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Hands-On With Dell's Streak Android Device

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the 5-inch-abs dept.

Handhelds 167

adeelarshad82 writes "Dell Streak, the Android-based 5-inch tablet (which has also been called out as a smartphone) is set to ship starting in July, both from a US carrier and direct on Dell.com for $500. Even though Dell has not disclosed the name of the carrier, some experts believe that it will be AT&T because the Streak is a 3G GSM 850/1900 device and AT&T is the only major US carrier that supports those frequency bands. According to a hands-on, Streak is a sharp-looking device with a black front and candy-apple red back that unfortunately shows fingerprints easily. On the upside, Streak's curved body is comfortable to hold. Streak runs a customized version of Android 1.6, but Android aficionados will have to get used to the unusual button layout. Its 800x480-pixel screen makes images look tight, and web pages will benefit from the horizontal resolution. The 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the same as in the HTC Incredible and Sprint EVO 4G, functions snappily. There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back, a VGA camera for video calling on the front, and a MicroSD memory card slot under the back cover."

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167 comments

This article is boss (4, Funny)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465474)

Can someone please quantify "sharp" for me?

Re:This article is boss (4, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465546)

Y'know sharp like the edges of a Archos MP3 brick when the ipod came out. Holding one of these huge things to your head to talk will have everyone laughing like it was an episode of Bean. This will get the brown Zune prize for 2010.

Re:This article is boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466132)

Please buy at least 2 of these, as I own Dell stock.

Thank you.

BP GOATSE (-1, Offtopic)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466472)

It's Funny!
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/06/04/bpgoatse.jpg [boingboing.net]

Laugh!

Re:BP GOATSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466788)

Man, you must be a dickhead.

Anyway, peeps complain that 1024x600 netbook screen is too small for web page. How can justify 800 by 480? Stop insanity now!

Y

Re:BP GOATSE (-1, Troll)

segin (883667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467314)

You must be a shithead Indian fucker who can't speak English worth a shit.

Seriously, now, grow up.

Re:This article is boss (1)

segin (883667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467300)

Yes, and Michael Dell is considering privatizing the company.

So, Mr. Stockholder, you better hope he doesn't do it. That means the end of your stock.

Re:This article is boss (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465570)

Huge iPhone like device. Not something you want to hold up to your ear, bluetooth recommended just to hold down the Geek-factor.

http://www.androidcentral.com/dell-streak-coming-att-later-summer [androidcentral.com]

Speculation about carrier based on the frequencies is at best guesswork, because new radios can be swapped into the design very easily. Most radio chipset manufacturers can give you a radio with the same pin-outs and die size for any flavor of cell system you want to talk to, and the programming interfaces are all standardized as well.

It could be on sprint tomorrow if they wanted.

Re:This article is boss (3, Funny)

subspacemsg (593356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465680)

Huge iPhone like device. Not something you want to hold up to your ear, bluetooth recommended just to hold down the Geek-factor.

http://www.androidcentral.com/dell-streak-coming-att-later-summer [androidcentral.com]

Speculation about carrier based on the frequencies is at best guesswork, because new radios can be swapped into the design very easily. Most radio chipset manufacturers can give you a radio with the same pin-outs and die size for any flavor of cell system you want to talk to, and the programming interfaces are all standardized as well.

It could be on sprint tomorrow if they wanted.

Bluetooth is holding down the Geek factor? lol

Re:This article is boss (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466920)

Bluetooth is holding down the Geek factor? lol

Sadly, bluetooth is becoming commonplace. Hands free driving laws pretty much mandate the technology. Maybe not in rural Iowa, but common enough everywhere else.

Nobody is going to want to hold a slab the size of this phone to their head for very long.

Re:This article is boss (2, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466258)

Sure, it's as sharp as the images are tight

I think Michael Bolton from Office Space wrote this review.

Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465532)

Come on - how can anyone sell an Android 1.6 device with a straight face in this day and age?

No wonder it's going to AT&T. AT&T hates Android and so far has only carried the worst and most crippled Android devices on the market.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (1)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466030)

It does seem strange it's only got 1.6 on it. Maybe it'll be upgraded later but the lack of a keyboard is a deal breaker for me.
I really wish phone makers would think more about functionality rather then appearances.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (1, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466282)

AT&T hates Android

You trollin' foo. ATT and Google, the two most infamous data-mining corporations, hate each other like Bush hates rich Arabs.

Being in a relationship, [marketobservation.com] after all, means never having to say you're Saudi.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466352)

ATT and Google, the two most infamous data-mining corporations

You know, I don't understand the FUD about Google just like I don't understand the way people have been so up in arms about Facebook lately. Maybe it's because I have sense enough to keep private stuff, you know, private. As in, don't post your dirty laundry on the 'net. I know, perish the thought, right? And as for the rest of it, I rather like having access to a search engine that seems to have as its goal to trawl every bit of available information in the world. Seems like a pretty cool resource to me. And all of the what if this and what if that is just fear mongering because the minute Google does something nefarious with people's data, people stop using them and they go bye bye. They'd be insane to abuse people with that loaded gun to their heads.

