HTC Jetstream 4G Tablet Coming To AT&T For $700: Worth It?

08/31/2011 03:27 pm ET | Updated Oct 31, 2011

HP made its Touchpad popular overnight by dropping the price to hundreds of dollars below the iPad's. Is HTC trying to make its new Jetstream tablet popular by pricing it hundreds of dollars above the reigning tablet champ?

According to a press release, AT&T will start offering the HTC Jetstream on September 4 and will cost $699, after a two-year contract.

The Jetstream is a tablet of firsts for both HTC and AT&T: it will be the first HTC tablet to run Android's 3.1 "Honeycomb" operating system, which was designed especially for use on tablets; it will also become the first device to run on AT&T's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which the phone giant says will deliver "faster speeds for better information delivery" and which is currently only available in select cities.

Some HTC Jetstream specs: the tablet features a 10.1-inch display screen (compare to 9.7-inch for iPad 2), a Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual core processor (compare to 1 GHz dual-core A5 processor) and both an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera (Apple has not released megapixel counts for its iPad cameras, though Wired says the iPad cameras are pretty bad). The Jetstream can also handle Adobe Flash and, for a limited time, comes with a stylus for HTC Scribe, which lets the user write, draw and doodle on the screen.

So, how is the HTC Jetstream worth $200 more than the iPad? Depends on how much faster the 4G LTE network is than the 3G network that iPads run on. A Boy Genius Report field test showed impressive download speed for the Chicago 4G network, but given that AT&T is only planning on being in 15 markets by year's end, it's hard to say that this is a good immediate investment for a road warrior. The processor is fast, and the roomy display and relatively powerful cameras are big pros; but does all of this really add up to a $200 upgrade?

The HTC Jetstream from AT&T will hit retail and online stores September 4 and, again, will cost $699 after a two-year contract. Click here for the full press release and more Jetstream specs.


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