Dell Streak: Falling Between Two Stools

Had a chance to spend some time with the Dell Streak this weekend and although its clearly greater than the sum of its parts there are still shortcomings that need addressing to make it a potential bestseller.

Biggest problem that I can see is that it ploughs its own furrow in the tablet market which only serves to expose its smartphone roots. At the moment tablet buyers can either down the iPad root, with its dedicated app choice which effectively hides its own failing as a large screen iPod Touch; or choose to go full Windows tablet and give up some degree of usability in exchange for full desktop application compatibility.

The Streak has neither the customised applications of the iPad nor the ability to run desktop apps of Windows devices and therefore has to rely on applications originally written for smartphones. As such it becomes of no more utility than a smartphone and one that is just too big to use as a phone to boot.

That's not to say that the combination of big screen, decent camera and nicely thought out UI don't make for an appealing device, however until the arrival of Froyo and full Flash compatibility I can't help but feel that Streak owners will always be getting less than the optimum experience from there devices.

Would I buy one over an iPad? On the grounds that it will eventually get Flash and a true 'whole' web experience: yes. The fact that it is small enough to carry with you and could replace a smartphone (if you don't mind looking silly talking into one or using a headset) just about pushes it ahead of Apple's finest...

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