Mobile
Commentary
8/31/2011
10:32 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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HTC JetStream Brings LTE Tablet Power To AT&T

AT&T and HTC announced a new Android tablet that features a 10.1-inch display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and Long Term Evolution 4G.

The HTC JetStream is the first tablet device to support AT&T's yet-to-be-launched Long Term Evolution 4G network. The device will have a combo LTE/HSPA+ cellular data radio, making it the only piece of computing hardware to work on both AT&T's 4G and 3G networks.

The JetStream goes on sale September 4 for $699.99 with a two-year contract.

Key features of the device include a 10.1-inch WXGA HD display, dual-core 1.5-GHz SnapDragon processor, an 8-megapixel main camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash, and a user-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chatting (over Wi-Fi only).

The JetStream runs Android 3.1 Honeycomb, but includes HTC's Sense user experience overlay (similar to that of the HTC Flyer/View 4G). It ships with Adobe Flash and can both playback and capture 1080p HD video content. Not a lot of tablets can make the same claim.

For those who are still attached to using pens for input, the JetStream will ship with HTC's Scribe software on board, though the compatible pen will cost extra (which is a bit ridiculous considering the JetStream costs $700). The pen can be used to make notes on top of onscreen elements, such as websites or presentations, or used to create entries in Evernote, which also ships with the JetStream. Additionally, the HTC Jetstream is preloaded with services optimized for the tablet such as AT&T Family Map, AT&T Navigator, HTC Watch, HTC Hub, Friendstream, Android Market, and more.

Now for the (painful) fine print. In order to score a JetStream, not only will you have to agree to pony up a whopping $700, you'll also have to agree to a two-year marriage to AT&T. AT&T is offering 3 GB of LTE/HSPA+ data per month for $35.

AT&T is also offering a few other options for those who decide to go with a month-to-month plan rather than sign a contract. Postpaid plans run $14.99 per month for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB. AT&T will charge a $10-per-GB overage fee for those who exceed their monthly limit. Same goes for prepaid data options, but instead of charging a $10 overage fee, AT&T will charge $25 for another 2 GB of data. If these sound more appealing to you than the $35 option, there's a hefty cost: you have to pay the full retail price of the JetStream. That price is a budget-crushing $849.

Now, about that 4G LTE radio...

AT&T promised to launch LTE this summer (which is rapidly coming to a close). AT&T's first five LTE markets will be Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Some reports have surfaced that AT&T's LTE network has been spotted live in a couple of these markets, probably for testing purposes, but AT&T has made no formal announcements. AT&T plans to have 15 markets and 70 million people covered with LTE by the end of the year.

So when will the network go live? I wouldn't be surprised if the LTE network gets an official launch from AT&T soon after the September 4 launch date of the JetStream.

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