I personally like Google, I like the things they do and I hope they keep doing them.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (1)

Technomancer (51963) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466370)

Yeah, somehow I fail to be excited with it.
But, if you look at all these Android tablet devices that begin to be available right now, they are Android 1.5 or 1.6.
How pathetic.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466502)

Well, when you have 5 releases in less than a year, you can't really expect new devices to be using the latest version. The latest version of Android was released about two weeks ago. How many months did it take after Windows Vista was released before most new computers were shipping with it included? And that's a minor change. I mean it's big, but any PC they were making to run XP could run Vista too. Android's not so simple.

While it is true that 2.0 was only released a month after 1.6, I would imagine they were developing for 1.5 and managed to shift to 1.6 fairly easily. But 2.0 is a much bigger update, and it'll probably take time to make it work on a new device. It'll get there, though they'll probably skip straight to 2.2 I would imagine.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466804)

How many months did it take after Windows Vista was released before most new computers were shipping with it included?

That is actually a negative number, at least -6 months if not less. MS created those infamous "Vista Ready" and "Vista Capable" classifications, and you could buy a PC with XP and with a free upgrade certificate. I got a couple of those myself, and redeemed them. MS may not know how to write good software, but they sure know how to sell what they write.

Well, when you have 5 releases in less than a year, you can't really expect new devices to be using the latest version.

I guess "Release early, release often" is not a proper strategy here. I suspect Google managers are simply not mature enough (too young, in other words) to understand the business needs and do what is right.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (3, Insightful)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466890)

I guess "Release early, release often" is not a proper strategy here. I suspect Google managers are simply not mature enough (too young, in other words) to understand the business needs and do what is right.

I disagree. I mean in a year or two I would imagine that development will naturally slow down a bit. But their options right now are to either release frequently and have some fragmentation, or release rarely and have people stuck on very old releases that don't have the features they want. Remember all the complaints about how long it took Apple to get MMS on the iPhone? Besides, as far as Google is concerned, implementing the latest version isn't really their problem.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (5, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466964)

Releasing a product in commercial space requires stability. Sure, you can't have everything in the release 1.0, but every release must be a solid product. If you look back, each DOS release was fine; most Windows releases were OK (as Windows goes,) and IIRC even OS/2 releases were reasonably mature.

The major point here is to avoid the upgrade treadmill. I can understand frequent upgrades if they are seamless. But in Android they are not. Each OEM has to customize a base Android system to their hardware, and a handheld thing can have 10-20 different hardware items to worry about - the CPU itself, the display controller, the touch controller, the battery charge controller, WiFi, Ethernet, BT, compass, GPS... so it's a lot of work to the OEM to upgrade from 1.x to 1.(x+1). If you make them do it often they just say "stuff it, we won't be upgrading anything" and then you are stuck. In my work I occasionally have to upgrade frameworks. Qt offers a great example, especially when 3.x to 4.x transition changed *everything* and required rewrite of major pieces of code. Such an upgrade is often out of consideration even - the library pieces then get checked in along with your sources, and that's that.

So IMO regardless of what Google wants to do, what they are doing is not working. Google people just don't understand what their releases are doing to the industry. Imagine yourself an OEM that plans a gizmo. If you pick Android you start development one day and never end, until the product is EOLed. That is hardly a winning strategy. If I were such an OEM I'd rather pick a no-name OS that at least allows me to build a product and let it be. If my product doesn't report its OS version I'm OK. If my product reports that it's Android x.y then it's already bad news - there is already a newer release by Google, and who will buy my gizmo then? Business-wise, Google is on a losing path here.

Besides, as far as Google is concerned, implementing the latest version isn't really their problem.

I'm afraid you are right and Googlers indeed harbor that foolish idea. But that very fact *is* their problem. They have enough cash to play ostrich for a few years, but the reality couldn't care less about what Google thinks. Reality deals with things that exist.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (4, Interesting)

beguyld (732494) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467308)

Very good summary.

Quite likely the issue is that Google is a web company, and in that world new software is almost continuously rolled out.

So the decision makers don't have any person real-world experience with commercial devices containing firmware; which is very difficult to upgrade once it leaves the factory. (at least major version changes, for the reason you noted)

This actually makes me wonder if Meego will be a sleeper. Nokia IS a phone company, so they understand that world. Trolltech has been playing with real world customers in the embedded world for a long time.

Intel is in a different world, but I expect they are providing more funding than SW development. They will have decision making clout. But Intel is a hardware company, run by hardware engineers. And those guys think that once something goes out the door it's frozen forever. Very different then the Google web-based, "let's try this for a few hours in Ohio, and we can always roll it back if it doesn't work" way of thinking.

It's not so much about "thinking" but about one's own decades of personal experience, which affects how we see the world and what decisions we'll tend to make.

