My Oh My!

Dell Streak 7 Review

When Dell first announced that it was also producing a tablet, the 5 inch Streak, honestly, I was sceptical. Dell has been great in the desktop and laptop arena and they’re also known for monitors that are really good value for money. However, they haven’t been great in the mobile/PDA arena of late. So it was with much hesitancy that I picked the new Dell Streak 7.

From the outset, the Dell Streak 7 doesn’t look very different from the many other tablets plunging into the market. It does bear resemblance (though bigger) to the original Streak but beneath the ‘hood’ lies a very different machine.

Powered by a dual core 1Ghz Tegra T20 chip, the Streak 7 does make things go fast and shows no apparent lag even when multitasking. Running Android 2.2, also known as Froyo (with over the air-updates promised by Dell once Honeycomb is available), the Streak 7 is speedy and works well.

The Dell Streak 7 does come with two cameras. The front facing camera is only 1.3 megapixels and does decently well in video chats. The rear facing camera is good at 5 megapixels and allows you to not just take crisp pictures but also capture video at 720p. Dell does need to work on its camera software but otherwise the images and video were decent. For those who need to take serious pictures, please do not get rid of your DSLR in exchange for the Streak 7.

In terms of video playback, this version of the Streak is able to playback full HD videos smoothly with no apparent lag. I put this down to the performance of the Tegra T20 chip and it sure does deliver. The other nice thing about the Streak 7 is that it is Flash enabled right out of the box!

At just under 1lbs in weight, and less than half an inch in width, the Streak 7 makes for a very mobile device and it was easy to hold for long periods of time for a tablet making web browsing and ebook reading a joy.

The biggest plus factor for the Dell Streak 7 is its price. At only $199 with a T-Mobile contract, this is a great deal for those who want a tablet and 4G connectivity. The form factor is great due to its size but the one hiccup in an otherwise impressive design has to be the screen’s resolution. At only 800 X 480, the Streak 7 lacks the clarity of its more illustrious peers the iPad, Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom (though both the iPad and the Xoom are larger).

All things considered, I feel the Dell Streak 7 hits a nice sweet spot for those wanting a tablet experience but have budgetary constraints. And once Honeycomb is available, it’ll be that much sweeter.

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