Dell Streak: The versatile 5-inch Android tablet

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The major drawback of the earlier version of Dell Streak was that it was running on Android 1.6 but now they have launched an upgraded version that is running on the latest Android 2.2. The user interface has also been upgraded with Dell’s own Stage Launcher. It’s got a 5-inch screen, with 153 x 79 x 9.98 mm dimension with a weight of 220g. With curved edges on both sides and backlit touch-sensitive buttons the Dell Streak is surely an attractive device. With the new interface it is possible to use the Dell Streak in landscape or portrait mode which was not the case with the previous version.

The Dell Streak has a big screen and so browsing the Internet is a comfortable experience. The standard Android browser helps to speedily and effectively render web pages even those with Flash content. However, for the videos, you will need to install the Flash plugin from the app market for free. Though it technically does not have tabbed browsing capabilities, it does open multiple windows to make things easier.

Usually, video content would slow down the browsing but Android has a great process to get around this and it is known as ‘available on demand’. What it means is that when the web pages are opened, Flash content is omitted with just empty boxes being shown in its place. If you need to view the videos, just tap it and they are loaded for you.

The Dell Streak has a 5-megapixel camera with a dedicated button and it can capture 720p HD video. It also has good audio capability with one of the best speakers for playing music and podcasts. There is the usual microSD card slot with a 8GB or 16GB card and it is expandable upto 32GB which gives you sufficient space to store your music and video files. Dell Movie Stage is an app they have added which gives you a choice to movies to download for $2.99. Though it is very primitive with only 15 movies to choose from, it bodes well for the future.

The music player and movie player are simple to use though the built-in movie player struggles to play MPG, MOV and AVI files. The connectivity facilities are as good as any other smartphone with wi-fi, bluetooth, etc. However, the annoying factor is that the Dell Streak does not use micro USB which is the norm but uses its own proprietary connection.

Dell Streak Demo (video)

Overall the Dell Streak has a great screen, good browser, excellent audio and the standard Android apps. However the negatives might be that it maybe too big for some, lack of a good on-screen keyboard and no micro-USB for connectivity.

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