CNET First Look
Dell Streak 7 (T-Mobile)The Dell Streak 7 polishes Android 2.2 to a tablet-worthy shine, and is the first to deliver 4G compatibility, but it's not enough to distract us from the incoming wave of Android 3.0 tablets.
Hey, I'm Donald Bell, and today we're taking a first look at the Dell Streak 7. This is a 7-inch Android tablet available from T-Mobile for $199 of a 2-year contract or 450 dollars on a pay-as-you-go plan. Dell's first Streak Android, which is still available, used a 5-inch screen, and I criticized it for feeling more like a smart phone than a tablet. Since that time, they have upgraded to Android 2.2, dramatically changed the UI, unfolding an Adobe flash support. It's a better device, but still no match for 7-inch version. Now, the Android OS in the interface are essentially the same as the 5, but the extra screen size on the 7 puts this neck on neck with something like the Samsung Galaxy tab, still half the size of the iPad, but like for a tab, the smaller size can be a convenience. It also works with T-Mobile's 4G network, which makes this the first 4G enabled tablet on the market. Taking a look at the tablet, you'll see that standard Android navigation buttons have been gathered up near the corner here putting right under thumb when you hold this thing on landscape view. You'll also get a headphone jack, proprietary USB connector, and the volume racker. Open this flap on the side and you've got SIM card slot and the space with full size SD card. Flip it over and there's a 5 megapixel cam for taking videos or photos plus you get a flash. There's also on the front that works to a video chat, which T-Mobile will let you run over their network. The only bad thing I can really say about this Streak 7 is that it's still an Android 2.2 device at a time when everyone is looking to Android 3.0 and alternatives like Black Berry Playbook and HPs WebOS Tablet. Dell did a lot of work to just things up, but still essentially a 2011 tablet with a 2010 operating system. Now, the low on-contract price is tempting, but with all the cutting edge tablets coming out this year, you'll be smart not look yourself down. So, that's the Dell Streak 7, a great 7-inch Android Tablet with 4G speed, but probably not the most advance device we will see this year. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.