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Dell Streak 7 released: is it any good?

KitGuru boss Zardon, loved the original five inch Dell Streak. He actually liked it that much he reviewed it twice. The Dell Streak 7 has been released at just $200 with a two year service contract.

This is Dell's latest attempt to compete with the Apple iPad, and it is the least expensive tablet yet released from a major manufacturer. Dell are also claiming it is capable of 4G speeds, with Wifi connectivity offered. As we all expected it runs Google's Android operating system and contains the nVidia Tegra processor which is going to be powering many tablets in 2011.

The Wall Street Journal have an early sample of the product and it doesn't seem to have left that positive an impression on Walter S Mossberg.

“Unfortunately, after a week of testing, I found the compromises Dell made to get to that low price make it impossible for me to recommend the Streak 7. Its screen, battery life, and software are all disappointing, and vastly inferior not only to the iPad's, but also to those on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, a high-quality Android tablet about the size of the Streak 7 released late last year. In other words, you get what you pay for.”

He also goes on to say that the Streak 7 has a 7 inch screen and that Dell were aiming to build a cheaper unit for ‘budget-conscious families and for home use'. Dell also plan a range of tablets at various price points and sizes with different hardware configurations.

Mossberg says that he likes the reduced weight however and therefore it is easier to hold in one hand, and it also supports Flash videos, which Apples products don't. He mentions that the cellular data strength is very impressive and that it has front and rear mounted cameras, unlike the iPad.

Sadly, the cons seem to outweigh the pros, with reported battery life of two hours and 10 minutes when watching movies. He then says the iPad under similar circumstances can deliver 11.5 hours of continuous video playback (Ed: Seems a bit high to me?).

Additionally, Mossberg says that the screen resolution ‘was so low as to be fuzzy at times, especially in reading small type and viewing the screen at an angle often reduced the image quality to a ghostly outline'.

He continues “Worse, the Streak 7 appears shortly before the true tablet-optimized version of Android, called Honeycomb, and Dell can't promise that Streak 7 buyers can upgrade to Honeycomb. The company says the device has been designed to accommodate an upgrade, and is hopeful that it's possible. But there is no guarantee. Buyers might get stuck with the old version built for phones.”

KitGuru says: We hold judgement until we get a hands on ourselves, but initial reports don't seem very positive.

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