Review

There’s no denying that, with the advent of Honeycomb, Froyo tablets are a thing of the past. So the Dell Streak 7, the younger but bigger brother of the Dell Streak, may seem a bit behind the times. It might not look as good nor run as smoothly as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but its $199 price tag (with contract) makes it an appealing option if you’re willing to overlook some of its more obvious flaws.

While this is an Android 2.2 device Dell has tweaked the OS design slightly with its Stage UI to make the tablet based more around landscape instead of portrait mode. The three dedicated buttons on the short side of the device, however, seem to work both in concert with and against this orientation bias, equal parts convenient and frustrating depending on how you prefer to hold the device.

Aside from some welcome interface tweaks, in general the Streak 7 is a uneven when it comes to performance. Whether it running third-party applications, writing E-mails or surfing the Web, other tablets in its class appear to outperform the Streak 7 on a fairly consistent basis. When it comes down to it, especially with Honeycomb gaining more popularity, the Streak is less recognizable as a tablet and more an over-sized cell phone.

The Streak 7 functions much like an external USB drive when plugged into your computer, but comes preloaded with DoubleTwist for more of a plug-and-play experience media management experience. (It’s not iTunes, but it’s close.) It also comes preloaded with a number of applications for gaming, music and video streaming and has complete access to the Android market out of the box for additional app downloads.

The Streak also sports a 5 MP rear-facing camera for photo and 720p video capture and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera for video chatting, with the Qik software preinstalled as well. Add that to the easily accessible SD card support for storage past the 16GB internal space and there’s a lot to like about the Streak at this price.

From a build standpoint, however, Dell has skimped in some key areas. The speakers deliver thin audio playback and the battery life is fairly atrocious, offering only a few hours of playback time. To be fair, this isn’t entirely unexpected of a 4G device, but the Streak may have hit a new low.

The most disappointing aspect of the Streak, however, may be it’s screen. While a portable seven inches, the device has a meager 800×480 resolution with below-average viewing angles. When placed against the rest of the competition, this just falls way short.

CONCLUSION
The Dell Streak 7 may have missed its opportunity. Had it had more time to breathe before the advent of Honeycomb the tablet might have found a stronger place in the marketplace. The price is hard to argue with, but know that for it you’re getting an inferior tablet by most accounts.

SPECIFICATIONS

Network

  • 2G Network GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • 3G Network 850, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz

Dimensions

  • 199.9 x 119.8 x 12.4 mm
  • 450 grams

Display

  • TFT Capacitive Touch Screen
  • 7 inches
  • Resolution: 800 x 480, WVGA
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Multi Touch

System

  • Android 2.2 Froyo
  • 1 GHz Dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 Processor
  • 3D Graphics hardware Accelerator

Storage

  • Internal Memory 16GB
  • Expandable Memory micro-SD card slot for memory storage up to 32GB

Camera

  • Rear
    • 5 Megapixels
    • LED Flash
    • Auto focus , Digital Zoom
    • Color Effects, Scenes, White Balance
  • Front
    • 1.3 Megapixels
    • 1280×1024 Pixels
    • Fixed Focus
  • Video Recording
    • 720p HD video recording, 30fps
    • 1280×720 Pixels

Connectivity

  • Data: EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
  • Bluetooth & USB v2.1 with EDR & v2.0 Micro USB
  • Radio: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Video & Audio

  • Video Formats: 3GP, MPEG4, WMV, H.263, H.264
  • Audio Formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, AMR, MIDI, WAV, AAC+, eAAC+

Battery

  • Li-Ion 2780 mAh Standard Battery

 



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