Home' LAPTOP Magazine : April 2011 Contents tabletS
Now that there’s a sizable market for 7-inch
Android tablets, Dell is getting into the
game with the Dell Streak 7. It’s the first
tablet to ride on T-Mobile’s high-speed
4G HSPA+ network and promises a slew
of goodies, including a Tegra 2 CPU and
free Wi-Fi tethering. This slate is even
$50 cheaper than the Galaxy Tab. But
how does Dell’s device stack up against
The Streak 7 is a pretty straightforward
slab. The glossy black front panel slopes
downward on the left and right sides to
improve gripability. The sides and back
are made of a dark charcoal plastic. It
measures 7.9 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches and
weighs 1 pound.
The 7-inch multitouch display, made of
durable Gorilla Glass, has strong viewing
angles. Unfortunately, the 800 x 480
resolution is low when compared to the
Galaxy Tab’s 1024 x 600-pixel display.
Graphics in games such as Angry Birds
didn’t look as sharp as on the Tab.
Sporting a 1-GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU,
the Streak 7 can play any kind of video
(including Flash) you throw at it. However,
there’s no pre-loaded video app.
We experienced very strong audio play-
back that was clear, if not overly rich.
The Swype keyboard with haptic feedback
is pre-installed, and it is difficult to disable.
Because the keys are so large in landscape
mode, we rarely hit the wrong letter.
Android 2.2 comes installed with some
nice custom widgets on its seven desktop
screens. Known as Dell Stage Widgets, these
include Contacts, E-mail, Gallery, Music,
Social Media, and Web Bookmarks.
Dell uses stock Android 2.2 Gmail and
e-mail apps for POP, IMAP, or Exchange
mail. T-Mobile includes unlimited text
T-Mobile pre-loads Qik for video calls
both over 4G and Wi-Fi. When we called
another Qik user and both of us were con-
nected via T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G network,
images were blocky and the video and
sound froze frequently. When we initiated
a chat over Wi-Fi, the picture quality
improved slightly, but was still awful.
With its 4G HSPA+ connectivity, the
Streak 7 offers faster uploads and down-
loads than previous tablets we’ve tested.
In New York City, this slate provided an
average download speed of 1.62 Mbps
(high of 1.9 Mbps) and an upload speed
of 1.11 Mbps as measured by Speedtest.
net. Those numbers compare favorably
to the 3G T-Mobile Galaxy Tab (1.31/1.02
Mbps). CNN, ESPN, Laptopmag.com, and
NYTimes downloaded at a reasonable but
unimpressive average of 12 seconds.
For no added cost, you can tether five
devices wirelessly to the Dell Streak via
Wi-Fi. A Lenovo ThinkPad X301 tethered
to the Streak 7 averaged 1.7 Mbps down
and 1.06 Mbps up on Speedtest.net.
Desktop versions of our test websites
loaded in a modest 21.3 seconds.
The Streak 7’s
Tegra 2 processor had
enough muscle to ace
every test we threw at
it. From gaming to
playing HD videos,
the tablet handled
great speed and
absolutely no lag.
Dell’s second android tablet has plenty of power, but its endurance is sorely lacking.
The rear-facing 5-megapixel camera took
dark and muted images. Recorded 720p
video showed inconsistent exposure with
a purplish tint at times.
With 4G mobile broadband enabled,
the Streak 7 lasted just 3 hours and 48
minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test.
When we switched to Wi-Fi, the endur-
ance increased to a still-poor 4:13.
Both times fall well short of the tablet
category average of 6:19 and provide
less than half the endurance of the T-
Mobile Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Despite its speedy processor and
competitive pricing, the Streak 7 is one
Android tablet we simply can’t recom-
mend. Because of its unacceptably short
battery life, this slate is far less portable
than even the weakest smart phone and
has less than half the endurance of its
chief rival. While an upgrade to Android
3.0 could help the Streak 7, it probably
won’t last long enough on a charge for
you to enjoy it.
— Avram Piltch
$199 (with two-year contract)
CPU: 1-GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 Operating
System: Android 2.2 RaM: 256MB ROM:
512M B Display Size/Resolution: 7
inches/ 800 x 480 Wireless: 802.11b/g,
Bluetooth Front-Facing Camera: 1.3 -
MP Rear-Facing Camera: 5-MP Ports:
Headphone Card Slots: SD, SIM Size:
7.9 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches Weight: One
pound Warranty: One-year limited/24/7
Attractive Dell Stage widgets
Wi-Fi hotspot feature doesn’t cost
Poor battery life
Lackluster 4G speeds
Poor video chat performance over 4G
Laptop | april 2011
Click to play video
See the Dell Streak in action.
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