August 11, 2010, 9:11 PM — The Streak, Dell's new part-tablet, part-smartphone, is now available by pre-order, but should you sign up for this already tired hybrid?
At first glance, such a device may suit your business needs: a bigger viewing screen with the added bonus of a phone. But that only makes sense if it's a less costly alternative with more capability than both the latest tablets and smartphones.
After a look at all the press, good and bad, here are five reasons why no one needs the Streak.
The Streak is $300 with a two-year contract, a full $100 more than the average smartphone, such as the Droid 2, Blackberry Torch 9800, or Apple iPhone 4. It's also $550 without a carrier plan--which is about $50 more than the cheapest iPad, which has about twice the screen, and $100 more than an iPod Touch. There's no buy-one-get-one-free offer with this purchase, so expect to pay a lot for a half-dozen Streaks for your business.
2. Android 1.6
OK, so we all know that you can manually upgrade to Android 2.2 if you need to, but the idea that Dell is shipping these supposedly new devices with the Android 1.6 OS, and promising an upgrade later this year, is just sheer laziness (especially considering the Streak has already been delayed). Is this the way Dell shows us how it competes in the marketplace? Either way, when a company asks a higher market price, consumers expect to get more rather than less.
Dell's sole use of wireless carrier AT&T is also a loser, causing many potential customers to give up on the Streak when it gave users no other carrier options. While Apple could handicap itself with AT&T and still sell millions of iPhones, Dell's brand is certainly no Apple.
4. Smartphone vs. Tablet