updated 10:40 am EDT, Wed August 31, 2011
HTC Jetstream becomes first LTE tablet at ATT
AT&T began carrying its first 10-inch tablet outside of the iPad on Wednesday with the formal launch of the HTC Jetstream. Previously known as the Puccini, the 10-inch Android 3.1 tablet is the carrier's first non-modem to support LTE for its 4G, with a fallback to a still-fast HSPA+ 3G if necessary. The slate is much faster than the seven-inch Flyer through a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon fast enough to both record and play 1080p video.
The Jetstream has the first instance of HTC's custom Sense interface on a tablet-native OS and includes many of the same widgets, although with not as strong a change as on HTC's smartphones. It carries HTC Hub for news and info as well as the company's Watch movie service, Friendstream, and AT&T-specific apps like a Family Map and Navigator.
Both front 1.3-megapixel and back eight-megapixel cameras are onboard. AT&T hasn't said how much storage is built-in but does have a microSDHC slot to feed more.
The tablet will have a relatively steep entry price for a cellular-capable model at $700 when it ships on September 4. AT&T is counting on a new contract discount option for tablets as an incentive: while they can still pay $15 for 250MB of data or $25 for 2GB, a new $35, 3GB option is available for those willing to pledge themselves to two years of data. The option isn't limited to the Jetstream and should include iPads and other tablets.
Early buyers also get the optional Scribe stylus for free.
For HTC, the Jetstream is its first true leap into the tablet market. It launched this spring with the Flyer and Evo View 4G, but the seven-inch designs are using the phone-oriented Android 2.3 and only ever had a limited launch with an according muted reception. HTC's hardware is now more feature-competitive, but it faces competition from not just Apple but also Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.