Is the HTC Flyer's stylus priced too high?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: May 7, 2011

Buying expensive gadgets is what we do. It’s not that we necessarily like paying money for expensive gadgets, or that the gadgets we know and love so much are so expensive (sometimes), it’s just the fact we don’t have much of a choice. They’re expensive, and we want them so we buy them. Sure, we may feel a small ache in our wallets later, but we’re generally happy with our purchase (unless you start suffering from buyer’s remorse). And, as sad and unfortunate as that truth may be, it’s what we’re faced with day-to-day. Best Buy has confirmed this truthrecently, with the revelation that the stylus for HTC’s Android-powered tablet, the Flyer, will cost $80.

For those who aren’t sure what the HTC Flyer’s stylus is, let’s take a moment to reflect. When the Flyer was announced, HTC took some time out of the announcement to show off one of the key features of the device, which they’re calling Scribe. This feature lets you use that aforementioned stylus to “write” on pretty much everything and anything you want, at any time you want. That means web pages, too. It’s an interesting thing to provide for the end user, and it should provide plenty of fun and functionality to the tablet.

But of course, despite the fact that Scribe is being marketed as core functionality to the tablet itself, HTC’s not going to just give you the stylus in the box. No, that would make too much sense. Instead, HTC’s going to go ahead and toss that stylus into a separate package and make you pay “extra” for it. Now, technically, this is a sound plan. Because while Scribe is a feature, it’s still just a feature, and not an integral part to the tablet.

But, that’s technically. What we’re being told, and what the customer is being marketed, is that Scribe is indeed an integral part of the tablet, and that you don’t want the Flyer if you don’t want to scribble notes onto random things while you’re using it. Scribe is great, so you’ll want to use it. But, you can’t use it unless you’ve got yourself this particular stylus. Oh, and you’ll have to pay extra for it. But you’ll want to do that, because Scribe is so great.

Minus all that sarcasm, that’s exactly what we’re looking at here. So customers will have to pay for the tablet and then the stylus. This would be fine if the stylus wasn’t almost one hundred dollars in of itself. If the stylus were something more “reasonable,” like $50 or $40, then I think this wouldn’t even be a conversation to have. But, we don’t live in a time where inexpensive gadgets rule the roost. We’ve always got to be ready to pay out the you-know-what for something we want, especially if it’s a gadget of any kind, and that’s just something we have to accept.

But, let’s just ask the question: is the stylus for the HTC Flyer too much money? And, perhaps more to the point: should HTC bundle the stylus with the Flyer without charging any extra money? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Products mentioned