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Dell hoping to get Android right with 10-inch Streak Pro tablet

With the tablet wars just getting underway, there's plenty of time and opportunity for Dell to get it right. Unfortunately, they have a track record of getting Android wrong.

Could a 10-inch Honeycomb tablet be the key to Dell's Android adoption? CNET.UK

When it comes to Android hardware makers, Dell is not a name that immediately comes to mind.

Thus far the PC giant has had a tough time cracking the Android market thanks to uninspiring phones and tablets. I see many people carrying around Android devices, but I've yet to notice someone with a Dell Aero or a Streak tablet. Companies such as HTC and Samsung own the smartphone space, while traditional computer companies struggle in this new war. Thankfully, the tablet wars are just now getting underway. As a result, Dell could find itself turning things around in short order.

Dell is expected to unveil its next Android offering soon, in the form of a 10-inch tablet. Dubbed the Streak Pro, specifications are rumored to include Android 3.1 Honeycomb, a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, upwards of 64GB internal storage, and a pair of cameras. Additional details include an optional media dock, keyboard and charging accessories.

Should the Streak Pro land in the next two months, Dell will be on a short list of reputable companies offering Android tablets. Rather than coming in as a "me too" company, Dell's enterprise experience could position it as a leader in the industry. That is, of course, if executed correctly.

To gain marketshare, Dell will need to advertise its tablet and its capabilities. As we've learned from Apple, hardware alone does not attract buyers. Customers need to know what the tablet can do for them what a phone or notebook does not provide today.

If I were in charge of marketing a Dell Streak Pro, I would pitch it to students heading back to school or business users looking for ultraportable enterprise functions. Dell already has a massive built-in audience in both areas and could begin to migrate consumers away from Netbooks and traditional computers with a 10-inch tablet.

Depending on what the user experience looks like, Dell should bundle software packs onto the tablets. If not preloaded, then I suggest the company offer something along the lines of a Sprint ID pack with hand-picked applications for specific needs. Put together an entire solution for customers so that they feel like they have no other option.

On the other hand, I think giving customers a color option or personality might be good idea for all involved. Dell should offer a few colors to choose from, as the company does with the Inspiron laptop line.

There's plenty of time before one company runs away with the Android tablet crown. Fortunately, the average consumer does not know about Dell's failed attempts. I suspect that a properly marketed and supported 10-inch Dell tablet would be welcomed. Then there's always the issue of getting the price right,too.