Review: Dell Streak

Short Version
If Charlie the Unicorn has taught us anything it’s that the road to success is fraught with setbacks and, if you’re not careful, your best friends will cut out your kidneys. It is with these life-lessons in mind that we examine the Dell Streak, a 5-inch Android 1.6 tablet that shows much promise but is hobbled by Android OS fracturing.


5-inch 800×480 pixel screen
3G WLAN support
Android Tablet
MSRP: $299 with contract, $549 without

Speedy processor
Upgradeable storage
3G support

Slow Android updates
A little too big
Weak battery cover

The Dell Streak is an odd duck. While I don’t doubt that it is the future, I still have some doubts that this wee tablet with its 5-inch screen and Android kernel is exactly what the world is looking for, devices like this will soon fill the gap between smartphones and laptops and, most important, offer powerful competition to the iPad. In short, the Streak is a good idea.

The device, when off, is a featureless black slab. When you turn it on, however, three buttons light up on the right edge and the screen really shines. The 800×480 resolution is quite good and there is plenty of room for almost every Android UI element.

The device has Wi-Fi and a 3G modem as well as a 5 megapixel camera and replaceable microSD memory. The Streak is a little bit heavy and the battery is hidden behind a large removable panel that, if you’re not careful, can pop off accidentally.

The Streak doesn’t know what it wants to be. If you install the Kindle app, it’s an ereader. If you turn on Google Maps it’s a GPS unit. If you play a video that you’ve copied over via side-loading, it’s a media machine. Finally, if you tap the phone button, you’ve basically got a comically large cellphone. These multiple personalities are, in reality, quite a bit of fun and it’s exciting to see the Jack of All Trades come back into the technology space. Read more:


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