There are of course many factors which go into mass market acceptance, so I would not want to make any bets just yet about a dominant phone/tablet OS 5 years from now. But it will be interesting to watch.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (5, Interesting)

Talez (468021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466510)

This is the problem with trying to faux-innovate by creating an "experience".

For starters, Dell is shit at it. Second of all, you spend so long tailoring it to the firmware version you started it on that it's now obsolete and the default experience is a million times better anyway.

IMHO Dell needs to differentiate themselves in two ways:

1) By a "build your own smartphone" model using a couple of different form factors (tablet, slider, flip) with commodity snap in parts that are user customizable (screen tech/screen size/flash space/CPU+GPU combo/camera) that would allow them to deliver any phone in any segment at any price point.
2) Keeping up with the latest version of Android and providing the latest default Android experience as soon as possible. Make a generic firmware, stuff it with all the drivers you might need for all of the hardware used in the different combinations and release it quick. Sell on volume, sell on having the latest and greatest Android features available to customers a week after the general release and laugh at HTC promising firmware updates at some undetermined point in the future.

If you give people what they want and quickly you won't have to differentiate yourself with all of this experience wank. You can just sell them whatever they want and sell them by the truckload because you're DELL. When people just want a laptop they jump on Dell's website, price one up, it's cheap as chips and they buy it. Just do the same damn thing with smartphones already.

Re:Android 1.6? Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466830)

Heres the link to the dell blog page for it: http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/b/direct2dell/archive/2010/05/25/dell-streak-the-versatile-5-inch-android-tablet.aspx

They do go onto say that they will make the Android 2.2 available on the device as an OTA update later on in the year. Not sure how they are going to pull it off from Android 1.6

some experts *believe* that it will be AT&T... (3, Insightful)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465566)

... while this "expert" have even seen a SIM card with AT&T logo on one of the photos in slideshow! :)

Paul B.

Re:some experts *believe* that it will be AT&T (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465660)

No Verizon - no buy.

Re:some experts *believe* that it will be AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466230)

Verizon - No Buy.

fixed it for you.

Re:some experts *believe* that it will be AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466064)

That and Engadget broke the news from the Dell CEO last month...

Bad Form Factor (5, Insightful)

HandleMyBidness (848635) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465646)

The picture in that article makes me think this is the exact wrong size for every use it's designed for, especially as a phone.

Re:Bad Form Factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465980)

I'll reply to you since you made a reasonable-sounding assessment:

What would people recommend for the current best option for either a smart phone or tablet that's not from Apple? It doesn't have to be Android, but it does have to have a strong processor and be available for development with a good set of dev tools. I've come to realize that I'm probably not going to replace my iPhone with another one; my tendency is to think that vertical integration gives more reliable support and integration, and so my first instinct is to go with a Nexus One. Any ideas on how long until they'll revise/upgrade the hardware?

Also, the apps I write (originally for iPod Touch/iPhone, but iPad makes a much better GUI) are very resource-intensive soft real-time apps. I'm quite leery of Android because of this; are there people hacking Android phones to run C? Assembler? Any word on vector processing, without doing it in a hacky way using OpenGL? (I haven't heard of that for Android, but I've heard of people hacking it on iPhones.) If it wasn't for Java, I'd switch over in a second. It's a little unusual, because in almost every other circumstance I defend Java's performance, but in this one particular case it's just not a good fit.

Re:Bad Form Factor (5, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466160)

You can run C code with the NDK.

Of course, when people talk about Android fragmentation, they don't know it, but they're really talking about the NDK. If you stick to Java your program is fairly easy to keep working across versions. If you use the NDK, it's graphics programming in the late '90s again with a ton of different GPUs and odd CPU quirks to deal with.

Re:Bad Form Factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466304)

Ah, very cool. Thanks. I'm just skimming over their page on it, but I'm not seeing event handling (e.g., touches) in there. Is it possible to write the entire app using the NDK? It sounds like they require you use Java to glue it all together, but with OpenGL for graphics and C for computation and file handling (that's possible?) there'd only be a little glue necessary.

Also, would you happen to know if there's a lower-level -- but hopefully not driver-level -- access to audio than the Java SDK provides? I'm used to interacting with audio systems based on packets of frames, and being able to record into memory before writing it to disk, and that doesn't seem possible -- especially on the recording side of things -- in the Java SDK.

Re:Bad Form Factor (2, Interesting)

beguyld (732494) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467380)

So in other words, Android is a commercial success, but is poorly designed?

I've been programming embedded devices (including Linux systems using OpenEmbedded, etc), desktop systems from PCI drivers to GUIs for 20 years, so I understand the issues, but I haven't studied the Android architecture yet.

So I don't understand why this is such an issue. Sounds worse than a standard Linux distribution. Which again makes me wonder if Meego has a better chance long term because a lot of the KDE/Qt developers are involved. KDE just works on various size monitors, right?

