Dell Streak 7 Android Tablet Review

The Dell Streak is the first Android tablet from a major PC maker. Also known as the Mini 5, Dell Streak 5 registered a really big success among fans all over the world. This is why some rumors about a Dell Streak version of 7 inch have been launched. Rumors have been confirmed at CES 2011 that was held this month in Las Vegas.

The Dell Streak 7-inches didn’t belie the fan’s expectations. Even if it is more like a smartphone with Android than a real competitor of other tablets from the market, the evaluations and critics available until now  are pretty much positive than negative.

Specifications

  • Carrier: AT&T
  • OS: Android 1.6
  • Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (QSD 8250)
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Storage: 2 GB built-in, plus 16 GB micro-SD (expandable to 32 GB)
  • Display: 5-inch WVGA, 800×480 pixels, Gorilla Glass
  • Battery: Lithium Ion 1530 mAh
  • Ports: 30-pin to USB
  • Weight: 7.7 oz
  • Dimensions: 6.0(h) x 3.1(w) x 0.4(d) inches
  • Camera: 5.0 megapixel (rear) with autofocus; VGA front-facing
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, GPS, e-compass
  • Keyboard: 49-key virtual keyboard (including number pad)
  • Networks: UMTS 850/1900/2100 MHz; GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz;
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g; Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
  • Tethering: Not available
  • Price: $300 (with 2-year contract); $550 without a contract

Pros

The solid hardware

Even if the Dell Streak may look like a slim and light device, actually it is pretty solid. Every single piece of its hardware is expensive and good enough to impress somebody who would be interested in it. Add to this the Android 1.6 operating system and you will obtain a very stable tablet that can do almost everything you would expect from it.

Expanded on-screen keyboard

Unlike its elder version, the Dell Streak 7 has an expanded on-screen keyboard, from the standard 30-35 keys to a 49 keys model, in a landscape mode. It also includes a number pad, which is very useful when you need a fast writing of a text that includes numbers.

Android operating system

There is a saying among connoisseurs that is telling about Android that it is everything that the Apple isn’t. And we totally agree with this. Open, customizable, and free to experiment on it, Android is one of the best choice that you can make when we talk about operating systems. Probably this is the reason why people were so enthusiastic when the first version of Dell Streak has been released.

Big sized screen

One of the best advantages of the Dell Streak 7 tablet is that you have a lot of space to do your things. Dell succeeded in using all these plus inches and they used really optimally.

Expandable storage capacity

The Streak also offers expandable storage capacity with an SD memory card slot capable of accepting up to 32 Gigabytes cards. Business professionals will appreciate the ability to store more data, or to easily transfer data to or from the Streak using SD memory cards.

VGA camera

From a hardware perspective, the Streak has front and rear-facing cameras. The rear-facing camera is a 5 megapixels camera with auto focus and a dual-LED flash, nothing unusual to a tablet. But the front-facing camera is a VGA-quality camera that can be used for video conferencing from the Streak.

Contras

The outdated OS

Why not Froyo? This is a question that only the designers of Dell Streak 7 could answer. It runs an outdated Android 1.6. Unforgivable thing if you would ask me, especially when 2.0 has over 10 months since it has been released. The consequence of this is that a lot of the new Android applications or widgets won’t work on this tablet. Yet, good news was given by the officials from Dell: the version of the OS will be updated soon at 2.2.

Too expensive:

One word: expensive. It cost with 100 dollars more than the EVO, the Droid X, and the Samsung Galaxy S, tablets that have almost the same configuration as Dell Streak. The advantage of the larger screen doesn’t deserve 100 dollars, let’s admit it, especially when we talk about all the disadvantages, like a lot bigger, older OS, etc.  This is even more expensive than the 10 inches iPad, which costs only 500 dollars.

Inconsistent performance

1 GHz Snapdragon, Android 1.6… Maybe someone should tell to the Dell’s programmers that those features were o.k. in 2010. Now, in 2011, they need to offer us something that we have the guarantee it will work in 1 year too. Even if they will make that upgrade for the OS, still, is not sure that the processor could adapt to some more demanding software that may appear meantime.

Conclusion

Dell Streak 7 is a choice only if you are a fan of Dell products. Instead of it we can recommend you to buy a HTC Evo 4G, a Motorola Droid X, a Samsung Captivate or, why not, an iPad. You will obtain the same results for a cheaper price.

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