Editor's Note 11/7/11:
This review has been updated to reflect the launch of Netflix for Android 3.x devices.
When TabletPCReview welcomed the arrival of the HTC Flyer, we noted that it was "certainly bringing something different into the tablet market." For better or worse, the brand new HTC EVO View 4G cares less about being the newest and most distinct kid on the block, but is fine reintroducing itself as merely improved.
That isn?t to imply there isn?t anything novel about the Android tablet that ushers in 4G coverage, but there?s not a whole lot of effort put in here that tackles much in terms of unique innovation. At the end of the day though, why fix what isn?t broken? Besides the moderately expensive price point for a "Did it really have to run on a Gingerbread OS?" device, the HTC EVO View 4G actually does a pretty decent job of being one of the nicer 7-inch tablets out there.
BUILD & DESIGN
Some book readers will distinguish themselves in regards to being ?hard cover? or ?paperback? type of people. I think it?s safe to say that the tablet ? when specifically relating to size ? may also help to divide a similar type of subculture. At seven inches, the HTC EVO View 4G ditches the gray in favor of two shades of black, and at 14.8 ounces seems far from burdensome, even while in transit. Plastic bumpers on the back create a good, curved, not entirely smooth grip ? large enough for two hands to latch on, but light enough for one. I enjoyed that it felt more substantial than a phone and ultimately a tad lighter, more compact, and even a bit bulkier in places than any of its 10?inch competition.
Similar to its 4G?less predecessor, the display screen in front takes up the majority of the space, with a front?facing 1.3?megapixel camera peeking out from the top-center of the tablet while in landscape position. The backside reveals a pair of speakers, in addition to a raised rear-facing, 5-megapixel camera that most likely looks to be the first casualty if the device accidentally scrapes or lands against something that it shouldn?t.
On the top short side lies the power/wake-sleep button alongside a 3.5mm headset jack. On the bottom short side, similar to the Flyer, can be found the same odd 12-pin USB connector input, which again works with both the proprietary cable that ships with the HTC EVO View and any microUSB. On the right long side are two tiny microphone holes along with a pretty sizeable, and therefore welcoming, volume control.
The top cover slides off ? at least eventually, and perhaps with more struggle than its worth ? to reveal the microSD memory expansion card slot. Like the Flyer, HTC seems to have missed an opportunity here to find a placeholder for the nondescript, black HTC Scribe pen accessory, which itself would have at least benefited by not looking like every other writing utensil in my household and having something in place that minimizes it from rolling around (and off of) tables and desks.
On the bottom of the screen is a Home, Menu and Back button that will move around, depending on whether the user wishes to hold the tablet in a portrait or landscape orientation. There?s also a light that, when used in conjunction with the HTC Scribe, can change pen types, colors, sizes, and provides a shortcut into the Notes section.
Display and Speakers
The 7-inch screen supports a 1024 x 600 pixel display. Indoors, with moderate lighting, it?s a clean and colorful experience. The tablet is best viewed directly head-on with a slight tilt, and the size of the screen gives the user an ample amount of distance in which he or she can hold the tablet and still make out the details without squinting or extra stress. Touch capability works real well here ? it?s easy to navigate and definitely not too strict in terms of sensitivity.
Like many tablets, the HTC EVO View doesn?t adjust as well to the outdoors. There?s an ongoing glare issue, and the color washes out even if it?s a mildly bright day. It?s not impossible to watch video or read emails without a roof over your head, but it?s far from ideal. You will probably want to you keep the tablet a domestic or in-office device when possible.
I?m not entirely sure why the two speakers were designed on the back of the tablet. The sound isn?t terrible, but its range is limited and far, far from excellent. Of course, a good remedy to this is using a pair of headphones, but it would be nice to have a tablet that doesn?t rely on such an accompaniment in order to output quality sound.
HTC EVO View 4G Specs:
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