Just seems like Android is not so well designed, and rushed out by a server software company, assuming that Java is the answer to everything.

I say that partially tongue in cheek, as I know Google uses a lot of other languages. Though they are fundamentally a server software company, not an embedded software company; which is bound to affect their gut instincts on architecture.

Almost every developer I talk to says they would like to do Android development, as they are interested in the concept of programming for an open phone, but they aren't interested in using Java to do it. Pretty much the way I feel. I still might, but I'd rather just use Qt in C++, so I'm looking forward to seeing how Meego does in the future.

Which partly asks the question: Can Intel get back market share in the phone/tablet market from the ARM hordes? I suspect the answer is that they have a chance for tablets, though phones will be more challenging. Maybe impossible with an x86 architecture, given the small batteries. But who knows...

Re:Bad Form Factor (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465998)

Indeed. It reminds me of how I came to hate the Newton for its size (among other reason): too big to put in your pocket, too small to serve as a serious device for reading or writing.

I own an HTC Hero (named "Dudley"; anybody get the joke?) with a 3.2" screen. For me, that's the perfect size — any bigger or smaller and it's a literal pain to use. (My left hand spasms if I even think about some of the other phones I've used.) If they're going to make a device bigger, it needs to be a lot bigger, so that there's enough screen real-estate for serious business.

Unfortunately, you can't specify an arbitrary size for an LCD panel: you have to go with whatever the manufacturers find it worthwhile to set up production lines for. (That's why monitor makers switched to landscape layout at the same time as the switch to digital mandated it for TVs.) Maybe if thousands of people went to the window and yelled "I'm as mad as hell, and I want an 8x8 LCD!"

Re:Bad Form Factor (1)

lazyDog86 (1191443) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466044)

Things are now drifting to the converse of the SNL bit from the mid-90s where they had cell phones the size of pencil erasers to the status symbol being ever bigger phones. Come to think of it, remember the boom boxes in the '80s? (yes, yes, I'm very old. I know.) Those things were huge!

Maybe we'll get back to that and trendsetters will start carrying there MP3 player/cell phone/tabletbox-computer around on their shoulders for the world to see

You heard it here first!

Re:Bad Form Factor (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466150)

The obvious way to improve it would be to move the microphone and speaker to the side, and maybe change the shape to be more like a taco and less like a phone book.

Side Talkin' never went out of style.

Re:Bad Form Factor (2, Funny)

MechaShiva (872964) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466992)

Be fair. It's less bulky than most tissue boxes so that's got to count for something, right?

Just what we need (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465666)

A phone with a pathetic screen resolution on a pathetic carrier with a dog-old version of Android.

I mean, I want an Android tablet, but I'm simply not settling for this.

Re:Just what we need (3, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465678)

There is no such thing as an Android Tablet. Google doesn't officially make an OS for tablets yet, they're holding off on ChromeOS for that. These are just hackjobs by manufacturers trying to get in on the iPad hype.

Re:Just what we need (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465702)

> There is no such thing as an Android Tablet. Google doesn't officially make an OS for tablets yet,

If someone puts Android on a tablet then at that point you can say that Google officially makes an OS for tablets. What Google intends to do, or where it expects an OS to run is neither here nor there.

Re:Just what we need (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467204)

No, because Google doesn't support it. Hence why the first wave of these devices are basically over sized phones, that's the only way Google will let them access the Android Market and the Google Apps.

Re:Just what we need (2, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466054)

You've got it completely backwards. Google has said on numerous occasions that ChromeOS is for netbooks. They are pushing Android as their tablet OS.

Re:Just what we need (2, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466554)

What's the difference between a tablet and a netbook apart from a physical keyboard? Why do they need completely different operating systems?

Never having used either of these OSs, my impression of Android is pretty favourable - it's like a open iPhone OS - whereas my impression of Chrome is that it's some ridiculous attempt to enable a vision of cloud computing (using Google's services) and pushing that service-as-a-platform idea down people's throats, than having a good operating system that is principally about doing what people want their device to do and doing it well.

Re:Just what we need (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466932)

Chrome is about always on tracking for the push of personalised advertising. You will always be leaking persistent, uniquely identifiable data back to google from cookies down to hardware.
Unlike MS, your data might be safer over time, unlike Apple you can have more flexibility in what you code.

Re:Just what we need (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467194)

Are they? I have yet to see any Tablets that aren't an oversized phone phone(AKA the Streak) which can access the Android market.

Re:Just what we need (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465938)

I'm waiting for an android tablet, and this is just about the size I want. but you're right, it needs to be at least 2.1, preferably froyo. no way will I buy it with less.

Re:Just what we need (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466138)

I heard it's going to get a 2.2 upgrade when that comes out. Which won't be long, so probably worth the wait rather than getting it with 1.6.

