Review: HTC JetStream Tablet

A while back, I decided to replace my iPhone4 with an Android phone, I chose the Motorola Atrix 4G and couldn’t have been happier with my decision. So, when it came time to replace my aging Gen1 iPad, instead of going to the iPad2, I decided to move to an Android tablet as I had done with my phone. I chose the HTC JetStream.

The HTC JetStream is AT&T’s 10.1″ Android 3.x (Honeycomb) tablet. It is enabled for their 4G LTE network and is currently able to take advantage of the HSPA+ service that most of their 4G phones are currently enjoying.

The Specs:

Processor: Qualcomm® APQ8060, 1.5 GHz (dual core) + MDM9200

Operating System: Android OS 3.1 (Honeycomb) / ROM version: 1.17.502.3

Memory: 32GB eMMC (supports up to 32GB microSD)
RAM: 1GB, LPDDR2

Display: 10.1” inch, 1280 x 800 resolution
16M-color LCD
Capacitive touch screen capability with active digitizer

Network: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
UMTS/HSPA 850/1900/2100
LTE (AWS/700 MHz)

GPS: GPS/AGPS

Camera: 8 MP Color CMOS with auto focus
1080p video recording
1.3 MP front camera

Connectivity: Bluetooth® 3.0
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g/n compliant
3.5mm stereo audio jack
micro-USB (12-pin micro-USB 2.0)

Battery: 7300 mAh Lithium Ion battery, Non-removable

Dimensions: 7″ (l) x 9.87″ (w) x 51″ (d)

As you can see, an impressive collection of hardware. I was especially enticed by the dual-core processor. The unboxing went as expected, after carefully babying my AT&T bags home from the store, I took a few snapshots of the process.

The retail box, as most, displays a view of the device and lists the typical marketing information. Things like 4G LTE Fast Browsing, Android 3.1, 10.1″ and Full Internet are listed on the back of the box.

 

 

 

Once opened, the box, which is just wide enough to give the device some safety, the tablet is wrapped in a plastic sleeve with some markings to give a quick overview of the physical features. Such as, where the power button is as well as the headphone jack; the charger port and the soft-buttons and the notification area.

 

 

 

 

After removing the device from the packaging, the area underneath is where you’ll find all the included items and accessories. An AC adapter for charging, a USB cable for connecting to a computer and the Quick Start guide, make up the contents of the box.

 

 

Upon removing the plastic from the tablet and powering it up, you see the color and clarity of the 10.1″ screen. On the back of the JetStream you have the rear facing 8mp camera with dual led flash and the panel around it can be removed to expose the SIM and microSD slots. The upper left area sports a sub-woofer and lower part of the case houses the stereo speakers.

 

 

 

 

 

Using the JetStream has been great. It is very responsive and noticeably fast, apps load quickly as does switching between them. Graphics are quickly displayed and utilizing menus as well as any tools an app may have show no signs of delay. Compared to your Android phone, the arrangement is a little different, the notification bar is in the lower right of the screen and your application menu button is in the upper right. It doesn’t take long to get used to the navigation and it is very comfortable to use in a two handed manner.

The 10.1″ screen is very roomy and on this tablet which has 5 home screens, there is no shortage of space. The default configuration has widgets placed to the left and center of the screen, and shortcut icons vertically along the right hand side of the display. When moving a widget or icon, a nice grid shows up and gives you a idea of how much room you have and makes for easy placement. Adding a new widget to a home screen is also impressive, instead of the typical scrolling list as your phone might display, there is a panel that comes up at the bottom that displays all the available widgets and allows you to scroll through them; their size is also displayed to give you an idea of how much room it will take up, and most have multiple sizes for you to choose from.

The data speeds are excellent. My 4G phone is also running on the HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul and I love how fast it is, there is no exception when it comes to this tablet. While not on WiFi, browsing and downloading is very speedy and it just makes me even more anxious for the LTE switch to get flipped in my market.

Also impressive is the sound quality. With two stereo speakers on the lower back of the device and a sub woofer adjacent to the camera, the sound is clear and loud when you want it to be. Whether you are watching a YouTube video or listening to Internet radio, you will have no trouble hearing it. I first noticed the sound quality when unlocking the device, the weather widget is configured to play an animation on screen and a sound which matches the weather; hearing the breeze and some birds chirping was a fun touch.

When I purchased my tablet, AT&T was having a promotion, you also received an HTC Scribe. The HTC Scribe is a digital pen that is designed to interface with their tablets. The Scribe allows you to hand-write in their notes application, as well as use pen and brush tools with their photo application, giving you the ability to select different colors and brush styles. There are two buttons on the stylus, one allows you to highlight text and the other is used for erasing. The Scribe is a very nice accessory, however given it’s price ($80), had it not been free I probably wouldn’t have gotten it.

Overall, the JetStream has been a pleasure to use, and all the things I mention above make for a great device in my opinion. I can’t comment too much on the battery life, but I’ve been using the device for four days since my first overnight charge. Having the fastest dual core processor currently on the market and a wireless chip that is 4G LTE ready, are enough to entice any gadget geek. I’ve only had the tablet for close to a week now, but it certainly gives no signs of disappointment.

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