HTC Flyer Tablet Comes with a Stylus For Inking

Joanna Stern of Engadget has put up a video of HTC’s Flyer Tablet which seems to be targeted for those who like a stylus and inking. From what I’m reading here and elsewhere though some caution for Inkers is probably a good thing. HTC is using an N-Trig digitizer. But as James Kendrick reports we haven’t seen any videos yet that show what Inkers really want which is some sort of Palm Rejection.

HTC seems to understand that there is a market out there for Inkers, but as we all know only too well it takes a real combination of software and hardware to make that a pleasant and more than doodling experience worth spending money on. Some App developers for the iPad have come up with some workable solutions that allow Inkers to place their hand or palm on the screen when Inking and perhaps we’ll see the same thing for the Android platform in the future. I’m guessing that HTC doesn’t think this is necessary on a 7-inch form factor which is what the Flyer offers.

Stern says that HTC and N-Trig are offering a capacitive screen with an active digitizer, although she says N-Trig takes pains not to call it that. (Another caution point for those familiar with N-Trig?) The pen has a battery and we’ve seen many of those solutions before, but not in “most convertible Tablet PCs” as Stern indicates.

The software demoed is still in beta mode so it is tough to judge from the demo. That said, there is Evernote integration, and I think the early signs are that HTC is working hard to make Inking a differentiator. But the devil is in the details.

Comments

  1. DNel says

    If it has an active digitizer in it,wouldn’t that allow it to recognize when the stylus is near and not use the capacitive touch (resulting in palm rejection)?

    • Bigmouth says

      N-Trig has confirmed that it will have palm rejection. I’m assuming they just didn’t have the drivers ready for the demos. Still, I can’t believe HTC thought people wouldn’t notice and failed to prepare their demo staff with an answer to the question.

    • Bigmouth says

      N-Trig has confirmed that it will have palm rejection. I’m assuming they just didn’t have the drivers ready for the demos. Still, I can’t believe HTC thought people wouldn’t notice and failed to prepare their demo staff with an answer to the question.

  2. Alastair Blakey says

    I still can’t understand why this is taking so long.. 

    I’m writing this on my Toshiba portege m200, which is getting on for a decade old, and it has handwriting inking..  There’s a Wacom (I think) digitizer overlaid on the screen..  Which only accepts pen input; it can’t tell if you’re doing finger-fondling..  It runs Windows XP tablet edition, which includes MS Journal: a good enough app for handwriting input..  i.e.: handwriting is stored as sequential (pressure=width) vector strokes, so small to store..  And searchable, which is required “entry level” technology.  Over all my Journal notebooks, I can search for text..  Journal does a decent job of finding close matches…  So if I know I had a meeting where we discussed banana imports, sometime in the past month, I can just search for “banana imports”, and get all the close matches, by handwriting recognition..

    As a replacement, I bought a Fujitsu lifebook t580, which has dual digitiser: one for finger-fondling (which I’m gonna disable, the minute I work out how, to get rid of palm non-rejection) and one for pen input..

    It’s a good box, 10″ form factor, light enough for holding one-handed while inking, good battery life, core i5 processor…

    But.. 
    - Startup time is at the “speed of WIndows”, so no damn good…
    - Also, I’ve found that I need 2 devices.  One for trad business applications, e.g. powerpoint, excel, particularly..  And a seperate one, with dedicated input/display area, for taking on the run notes…
    A convertible is no good..  Mid way through talking through a trad app bit of work, I need to take notes..  That means flipping the screen round, folding it flat, remembering that I forgot to start MS Journal, unflipping, starting journal, re-flipping, and, uh, what did I want to jot down?  Durh, forgotten..

    So, yes please..  Bring on the instant on, active pen digitisation inking and handwriting tablet…  It needs a physical button to configure input between: pen-only/finger only/both..  And, it must do MS Office, even if only slowly..  The world and his wife use MS Office, and have their own macros, etc, that just go spong when migrated to Open, or Star, or AnyProxy Office…

    iPad size would be good..

    Please can I have one of those?

    Alastair Blakey.

    • Markchimes says

      Alistair,

      Check out Motion Computing’s CL900. A proper Windows 7 PC in a form factor similar to an iPad, and with IP54-rating ruggedised as well.

      Cheers,
      Mark Chimes

  3. Alastair Blakey says

    Also..  We need a “handwritten document” storage standard..  Various “business notetakers” exist, for example, that think it’s clever to output .jpg.  HTF am I supposed to do text search on .jpg?  Pulleease, get with the program?

  4. Alastair Blakey says

    Recently got a Samsung Ativ Tab 3, which is very nearly just right.
    Annoyingly, although it has a Wacom digitiser for the stylus, and (some other) digitiser for fingers, Microsoft were too lazy to update Windows Journal to properly tell the difference. Samsung _have_ put some software prioritisation in place, but the upshot is that Journal still quite often captures palm touches as ink.

    Which is just amateurish, really. With different hardware, and distinguishable Windows API events, there’s no excuse. Journal should only accept ink from the stylus, and accept only navigation from fondling.

    Steve would never have let that ship!!

Leave a Reply