T-Mobile Dell Streak 7 Hands-on at CES 2011
You ought to admire Dell’s tenacity. Here we are, seeing the computer giant launch a new larger version of the tablet/smartphone hybrid Dell Streak we saw soft-launched on AT&T with rather paltry results. None of the ingredients seemed to work with the original 5-inch option, but with a little tweaking here and there Dell may have a better shot at hitting one out of the ballpark now. Here is the newly announced Dell Streak 7 to be offered on T-Mobile’s 4G network.
The original Streak (which I think we should just begin calling the Streak 5, to limit confusion from the Streak 7) was offered by AT&T but barely made a dent in sales due to several factors: lack of marketing, a soft launch that nobody really heard about, and lackluster software/hardware. From what we can tell, Dell has very likely learned its lesson now. For instance, the Streak 7 is being announced to the masses at CES 2011, always a good idea to get extra media coverage; there’s no more confusion as to whether it’s a really big smartphone or really small tablet, and is competitive with the Galaxy Tab and Blackberry Playbook; and it comes with T-Mobile 4G speeds attached (21 Mbps max, not the 42 that was announced today).
Available in the coming weeks, here are some of the specs of the Dell Streak 7:
- 7? WVGA capacitive touchscreen (800×480) with Gorilla Glass
- Dual-core 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor
- 16 GB of internal memory and microSD card slot
- HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording and front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam
- Dell’s Stage UI is on board
- Preinstalled apps: Swype, Qik, T-Mobile TV, BrainPOP educational content, Zinio newsstand, Blockbuster, Kindle for Android, Let’s Golf demo, Slacker Radio and Zoodles
The Gorilla Glass is always a good inclusion on a tablet. The screens are simply so large that it would otherwise become disastrous if accidentally dropped, just like when I dropped my camera at the show yesterday.
Stage UI on the Streak is a rather curious one. I have to give brownie points to Dell for its originality. Instead of using the traditional front screens to put widgets and apps on, it has “stages”. Each stage has an emphasis on a specific lifestyle or personal preference, such as a music-geared or social networking-geared one. On the unit I used tonight, the main stage covered recently used apps, something that is nice to have handy but not necessarily what I would use as my main page. If you can’t stand them, stages can be trashed and replaced with regular vanilla Android style preferences, such as apps, widgets and folders.
While I don’t want to get in the mode of comparing tablets to each other, it’s easy to do when previewing several of them over the course of 3 days. With that said, I could tell that the Streak 7 is heavier than the Playbook and a little more of a chore to heave around. Being a 7 inch tablet makes it still very portable and pocketable, but it’s hard to carry one of these after holding a Playbook.
It’s hard to judge the performance of a device when it’s in pre-production. Since the Streak 7 will be available in the coming weeks at an undisclosed (yet competitive, they assure me) price, this is not the final model going hot off the press. With that said, I had a hard time believing this tablet has a dual-core Tegra 2 processor inside. Sliding back and forth to different stages and in the apps themselves felt a little sluggish, and was typically met with some delay. Again, hard to tell whether it will be this way once the finalized version comes to fruition, so call us skeptical. If it has Tegra2, we want to see it fly. And I wasn’t really getting that feeling when playing with it.
And now for that special time in the article when I share a whole bunch of pictures with you! Hope you enjoy.