Re:Just what we need (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466216)

yeah, I would definitely wait before it actually has 2.2 installed before actually pulling the trigger. promises alone aren't enough for me to spend $500 on any device.

no physical keyboard (3, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466396)

If you want a device that size, chances are you'll also what the physical keyboard, well otherwise your probably writing kanji.

I'm also curious why people are attracted to Android. I've found that my N900 definitely has limitations, especially no printing. Yeah, I could always install cups and ghostscript just like Linux, but I'd need to micromanage the ghostscript driver installation, well plus the apps don't offer print buttons. How does printing work on Android?

I'm also not terribly happy with x11vnc on the N900. It'd rock if my phone's screen would just pop up on my desktop, but x11vnc is unbearably slow over wifi, making only usb networking pleasent for sharing screens. I'm obviously very happy the N900 has pdflatex svn, git, and rsync, but I've only actually used rsync. Android must have an rsync implementation, but what about svn and git?

Afaik, the N900's email program also lacks gpg integration. :(

Re:Just what we need (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466076)

It's too large for a phone, but too small for a tablet. I don't know what niche it's supposed to take, because I don't see any I'd want to use it in.

Given that there are much more compelling Android offerings both in phone and in tablet space, I don't see why anyone would bother.

Re:Just what we need (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466374)

It's too large for a phone, but too small for a tablet.

Right, because the fact that there have been Internet Tablets [wikipedia.org] with a similar size and form for as long as the iPhone has been on the market doesn't matter? If it doesn't have the Apple logo on it, it doesn't exist? Only Apple is allowed to define "Tablet"? I have no idea what you're basing your opinion on, but it doesn't seem to match the facts.

On the other hand, I totally agree that this doesn't seem to stand out from the other Android and Maemo systems available, and I'm not sure why anyone would bother.

Re:Just what we need (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466898)

iPad sucks (and I always said that much). But its size is one of the few things that are right about it. Apple logo has nothing to do with it.

Why Android? (2, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466318)

An N900 running Maemo is way more fun.. and MeeGo will be more fun in the future.

In fact, I see tremendous value in pushing the screen real-estate for phones, sure some people won't buy the bigger phone, but you might hit that optimal size for many people.

That said, you'll never break into a larger screen size using only a virtual keyboard. Anyone who'll buy the oversized phone will require the real keyboard for more computer like functionality, like writing emails.

Re:Just what we need (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466918)

But you might be able to write your own code for it, play your own music on it, not have your literature deleted/banned/rejected ect.
Dell might just give you something MS, Apple and Amazon never will, a really computer in a small form factor at a fair price.
Buy an unlocked unit and sign up for any provider you like, if you have coverage.
Make your own video clips, watch movies, read text, make calls, surf the web with expected functionality.
Dell might just put the fun back into handheld computing again over time.

Different ways to look at things (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465712)

What are the earmarks of a true tablet? Is it size? I think a 5-inch screen is too small to be called a tablet. It's large enough to watch movies and fill the Android interface with app icons, but you still have to type with your thumbs. In my opinion, tablets are supposed to fill in for laptops when you don't want the bulk of a screen and physical keyboard. The iPad fits that model.

I look at it another way: The iPad is so big that it doesn't fit in my pocket, so I need to carry it in a case, so I may as well carry a laptop and get a proper keyboard and the myriad of missing iPad features that we've all been over. And I still have to carry a phone, too.

I don't know about the Streak yet, but it does seem to me that it would still be pocket-sized and would give me a larger screen than my phone. For someone who needs a phone, but uses it more for texting and surfing, it could be very suitable.

Re:Different ways to look at things (2, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465888)

According to the video in this article [cnet.com] Dell executive Ron Garriques says that fitting it into a pocket was "really the whole design point".

May as well... (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465940)

The iPad is so big that it doesn't fit in my pocket, so I need to carry it in a case, so I may as well carry a laptop

That's where you lost me.

Because a laptop doesn't need a case. It needs a bags, with accessories and so on.

The iPad has long enough battery life you don't need to pack power cords "just in case", and really have nothing else to bring with it. It's still much more portable than a laptop and easier to drag around an office or into meetings.

Re:May as well... (2, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466074)

There are a few 10" netBooks with 10 hour battery life. I have a 9" Acer with an 8+ hour life. I carry it in a sleeve to meetings, etc, for notes.

Re:May as well... (2, Insightful)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466522)

Define "10 hour battery life" for me-- is that claimed, or based on "moderate usage", or? And how moderate is moderate, if that's it?

Because I've never seen a laptop which got anywhere near the claimed battery life with what I consider "moderate" usage... and most die out from 2 to 4 hours of continual usage. Let alone if you're doing something intense, i.e. watching a video. I may be wrong: I've never used a netbook, and maybe these netbook makers finally managed (since I stopped using laptops a few years ago) to get battery life to actually useful levels.

The iPad's 10 hour battery life is 10 full hours of real continual usage. Really, its like 11 hours of real work if you aren't on the 3G the whole time and aren't streaming over WIFI, but about 10 even if you are. And about 9 if you're on the 3G. Even if you're spending all that time doing intense stuff, like watching a video. Or playing games.

It does make a difference in the usability of the device.

Re:May as well... (1, Interesting)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466116)

Because a laptop doesn't need a case. It needs a bags, with accessories and so on. The iPad has long enough battery life you don't need to pack power cords "just in case", and really have nothing else to bring with it. It's still much more portable than a laptop and easier to drag around an office or into meetings.

Bag, case, whatever. Let's abstract this down to what the problem is: The iPad means I still have to use a hand to carry it, whether holding it, having it under my arm, in a bag, case, whatever. It's the same problem in that sense as a laptop.

The differences are then down to weight. I can carry my laptop just fine. In the bag. With a power charger. So weight isn't a problem.

Re:May as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466616)

Plus the laptop bag has a shoulder-strap, so I keep both hands free!

Re:May as well... (2, Informative)

dave562 (969951) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466686)

And further add to the discussion, as long as it requires having some sort of "bag" that bag probably has room for other common things that people carry around like writing implements, paper, books, etc. Making the statement that you don't need a case for an iPad is kind of like saying you don't need a briefcase for your papers. Sure, you could walk around with a couple of file folders tucked under your arm, but a briefcase is a lot more convenient. (If you're some sort of hipster who is morally opposed to the idea of a briefcase and the connotation it has with "the man", feel free to substitute messenger bag, or other metro-sexual approved fashion accessory.)

Re:May as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32467166)

So before you leave your office to go to a meeting in the same building you put your laptop in a shoulder bag? Picking up an iPad is much easier.

Re:May as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32467192)

I've got a small laptop (eeePC 1005ha) that I use every day while commuting by bus, taking a break at a coffee shop etc. It's about the size of an iPad but has a usable keyboard (heck, I write actual code on it)! I haven't carried any accessories for it in months. It has 8+ hours of battery life, so I only need to charge it once every 2-3 days. The charger lives at my office, I don't even bother taking it home for the weekend. It's similar to having a cell phone in the sense that I don't even think about taking my phone charger with me everywhere I go.

Android 1.6? (1)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465722)

Come on Dell, Really?
They are going to have to update that or few will be interested in it.

Re:Android 1.6? (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465768)

I think it's going to get an upgrade when 2.2 comes out. Personally, I'd wait for that to happen before rushing out.

They called it the streak? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465794)

Hello, everyone, this is your action news reporter with all the news that is news across the nation, on the scene at the supermarket. There seems to have been some disturbance here. Pardon me, sir, did you see what happened?

Yeah, I did. I's standin' overe there by the tomaters, and here he come, running through the pole beans, through the fruits and vegetables,nekkid as a jay bird. And I hollered over t' Ethel, I said, "Don't look, Ethel!" But it's too late, she'd already been incensed.

Here he comes, Boogity, Boogity There he goes, Boogity, Boogity And he ain't wearin' no clothes.

Oh, yes, they call him the Streak Boogity, Boogity Fastest thing on two feet
Boogity, Boogity He's just as proud as he can be Of his anatomy He goin' give us a peek

Oh, yes, they call him the Streak Look at that, look at tha
He likes to show off his physique Look at that, look at that
If there's an audience to be found He'll be streakin' around
Invitin' public critique

This is your action news reporter once again, and we're here at the gas station. Pardon me, sir, did you see what happened?

Yeah, I did. I's just in here gettin my car checked, he just appeared out of the traffic. Come streakin' around the grease rack there, didn't have nothin' on but a smile. I looked in there, and Ethel was gettin' her a cold drink. I hollered, "Don't look, Ethel!" But it was too late. She'd already been mooned. Flashed her right there in front of the shock absorbers.

He ain't crude, Boogity, Boogity He ain't lewd, Boogity, Boogity
He's just in the mood to run in th e nude

Oh, yes, they call him the Streak Boogity, Boogity
He likes to turn the other cheek Boogity, Boogity
He's always makin' the news Wearin' just his tennis shoes
Guess you could call him unique

Once again, your action news reporter in the booth at the gym, covering the disturbance at the basketball playoff. Pardon me, sir, did you see what happened?

Yeah, I did. Half time, I's just goin' down thar to get Ethel a snow cone. And here he come, right out of the cheap seats, dribbling, right down the middle of the court. Didn't have on nothing but his PF's. Made a hook shot and got out through the concessions stand. I hollered up at Ethel, I said, "Don't look, Ethel!" But it was too late. She'd
already got a free shot. Grandstandin', right there in front of the home team.

Tablet or Phone? (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465808)

"The Dell Streak, however, represents the beginnings of a very slippery slope. Where does a phone end and a tablet begin?"

What difference does it make?

Re:Tablet or Phone? (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466000)

I bought a Nokia N900 the other day, mostly the same specifications but probably a tad more open than Android. I don't think it's a slippery slope but you are right about the blurred distinction. It's not really a phone, not a laptop, not a tablet, not a PDA... I think maybe it's all of them, only a lot smaller.

Re:Tablet or Phone? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466974)

Will it fit in your average persons pocket :)
If you need a vest, backpack or carry bag its a tablet and might just want to get a real netbook/laptop.

Comparison with the EVO (4, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32465944)

Just got the EVO today, and while it isn't as large as the Dell Streak, it is significantly larger than most smartphones in its class. One of the things I noticed was that although it's a joy to type on, it isn't so nice holding it up to your ear. It feels bulky holding it up against your head - however I can still use a headset and keep the device in my pocket. The significantly larger size of Dell means that a.) I wont be able to keep it up to my head without it feeling awkward, and b.) I wont be able to keep it in my pocket and use a headset. I can't see a reason to want a device of this size. It's at the perfectly wrong size, in fact.

Re:Comparison with the EVO (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466250)

It's a good size for me because I spend very little time talking on the phone. I don't mind feeling awkward for a couple minutes when I actually would have to call someone. most of the time I browse and text/IM, and this will allow me to do so while still able to fit in my pocket. unlike that sony netbook...

5 inch phone ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32465950)

Anyone tried to use the n800/n810 as a phone?

If you like that, try using an iPad as giant phone.

What's the correct form factor for this niche? (4, Insightful)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466090)

I've seen a few devices of this size (the Archos 7 comes to mind; and I've seen them on the internet, not in person, mind you) and I think it's interesting to watch the industry try to figure out the correct form factor for this new niche that is emerging. Obviously it is going to be something larger than a cellphone and smaller than a laptop -- but what, exactly?

This Dell Streak, I think, is the exact wrong size. It's quite a bit larger than a phone, and it doesn't look like something that you want to carry around all day in your pant pocket. One of the reason cellphones have become so popular is because they are so small (and light-weight). Remember that for several years, the major thing about cellphones is that they were getting smaller and smaller? Compare a phone from, say, 2000, with a phone from today. Why would anyone want to reverse direction on that? It's too large for a phone.

On the opposite end, it looks too small to do any actual work. A netbook-sized screen is good for emails and browsing, but it's not very useful for doing serious business. And this thing is much smaller than a netbook. I don't think that's the aim, of course -- I think it's more aimed to the niche that the iPod targets; gaming, "always-on" style internet access, etc.. But I have to wonder if the device is too small for these things, as well. I think it might very well be.

But the overwhelming thing we seem to be seeing is that there are plethora of devices being released, each being in some significant way different from the next; companies are trying to find out what consumers want in a device like this. Maybe Apple has proven it with the iPad, given its popularity; they did that with the iPod, and now the market is full of MP3 players which are essentially iPod clones. But remember when MP3 players were first coming to market, there were many different form factors, many different storage devices (Sony had that thing with the mini CDs, for example), until it became clear what consumers want. The same thing should/will happen here; and I believe it's quite possible it's already happened with the iPad, and anyone making anything substantially different will wind up falling behind.

Re:What's the correct form factor for this niche? (1)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466196)

I like the N810 form factor a lot. I carry mine in a hip pouch -- not in a pocket, admittedly, but I've never liked to carry a phone in my pocket either. The Streak looks slightly too large to me -- it's significantly thinner, but that doesn't really make that much difference.

Nokia obviously thought the N810 was too big since the N900 is smaller, but the smaller size forces compromises in the slide-out keyboard design, besides just making the screen a little harder to read.

I like the slide-out keyboard myself, but the market is moving away from them. Given that, maybe the HTC Evo hits the form factor nail on the head. Will be interesting to see.

Re:What's the correct form factor for this niche? (2, Interesting)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466218)

I completely agree about the slide out keyboard. I had a BB Curve a while ago, and I loved the hard keys. I moved to the BB storm because I desired a touch screen (I feel like a touch screen enables a smartphone to be anything, since it can turn the UI into anything), which was nice, but I greatly missed the hardkeys when typing out a necessarily long email while on the go. I moved to the Palm Pre Plus largely for this feature, and I absolutely love it.

Re:What's the correct form factor for this niche? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466206)

My phone in 2000 was smaller than my Droid. The droid is far better in every way.

The iPad is going to be just one of many tablets much like the iPhone is just one of many smartphones. RIM sells more smartphones than iphone or android and it would not be surprising to see hp do something similar in the tablet segment.

Re:What's the correct form factor for this niche? (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466718)

My phone in 2000 was smaller than my Droid. The droid is far better in every way.

Exactly. If it's just a flip phone, then yes, smaller is better. However, now that we have smartphones (which are really just pocket computers that also are capable of making phone calls) with touch screens, it's necessary and desirable to have a larger phone so that you have a larger screen to make it easier to select what you want through the touch interface and to make it easier to read on without excessive scrolling.

