Home' LAPTOP Magazine : October 2010 Contents TABLETPCs
Small for a tablet but positively massive for a phone,
the Dell Streak is a device that certainly draws a
crowd. It's huge 5-inch screen makes surfing the
web, watching videos, and turn-by-turn navigation
easy on the eyes, and its top-notch industrial design
feels downright luxurious in your hand(s). But is this
tweener worth $100 more than the iPhone 4 or a
4.3-inch superphone like the Evo 4G?
There's no getting around the fact that the Streak
looks silly next to your ear---all 7.8 ounces of it.
Then again, this is a beautiful device, sporting a
solid yet slim carbon black body that measures 0.39
inches thin. The glossy 5-inch screen is bright and
colorful, and the LCD held up well in direct sunlight.
And since the display is made of Gorilla Glass, it's
tough. Too bad you get the same resolution(800 x
480-pixels) found on smart phones with 4.3-inch
Our Streak review sample was running the old
Android 1.6 OS, so you don't get features such
as a combined inbox, speech to text for typing,
or multitouch support in maps. However, Dell
has customized the interface while supplying six
home screens. Along the top of the display you'll
find a bunch of shortcuts. For example, touching
the arrow in the top left corner displays frequently
The touch keyboard on the Streak could be
better. Dell includes a number pad you can't get
rid off; we'd much rather have larger letters. Typing
in portrait mode felt cramped.
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STREAK IN LIVING COLOR
See Dell's tablet for yourself.
See p. 6 for more info on how to use this code with your cell phone.
Despite being equipped with a 1-GHz Snapdragon
processor, the Streak seemed sluggish at times.
Most apps launched quickly, but we occasionally
saw a 2- to 3-second delay when returning to the
home screen. On more than one occasion the Gmail
app took 5 seconds or more to load. The Streak's
performance on benchmarks such as Linpack for
Android trail the latest superphones in several
categories. We expect this device to speed up once
Dell releases an update to Android 2.2.
Load times for the Streak's browser were good
over AT&T's 3G network and Wi-Fi. We loaded the
mobile versions of CNN and ESPN via Wi-Fi in 5
seconds each, and the full versions of Laptopmag
.com and NYTimes.com in 18 and 21 seconds,
respectively. Over 3G those times increased to
12, 13, 32, and 25 seconds.
The 5-MP camera took colorful and mostly
sharp images outdoors, so long as we kept our
hands steady. There are a wide range of settings
available including digital zoom and white bal-
ance. Thanks to its front-facing video camera,
the Streak can make video calls; Fring proved to
be a decent solution.
The Streak mostly satisfies as a camera. We wish
it captured 720p footage, but its VGA video looked
good when played back on a large monitor. The
sound was also plenty loud. The Streak has one
of the better-looking music players we've seen,
and audio was loud enough, if a bit harsh.
Google's free navigation app worked well in
a moving vehicle, barking out loud and accurate
directions. We would definitely spring for
CPU: 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250
Operating System: Android 1.6 RAM: 512MB
ROM: 512MB Internal Memory: 16GB microSD
Card Display/Resolution: 5 inches/800 x
480 Wireless: 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 +
EDR Camera Resolution: 5 - MP Talk/Standby
Time: 9.8 hours/17 days Size: 6 x 3.1 x 0.4
inches Weight: 7.8 ounces
Gorgeous 5-inch display
Front-facing camera for video calls
Bundled syncing software
HDMI and car dock options
Runs older Android 1.6
Sluggish at times
Doesn't record 720p video
Problems playing certain video files
the car dock kit once it becomes available.
All of the apps from the Android Market worked.
However, most of them are not optimized for a
5-inch screen, resulting in some programs looking
The Streak really wasn't designed to be held
next to your head. The bundled earphones have
an integrated call button on the cable. Call quality
was adequate, but a little fuzzy.
When compared to competing smart phones,
the larger-than-life Dell Streak comes up a little
short. It's not as fast as handsets that run the latest
2.1 or 2.2 software, but we're glad that this device
can access the ever-growing Android Market. Dell
also deserves credit for crafting an interface that's
easy to use, as well as svelte. Still, $299 is a lot to
ask for an extra 0.7 inches of screen real estate.
We wouldn't pull the trigger on this purchase until
Dell updates to the latest Android OS.
A mammoth 5-inch display and sleek design make the Streak an intriguing
tablet-phone hybrid, but we'd wait for a software update.
LAPTOP | October 2010
The 30-pin dock connector on the Streak can be
used to connect the tablet to a home AV dock
and a car dock.
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