Dell Streak 7: Android tablets hit 4G speeds

Dell Streak 7 is a 4G-capable, next-generation tablet. But can the Streak 7 really compete with the Apple iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab?

Dell Streak 7, the latest tablet computer from Dell, is being positioned as a rival to the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. But does the Streak 7 hold up?

Dell Streak 7 – a 4G successor of sorts to the original Dell Streak – makes its debut this week on the T-Mobile network, and Dell is positioning the device as a rival to the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. So how does the Dell Streak 7 stack up? Well, the thing is certainly cheaper than the Tab or the iPad – T-Mobile is pricing the Streak 7 at only $200, with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.

By comparison, the T-Mobile edition of the Galaxy Tab will set you back at least $250. And the Streak 7 – on paper – sounds like a pretty powerful machine, from the Android 2.2 operating system, to the 4G capability, to the 16 GB of internal storage, and the 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. But according to Seth Weintraub of Fortune, who was one of the first to review the Streak 7, Dell's newest tablet isn't quite up to snuff.

Among the problems, according to Weintraub: the "washed out" colors of the "inferior" screen, and a finicky touch screen. " 'Good, not great' is kind of the theme here and the battery is no exception," he writes. "While my Tab would last about 8 hours of significant use (and even more since the 3G was turned off), the Dell tablet is closer to 5-6 hours depending on use."

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Still, Weintraub finds plenty to like about the Dell Streak. "The antenna was amazing," he writes. "I got 4G in my home for the first time on T-Mobile and in places where I can't with other 4G T-Mobile devices, like the G2 or the MyTouch 4G. The network was fast and reliable and I rarely dropped down to 3G or EDGE at all in and around New York City. Download speeds felt very Wifi-ish on 4G."

When the original Dell Streak debuted on AT&T Back in August, reviewers worried that consumers would be turned off by the device's "tweener" status. (Unlike the Dell Streak 7, the first Dell Streak had only a 5-inch screen, which meant the machine fell somewhere between phone and tablet in terms of size.) The Streak 7 is certainly more of a tablet. But will consumers be willing to ditch their iPad or Galaxy Tab to get a Streak?

Let us know in the comments below.

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