The correct size (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466708)

The correct size is "all sizes". That way if you need one in a particular size, there is one for it. Your question is like asking the right number of blades for a razor, the ideal horsepower for a truck. This is wrong thinking entirely.

One question before I run out and buy it (3, Funny)

bedouin (248624) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466174)

Can I sync it with my Dell DJ?

Re:One question before I run out and buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466460)

Of course you can! All it takes is a serial cable, and a floppy with drivers for it.

Ok then (3, Insightful)

Boarder2 (185337) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466338)

Looks ugly.
Old customized version of Android. (have to wait for Dell to update it)
Too big to comfortably fit in your pocket.
Too small to use for an extended period of time.

And people wonder why Apple is doing well.

Streak? (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466340)

Streak is a sharp-looking device with a black front and candy-apple red back that unfortunately shows fingerprints easily.

Well at least it's name is somewhat descriptive.

Open Source fails again! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466482)

epic fail. fill up my pockets you bitches.

love,

steve jobs

*customized android version* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32466740)

All i need to know. Move along folks... nothing to see here.

4.8" screen is perfect for me (1)

dara (119068) | more than 3 years ago | (#32466896)

I have an iPhone now (after bailing on my G1 after a month) and I'm thinking of this type of large display phone when my contract is up this December. After using a 3.5" 3x2 screen, I can appreciate wanting a much larger one. Some have said the Dell is too big - it's too small to do real work on, but yet too big to fit comfortably in your pocket (or up to your head if you don't have bluetooth handy). This may be true, but the larger form factor (say a screen at least 4.7" - the Dell Streak was often quoted to have 4.8", but O2's sheet (http://www.o2.co.uk/dellstreak/dellstreakspec) says 5", anybody know the real answer? also, a 800x480 screen is not 16x9 unless the pixels are not square - is that the case?) does have its advantages when using onscreen keyboards or viewing maps, photos, or web content. My eyes just can't focus much closer than 10" anymore, so I appreciate a good angle of view at that distance. In the future, I hope these size devices can pump up the resolution - by the time you get to 4.7 to 5", it really is meaningful to go all the way to 720p (1280x720). The video camera of these devices will capture at that resolution and of course a lot of youtube content at 720p is available.

The things that disappointment me on this phone are a) there is too much margin from the screen to the edge,b) it's kind of heavy, and c) Android 1.6. Assuming it is a 5", square pixel, 800x480 screen with case dimensions 153x79 mm, that results in borders of 11.5 mm on the sides and 27 mm top and bottom. My iPhone has 6 and 21 mm and I want to see this dropped to 5 and 12-15 (depending on how much of a constraint the mic and speaker are). I want a big screen, but I still want to get a slim profile in my pocket. It's nice they got the thickness down to 10 mm, but I'd rather take a 1 or 2 mm hit on thickness to shrink the other two dimensions. I suppose the big device with Gorilla glass had to weigh that much, but holding 220 g in my pocket might take some getting used to. Finally, the choice of a modded 1.6 OS is ridiculous. Just give me the stock Android already. I wish Google would market the advantages of using a standard stock OS (like easier updating) and more of the manufacturers would offer stock models. I'm not interested in any of modifications (regardless of the success HTC has supposedly had), the whole point of Android for me was to have companies differentiate themselves on hardware (like a PC), not on software.

I hope they are many 4.7"+ devices available by the end of the year.

FAIL (2, Insightful)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467034)

Hate to do this, but:
1. Too big to be a good phone, too small and slow to be anything else.
2. Resolution is no good for a "tablet."
3. AT&T blows.
4. Many people still hate touch-screen keyboards.
5. Android 1.6. Are you serious? No, really. You are serious? Oh. Wow. And it's a non-standard version. M'kay.

Haven't seen one yet, don't need to. The Streak will be another big brown streak for AT&T and Dell. FAIL

Cool. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467070)

AT&T junk tends to work on Tmobile, so here's hoping. I am a big fan of physical keyboards, but I can live with a shitty onscreen keyboard if it's on a 5" screen. The fact that it supports voice over traditional cellphone networks is a plus too, for when I absolutely have to make or receive a phone call. I'm guessing Skype service is in the cards for this one. I think a 5.5" screen would have been better but it's a great start. $500 might be a little steep though, Dell. Drop it down to $350 or $400 and now we're talking. LCDs are cheap as hell and it's just a traditional android phone inside, there's no reason to jack the price up to iPad prices without an iPad OS to go along with it.

Not a tablet, what bozos (1)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#32467316)

If you can hold the whole thing in one hand and fit it in a shirt pocket and it has a speaker at top and mic at bottom that is a phone. Sheesh.

The stupidest part of them calling it a tablet is at $500 it costs more than an iPad, which has a bigger screen, more storage, glass and aluminum instead of plastic, twice or more bettery life, and much more sophisticated software, including native C apps. Why invite that comparison? If you just call it a phone you see its reason for being is for those who want a big nerdy phone.

Android v1.6 ... classic!

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