Dell Streak 7 Android Tablet Review

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It should be no surprise that the Dell Streak 7 resembles the Streak 5 in nearly every way but its size. From the front, the Streak 7 is essentially the same device as a Streak 5, except with two extra inches of screen real estate. Both devices feature the same black screen bezel that's curved to either side. Closer inspection reveals that the Streak 7 features a front camera located above the screen and the series of buttons off to the side are of a different arrangement than those on the Streak 5.

It is only from the back that the Streak 7 becomes clearly distinguishable from the Streak 5 in appearance. Instead of the segmented design of the Streak 5, the Streak 7 has a uniform textured back, broken only by the inset metallic Dell logo, printed T-Mobile label and the 5 megapixel camera with LED flash.

 
 

The Streak 7 feels very good in the hand, it feels sturdy and well sorted. The fit and finish is great and it has a comforting weight to it that feels substantial but not heavy. The front is dominated by the seven inch screen which is covered by a slab of Corning Gorilla Glass. The glass extends past the screen to the bezel, from the top edge to the bottom. However, the rounded sides are made of plastic. The back of the unit is made of a sturdy plastic with a light texture that makes it easy to grip. Our review unit has a grey back but other colors are also available.

The somewhat extended rounded side edges make the Streak 7 a bit longer than the Samsung Galaxy Tab. We initially viewed this to be a disadvantage but quickly found that the rounded sides act as hand grips, making the Streak 7 very easy and comfortable to hold in a landscape position. A speaker is positioned on either edge of the Streak 7, allowing for acceptable stereo sound. The headphone port is located on the left while a tab reveals the SIM slot and SDHC slot on the right side. The entire design of the Streak 7 seems tailored to a landscape orientation.


The Streak 7 lacks the usual search button, which we frankly don't miss much. The remaining three buttons are placed along the right edge in landscape view, near the top of the tablet. This puts them in a perfect position when gripping the tablet on either side, on the rounded edge. The front camera is centered on the screen on the "top" of the tablet when held in a landscape view while the rear camera is located in the top corner, under the area where the buttons are located. Overall the Streak 7 is clearly designed for landscape use, although there is nothing stopping you from using it in a portrait orientation of course.

While the Android soft buttons are well located for landscape use, the hardware volume and power buttons are lined along the top edge. This makes them a little awkward to reach as you'll likely have to either release your grip on one side of the tablet to reach them or slide your hand along the edge to the top.



The Streak 7 is well packaged in a neat box just barely larger than the tablet itself. The device comes bundled with the usual set of accessories including the AC-USB wall charger, a Dell 30-pin docking port to USB cable, and an in-ear wired headset.

Like the original Streak handset, the Streak 7 has a 30-pin charging port that is USB compatible when used with an adapter like the bundled cable. When connected to the included USB wall charger, the tablet charged as expected. However when connected to a laptop or desktop via USB, the Streak 7 only charged when turned off. If the Streak 7 was on, even if in standby mode, the unit would not charge. This is an issue we've noticed on some other Android tablets as well, though the same issue does not effect Android handsets.

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