Dell Streak Has Potential, But Misses the Tablet Mark

The Dell Streak could be an Android-based iPad-killer, but its specs scream "smartphone".

By Tony Bradley, PC World |  Hardware, Dell, Dell Streak

Dell unveiled the Streak--its new pint-sized tablet device which will ostensibly compete against the Apple iPad. A tablet built on Google's Android OS could offer a number of advantages over the iPad--for business professionals in particular. Looking closer at the design and specifications of the Dell Streak, though, leaves me wondering if Dell is clear on what a tablet device is. Isn't the Streak just another Android smartphone?

The Android-based Streak sports a display roughly half the size of the Apple iPad. My PCWorld peer Ian Paul listed out the details of the Streak, noting "the Dell Streak will have a 5-inch WVGA touchscreen, Qualcomm's 1-GHz Snapdragon Processor, 2 GB internal storage, maximum 32GB of external SD storage, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and a front-facing camera for video chat. The Streak will also have 3G, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity."

For comparison sake, let's take a look at what another PCWorld peer, JR Raphael, had to say about the HTC EVO smartphone a couple months ago. Raphael stated that the EVO "boasts a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen with HDMI output, dual front- and back-facing cameras, and a superspeedy 1GHz Snapdragon processor."

The fact that the Streak tablet device can also "double" as a phone, and is only incrementally larger than the current generation of smartphones, such as the HTC EVO, or the HTC HD2, makes it difficult to differentiate it from a smartphone. How, exactly, is the Dell Streak any more an iPad-competing tablet device than the Motorola Droid, or the Google Nexus One?

To be fair, the Apple iPad is also built on hardware architecture closer to a smartphone than a notebook, and it runs the iPhone mobile OS rather than a desktop OS like Mac OS X. So, it is understandable that the lines get blurry in some areas. But, there still has to be a line, and in my opinion the Dell Streak sits firmly on the smartphone side of it.

Accepting Dell's assertion that the Streak is a tablet device, though, let's take a closer look at how the Android-based Streak compares against the iPad.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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