BARCELONA, Spain – Smart-phone maker HTC Corp. on Tuesday showed off a tablet computer that can be used either with a finger or with a battery-powered "pen" for drawing and note-taking, in yet another way manufacturers are trying to make their upcoming tablets distinguish themselves from Apple Inc.'s iPad.
The Taiwanese company demonstrated the HTC Flyer tablet at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. It said the tablet will go on sale in the second quarter, but didn't announce a price.
Tablets that work with pens have been around for years, but the recent crop, inspired by Apple Inc.'s iPad, are designed to be controlled by fingers alone.
The Flyer will have a 7-inch screen, making it half the size of the iPad.
In another distinguishing feature, the Flyer will have access to OnLive Inc.'s gaming service. That service "runs" the games on distant computers and sends a video stream to the user's device. In theory, that means that games that require the power of a full PC can run on a tablet that's scarcely more powerful than a smart phone.
HTC also said it will sell two smart phones, the Salsa and ChaCha, that feature a "Facebook button" that will let users upload photos, share Web pages or their location with one push. The button will pulse with light when there's an opportunity for sharing, HTC said.
In a recorded video statement, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that "HTC is one of the first companies to build devices with deep social integration and we are very happy with them."
The phones will be sold globally starting in the second quarter, and will be carried by AT&T Inc. in the U.S. later in the year, HTC said.
CEO Peter Chou said HTC sold 25 million handsets in 2010, more than double from the year before.