeststream is the complete opposite.
Its build is similar to the Flyer’s – featuring a brushed aluminum unibody that feels as solid in your hand as an old hardcover novel. Compare that to the plasticky feeling left by the Sony Tablet S or other competitors.
I did notice, however, that it was too easy to accidentally tap the volume button, disrupting whatever you were doing with beeps notifying you that the volume changed.
This tablet can connect to the Internet wherever there’s a wireless signal – albeit over traditional WiFi, over an HSPA+ network or even on an LTE network.
The tablet is available from Rogers and during testing, LTE speeds/coverage in my downtown Toronto apartment lead to inconsistent performance. Most of the time, I switched to WiFi.
Inside lurks a 1.5-Ghz dual-core processor. While you’d think it would provide more than enough juice for the most demanding applications, it felt somewhat sluggish at times. Fine for HD video, but somewhat lagging within certain apps.
Swiping between pages in Zinio wasn’t as silky smooth as you’d expect, though it wasn’t choppy either.
The Jestream is running Google’s Android mobile operating system – 3.1 (Honeycomb) to be precise.
On this tablet, HTC has also slapped on its Sense UI as it does with most of its other mobile devices. On smartphones, it’s a glorious addition. On tablets, it’s a good addition.
And while it was nice to see a widget displaying MacLean’s stories on the home screen, it appeared to slow down the tablet’s performance. Don’t worry – you can nix it to oblivion – and free up space on the tablet’s 32GB of internal storage.
The Jetstream supports using their special stylus to doodle, draw, highlight, annotate and write notes – among other things. I’m either all touch (with fingers) or nothing – but I’m sure those used to using a pen might find this feature useful.
While this tablet takes reasonable pictures with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with a dual flash, I’m not sure how many consumers will be buying a 10.1-inch slab for taking pictures on-the-go.
There’s nothing, however, that would stop me from recommending the HTC Jetstream. Except, perhaps, the price. It’s available for $499 on a three-year term, or $799 without a contract.
By comparison, the similar Motorola Xoom is $499. No LTE or 3G connectivity with that one, but $300 can go a long way.
- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets