Dell Streak 7 Android Tablet Review

Introduction & Specifications

The first half of 2011 is shaping up to be all about tablets. Truly, the tablet mania that everyone was so adamant about last year is finally here. While dozens of tablets were announced and shown off at CES in January, most of them won't be arriving until later this month or the March time frame at the earliest. The main reason for the delay is because most manufacturers are stuck waiting for Google to release Android 3.0, or Honeycomb, the first version of Android to be configured specifically for use on tablets. Motorola has the honor of releasing the first Honeycomb device, the Xoom. Of the tablets announced at this year's CES though, one of the first to be released is Dell's new Streak 7.

Part of Dell's Streak family, the Streak 7 was able to beat most of the tablets seen at CES to market, because Dell has made the decision to launch it with Android 2.2, also known as Froyo. This means that the Streak 7, like the Streak 5 before it, won't be released with a version of Android designed specifically for tablets, but rather a recent version of what is largely considered a handset OS.

The Dell Streak 7 is powered by NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 SoC, putting it on par with some of the more powerful upcoming tablets like the Motorola Xoom as well as the Viewsonic gTablet which we recently reviewed. The Streak 7 is also the first dual-core seven inch tablet, but it certainly won't be the last. The rest of its specifications are in line with what you would expect from a high-end Android tablet, with the exception of the screen which only sports a resolution of 800x480, a bit lower than most other high-end tablets. Dell doesn't advertise the amount of RAM the Streak 7 has but judging from system information on memory usage it seems the Streak 7 is packing about 512MB (360MB was available according the Linux Kernel, we're still waiting for an official actual number from Dell).

NVIDIA Tegra 2 System on a Chip

 Dell Streak 7 Specifications
 Specifications & Features
Processor  1GHz NVIDIA Tegra T20 (dual-core)
Operating System Android 2.2 (Froyo) with Over the Air Upgrade Capability
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 16GB of Internal Storage with support for up to 32GB additional storage using the user accessible SD, MMC, SDHC memory card slot
Dimensions 7.87 x 4.72 x 0.49 inches; 199.9 x 119.8 x 12.4 mm
Weight 15.87 ounces; 450 grams
Display 7” WVGA 800x480 Capacitive Multi-Touch Screen with Corning Gorilla Glass
Network T-Mobile: HSPA + @ 2100/1900/AWS/850
Messaging Email, IM and Video Chat on all models
SMS & MMS on 3G models only
GPS Internal GPS antenna
Sensors Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, e-compass, Capacitive sensor keys
Connectivity WLAN 802.11b/g; Bluetooth  2.1 with EDR; 3.5mm stereo audio jack; proprietary 30-pin interface/charging port
Camera Rear-facing, 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera with fixed focus
Audio Formats MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, MIDI, WAV
Video Formats H.263 / H.264, .3GP, MPEG4, WMV
Battery Rechargeable 2,780 mAh Lithium-ion

$199.99 with two-year T-Mobile contract; $449.99 without contract

Whether or not the Streak 7 will receive an update to Honeycomb when it becomes available in the next few months is uncertain. Dell hasn't made any promises. However, Dell is emphasizing the Streak 7's ability to receive updates, like all Android devices, so it certainly isn't out of the question. We wouldn't be surprised if Dell released the Streak 7 early and without Honeycomb just to beat the rest of the pack to market and has plans to upgrade the device later, though this is pure speculation. 

Update 2/11/2011 - We contacted Dell with respect to the possibility of a Honeycomb update and they did confirm the path is there.  "For the Honeycomb upgrade path, Dell designed the device to accommodate an upgrade and will keep people updated on upgrades on D2D as they did with Streak 5’s upgrade to 2.2."

In any case, Honeycomb or not, the Streak 7 is here and it's a shiny seven inch slab of tablet goodness with an impressive résumé. We've had one in the HotHardware labs for a week and we've written up a full analysis of this bad boy, so read on for all the gory details.

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