Print 29 comment(s) - last by mostyle.. on May 27 at 6:40 AM

Dell Streak
Is it a tablet? Is it a phone? Who knows, but one thing's for sure -- it will be the first iPad competitor

They say size doesn't always matter; so can Dell's spunky 5-inch Streak measure up to Apple's much larger "magical" 9.7-inch iPad?  Dell is betting it can and will unleash the mini-tablet computer in the UK first next month and then will soon follow up with a summer U.S. launch.

The pint-sized tablet runs Google's powerful Android OS and represents the first true challenge to the iPad, which sold over 1 million units in its first month on the market.  The unit packs an equally fast 1 GHz processor and more memory than the iPad (408 MB of DRAM v. 256 MB of DRAM on the iPad).  Unlike the iPad, it offers swappable batteries and two microSD slots for a total capacity of 64 GB (with two 32 GB microSD cards), the same as the iPad.

The slick mini doubles as a jumbo phone or e-book reader.  It comes with 3G functionality and 16 GB of flash memory built-in.  It also packs GPS and two cameras (like the next generation iPhone or HTC EVO 4G, one is rear facing, one is front-facing for video chatting).

Pricing has not yet been announced, but the phone will launch early next month in the UK through Carphone Warehouse and O2.  That launch places it in position to offer strong competition to the iPad, which hits the UK on May 28.

The UK launch will be followed later in the month with a wider rollout across the rest of the European Union.  Then later in the summer -- perhaps in July or August -- the unit will hit the U.S. market.  A U.S. carrier has not yet been officially announced for the tablet.

Tavis Butler of Dell comments on the launch, "This is a data device first and a voice device second.  This is the first in a family of devices."

Indeed, Dell has a 7-inch and 10-inch designs in store.  Those designs are expected to run Google operating systems, but their hardware specs remain a mystery at present.  Dell is eager to pounce on the booming tablet market, which analysts predict could become bigger than the netbook market.

Ben Wood of analyst firm CCS Insight comments, "This year our estimates suggest that there will be 1.3 billion mobile devices sold around the world.  Dell wants to get into this space. How can any PC maker not afford to?"

Some analysts are skeptical of the Streak's promise, but some are offering up glowing praise for the challenger.  IDC analyst Will Stofega, who has tried out the device told 
Reuters, "It's portable and mobile. You can put it in your pocket.  It is interesting and infinitely usable."

The Streak will have full access to the Android Marketplace.  This is different than past Android tablets from smaller manufacturers, which Google declined to provide help in access the App Market.  By gaining access to Google's 50,000+ app library, the device can offer a legitimate challenge to Apple's iPad which sports compatibility with the 150,000+ iPhone apps, and the growing numbers of dedicated iPad apps.

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5" pocket worthy
By Lonyo on 5/26/2010 10:51:47 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 4.3" PMP and it's not particularly great to have in a pocket. Sure, it fits, but it's not exactly the greatest thing to have in a pocket, although it is quite think and heavy.

Maybe a 5" Streak will be nice, but maybe not (especially if you have something else like a wallet or keys in there as well).

That being said, the idea of a nice 5" device which is focused around portable internet/data (as Intel were aiming for 5+ years ago) is quite nice, and depending on things like battery life and what it can do beyond internet (i.e. media playback) it might be nice, although it obviously depends on how it's priced.

Also, nice to see the UK getting a launch first, woo. Screw the USA :P

RE: 5" pocket worthy
By themaster08 on 5/26/2010 12:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think this device is fantastic.

A front facing camera, Android OS, phone capabilities, and a generously sized screen.

This might just be my next device.

RE: 5" pocket worthy
By jimbojimbo on 5/26/2010 1:32:48 PM , Rating: 2
Screw the USA :P
We're screwing ourselves just fine, thank you.

RE: 5" pocket worthy
By afkrotch on 5/26/2010 9:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
For me, it'd be nice. Get the multimedia features, without having to carry around a laptop. If this thing can run every type of multimedia file out there and also can read subtitle files to boot, I'd be a win for me.

I'm always wearing cargo pants, so I'm good with anything that's 7" or smaller.

RE: 5" pocket worthy
By mostyle on 5/27/2010 6:40:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm good with anything that's 7" or smaller.

As long as your lady feels the same you're good.

Sorry, couldn't resist.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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