Dell Streak 7 Android tablet
Affordable dual-core fondleslab, anyone?
Review Despite the original Streak being one of the first devices of its type on the market, Dell’s Android tablet didn’t really set the word alight. A less than fresh version of Android, a high price tag and a distance between the screen corners too close to many a smartphone, all counted against it.
Clean slate? Dell's Streak 7
Now we have version 2.0 with a 7in screen, a 1GHz dual-core CPU, Android 2.2 and a much more realistic sub-£300 price tag, £100 less than its unloved 5in sibling would have set you back at launch around 12 months ago.
As you would expect Streak 2 is larger than Streak 1 but at 200 x 120 x 12.4mm it’s par for the 7in Android tablet course, and more or less the same size as HTC’s Flyer. It’s made entirely of plastic though, so it doesn’t feel quite as slick as the, admittedly, more expensive HTC device.
Seven-inch slabs all tend to look a bit chunky
The price drop and an extra two inches of screen isn’t all you get over the old model. Internal storage has jumped to 16GB – of which, 2GB is available for apps – so many users won’t ever have to cough up for a storage card. Should you need more than 16GB Dell has fitted a full-sized SD card slot but it still only accepts cards of up to 32GB in capacity.
Not the latest Android, but an upgrade path exists
The dual-core CPU has 512MB of RAM to play with, but the system still returned an impressive Quadrant Standard benchmark result of 1,800 - only 80 points shy of the Flyer. Android 2.2 isn’t quite the latest thing but at least it's more current than v1.6 was when Dell foisted it on the Streak 5 and it can be updated OTA, which suggests a Gingerbread or Honeycomb update may arrive at some point.
Next page: Screen test
Screen resolution fail
So this device has the same resolution screen as my £80 Orange San Francisco smartphone!
I can only conclude that this device is for those with deteriorating eyesight.
For this device to be useful it needs 1024 x 600 screen - the same as a 7" netbook.
Here's my pricing guide for all you fondleslab pretenders to the throne
7", 800x480, GPS, WiFi £150
7", 1024x600, GPS, WiFi £200
7", 1024 x600, GPS, WiFi, 3G £250
10" iPad , GPS, WiFi £400
Always, always compare what you have to the iPad, since all your customers will. It needs to be significantly cheaper.
The reviewer can tell Gorilla Glass by touch? It feels nicer and smoother?!? Sorry, I'll have to see a blind test before I believe this.
does a capacitative screen disappoint you?
A basic summary of all Dell products:
Desktops: Terrible. Components bought from the lowest bidder. Often proprietary. Prone to breakage. PSUs suck balls.
Laptops: Pathetic. Screens are prone to dying, components as above.
Printers: Appalling. Stab yourself in the eye with a rusty fork, it'll be better.
Peripherals (keyboards, mice etc): a big bucket of "meh".
Monitors: Decent. For some reason.
Fail on screen resolution...
In general, I prefer Android to iOS, but something Apple got right with the iPad was the decision to go for a 4:3 resolution display. At least in the West, it's significantly better for reading, as tablets tend to be held in "portait" mode and we read left-to-right. And most physical media (magazines/comics/newspapers/etc) are still presented in the 4:3 aspect, as are the majority of electronic documents (Word docs, PDFs, etc).
Give me an Android tablet with a 4:3 screen (and halfway decent battery life) and my iPad will be on Ebay quicker than you can say "SD card slot and no jailbreaking required"...