The "1-Minute" Review
The Dell Streak 7 is the latest tablet offering from Dell that, despite several promising features, falls short of expectations.
Hardware design is neither amazing nor horrific. While the tablet feels relatively solid, the plastic casing lacks the durability offered by competing tablets. The edges of the tablet taper and the general design looks nearly identical to the Samsung Tab. So, if you fell for the Tab you will probably fall for the Streak, as well. Dell's offering comes in at just a half-inch longer, but most will never notice the difference. The screen measures seven inches (hence the name Streak 7) which comes in at roughly half the screen area of an Apple iPad. That's big enough to catch a quick episode of your favorite television show on your own, but probably not big enough to throw a Lord of the Rings viewing party for friends and family. Compared to other tablets, the resolution is a bit lacking and looking at the screen from an angle leaves the image too obscured to decipher. The Streak also features a concealed SIM card and full-sized memory slot. Integrating full-sized memory cards is an especially nice feature as full-sized cards are cheaper and more convenient. All in all, the hardware is what would be expected and not a lot more.
Even with the advent of Honeycomb, the Android tablet operating system, the Dell Streak 7 still sports Android 2.2. Like any other tablet running Android 2.2, the performance of apps suffers. Running apps designed for a much smaller screen proves exceedingly awkward and cumbersome. In the future, Dell might update the operating system, but at this point Android 2.2 simply does not translate into the tablet format. Aside from this general awkwardness, the Streak is sluggish. This happens not only in high-intensity programs, but also in basic applications like email and notes. Once the email program loads, typing also proves frustrating as the key input requires pressing each key for an overly long amount of time. These software shortcomings are a deal breaker for most consumers and it is a bit hard to fathom how Dell failed to see that waiting for an email application to load would drive away customers.
One high-point of the performance of the Streak, however, comes through the 4g data connection. The 4g shines and allows for stunningly fast loading times for videos and music. Even this is marred by performance issues, however, as the internet browser and video applications lag in loading new pages and videos. Once the video actually starts, it runs perfectly and without interruption, but the lag time in beginning the video is unacceptable.
All of these shortcomings leave few reasons left to consider the Dell Streak 7, but for those set on a Dell product or a 7-inch screen, a Streak might still be the right tablet.
Need to Know: Dell Streak 7
1. Uses a 4g Data Connection. (The Good)
2. Full-Sized Memory Cards. (The Good)
3. Lagging Performance. (The Bad)
4. Runs Android 2.2. (The Bad)
Prices (Where to Buy)
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