Dell Streak Tablet to Hit Stores This Week

Dell Streak Tablet

If swirling online rumors are correct, Dell’s new Android-based tablet could be released as early as Wednesday, while some blogs claim the release will be Friday or later.

The tablet is a 5″ computer that will run Android 1.6 upon release, with updates to 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) expected later in the year. It will reportedly run a 1Ghz Snapdragon ARM processor, 5-inch multi-touch WVGA screen (800×480), 5 MP camera with LED flash, a front facing camera for video chat, integrated 3G, Wi-Fi, GSM, and Bluetooth, and a micro SD card expansion slot.

Best of all, the Dell Streak will have access to the growing Android app database (over 38,000 apps) as well as Dell’s own user interface customizations. It will also have Microsoft Exchange connectivity through TouchDown (positioning itself well for business sales), Google Voice support, voice-activated Google Maps integration.

Having only a 5″ screen, many are calling the Dell Streak a “hybrid“, filling the gap between full-size tablets (i.e. iPad and HP WebOS tablet) and hand-held mobile smart phones (like the Android-based Droid).  Others are less optimistic and remind all of us that, like full-size tablets, the Streak concept is nothing new. The Nokia N-Series Internet Tablets and Intel’s failed Mobile Internet Devices (MID) were heavily marketed but not widely adopted.

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Early estimates indicate that the price in the US will be about $299, and the primary (perhaps only) wireless carrier will be AT&T (not confirmed). Whether it will compete with the iPad, find its own niche, or simply fade away in the distant memories of tech gadget websites, remains to be seen.

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I am a librarian with 8 years of experience in information architecture, technology, free and open source software, and electronic publishing. I have written hundreds of articles on topics ranging from information technology to politics. I also write fiction novels, short stories, and fables.

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