HTC Flyer & Digital Pen now available in one happy $500 package

The HTC Flyer is a 7 inch Android tablet that offers a few things most of its competitors lack. First, it runs Android 2.3 instead of Android 3.x Honeycomb, but it comes with HTC Sense software featuring custom home screen widgets and apps. Second, unlike most Android tablets, the HTC Flyer has an active digitizer which means you can draw and write on the screen using an optional, pressure-sensitive digital pen.

When the Flyer launched in the US last month Best Buy was selling the tablet for $499.99 without the digital pen. You had to pay an extra $80 if you wanted the pen, which seemed silly for two reasons:

  1. It’s $80 for a pen (yes, it’s more technologically advanced than an ink pen, but really…)
  2. The tablet has the active digitizer hardware whether you buy the pen or not, which is part of the reason it costs a kind-of-pricey $500 in the first place.

Either Best Buy has come to its senses, or the pen and/or tablet simply weren’t selling well on their own, because today the folks at Netbook News noticed that Best Buy has started bundling the pen with the HTC Flyer. Now you can pick up an HTC Flyer tablet and pen bundle for $499.99.

I wrote a detailed review of the HTC Flyer recently, and honestly, I didn’t find the pen to be all that useful most of the time. But it’s definitely one of the tablet’s primary selling points, so it’s nice to see it bundled with the device.

The tablet doesn’t support handwriting recognition, and not all apps allow you to use the pen to enter text or drawings. But HTC does offer a couple of nifty apps that work nicely with the pen including a note-taking app that synchronizes your data with online note service Evernote and an eBook Reader which lets you use the pen to highlight text or scribble notes in the margins.