HTC's first 10.1-inch Android tablet is also the first tablet to operate on Rogers' new high-speed LTE network.
The LTE (Long-Term Evolution) specification provides theoretical downlink peak speeds of up to 100 Mbps, and uplink peak speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s. Currently however, LTE customers are experiencing typical download speeds ranging from 12-25 Mbps.
This makes the Android Honeycomb 3.1 powered HTC Jetstream the fastest tablet you can buy today in Canada, in terms of mobile Internet access. This is what sets it apart from the crowded tablet market.
To test this, we ran one against our LG Optimus Pad, also operating on the Rogers network, but not on LTE. The LR rated at download speeds of 2.87 Mbps and upload speeds of 1.06 Mbps, while the LTE-enabled Jetstream, in our tests, functioned at 27.21 Mbps for downloads and uploads at 7.54 Mbps.
HTC's highly-regarded design and choice of materials is present in the Jetstream. As a result, it's one of the more premium looking tablets on the market today. It feels solid yet robustly finished with a brushed unibody aluminum case that keeps things rigid without adding much weight.
While it's nice that HTC splurged on materials, there are a few quibbles with the sensitivity of the volume button, which seems too easy to set off. Plus, it gets in the way of operation at times.
The 1.5 GHz dual-core processor allows for moving things around pretty quickly, while the HTC Sense user interface overlay scales nicely on the 1,280 x 800 screen. The Jetstream also features a rear 8 MP camera and a front-facing 1.3 MP camera for video chatting. Beats Audio, which was recently acquired by HTC, doesn't make an appearance in this model, though the tablet does have stereo speakers.
The HTC Jetstream allows for the use of the limited Scribe Pen, which will be sold as an optional accessory, and can be used with certain applications, and for performing tasks like jotting down notes or making quick sketches. While there are other uses for the Scribe pen (it is the fastest way to take screenshots, for example), there aren't any third-party apps yet that can take advantage of it, and the proprietary nature of the accessory limits what users can do with it. Which means once users get tired of using HTC's own Scribe apps, there's not much you can do with the pen. Thus, the majority of users might not find it too compelling.
The HTC Jetstream's price ($499.99 with a three-year agreement or $799.99 contract-free) makes it a premium device that will attract a very specific demographic.
This is an Android tablet for business people who require fast and constant connection to the Internet; especially road warriors that need to have quick and constant connections.
The design of the Jetstream is fresh and feels really polished, but it also feels like it can be easily scratched. The brushed aluminum casing is stunning to behold and lovely to touch. Plus, it really sets the Jetstream apart from the many plastic-clad Honeycomb tablets we see today.