The Dell Streak 7 is expected to go on sale on February 2nd, when you’ll be able to pick up the 7 inch Android tablet from T-Mobile for $200 with a 2-year contract or $450 for a contract-free tablet. But a few dozen tech bloggers apparently got a chance to check out the tablet early, because reviews are popping up left and right. Here’s a quick overview:
- CrunchGear thinks it’s a decent tablet with a funky UI which overall doesn’t really stand out from the crowd.
- Gizmodo is disappointed in the 800 x 480 pixel display, Android 2.2 software, odd button layout, and inability to make phone calls.
- jkOnTheRun reports that it’s hard to take advantage of the powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor with the Streak’s low resolution display.
- Engadget says not only does the Streak have a lower resolution display than the Galaxy Tab, but it’s also less bright and has poor viewing angles. The tablet was reportedly more responsive than the Galaxy Tab though, but got just about 6 hours of battery life.
- SlashGear says the Streak 7’s high performance CPU gives it an edge, despite the disappointing battery life.
- CNET reports that Dell’s custom software doesn’t go far enough in making Android 2.2 into a true tablet operating system and many apps designed for phones don’t look right on larger displays.
- Laptop Magazine gave the Streak 7 a measly 2 stars out of 5. The reviewer managed to get barely more than 4 hours of run time out of the battery, and was disappointed in the low resolution screen.
I’m seeing conflicting reports on touchscreen sensitivity. Some reviewers reported the screen was very responsive, while others had problems with it. The same goes for the 4G connection speeds. Theoretically T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network can provide download speeds as fast as 21Mbps, but while jkOnTheRun got around 5.5Mbps, Gizmod reported top speeds of just 1.8Mbps. Your results may vary depending on your location, but it seems unlikely that you’ll reach the theoretical top speed very often.
Several reviewers also point out that the Streak is designed for use in landscape mode, with the buttons close together on the right side for easy thumb access. You can rotate the screen, of course, but if you’re used to navigating an Android home screen in portrait mode, the Streak 7 may take some getting used to.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of Android tablets expected to hit the market this year, and the Dell Streak 7 is definitely one of them. And if you can’t wait any longer to get your hands on a relatively inexpensive tablet with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and 4G mobile broadband, it’s one of the only games in town. But it sounds like the low resolution display, Android 2.2 operating system, and poor battery life, along with some other design decisions (where’s the dedicated search button for Android 2.2?) may make the Dell Streak 7 a tough sell.