Dell officially announced what we already knew -- the Dell Streak 5 inch tablet is coming this June 2010. But not on the US side of the pond; it will debut in the United Kingdom first. Dell Streak isn't so much a tablet /Apple iPad competitor. Rather, it's more of an intermediary device between a smart phone and a tablet. Here's the specs on Dell's new Google Android device and some implications...

First things first -- the tech specs. It's pretty much what you'd expect: A 5 inch screen (800x480) with Bluetooth, WiFi, Camera (front and back) and 2GB internally to support a huge amount of Android applications. GPS and Google Maps is there, too, with turn-by-turn directions, and there's also the heart of the beast: the 1GHz Snapdragon CPU from Qualcomm. Externally, you can store 32GB on the thing with a micro SD card.

So why no initial love for the USA? Dell says they'll be launching the Streak in the US later this summer. But mobile aficionados in the UK can get their hands on the Streak from cell-provider O2 or The Carphone Warehouse (cell-phone shop), and then eventually, straight from Dell.co.uk. Plans and prices aren't announced yet, but will be coming soon before the launch.

Right now the Streak runs Android 1.6, which is slightly weird, since it's behind the times with Android 2.2. Froyo right around the corner, but Dell says that Flash 10.1 and 2.2 will be coming OTA as an update later in the year, and video-chat will be added as well.

But we're missing one very important question: Who the heck is this device designed for? Well, apparently, Dell says that it's for "people who want to expand their ability to access their digital lives on the go" and for those who want to "realize tomorrow's technology today." Pretentious fluff aside, this blogger suspects that Dell will have a hard time shipping these things.

Here's my reason: If you already own these next-gen Android smartphones (Droid, NexusOne, Incredible, etc...) you're already experiencing a lot of what this 5 Inch 'tablet' has to offer, because the resolution is actually the same. Yes, bigger screen is better and nicer, but you're not going to up the ante on the user experience that much except for video-chat. So here's what I suspect; these tablet-phones will be slow movers, and essentially, really target a niche of people who've been looking to upgrade their older smartphone, and maybe were thinking about a tablet (iPad or otherwise). They may look at the Streak and find it that perfect sweet spot between phone and tablet.

But for a user like myself, with an iPad and a Droid -- this device is redundant for me. The problem for Dell is the saturation of the smartphone market as it is right now.



Lastly, we've got the issue of size. Maybe it won't feel so silly holding it to your face, but does a five inch device like this easily slide into your pocket? It's the first device right of the flip-flop. (Thanks AllTouchTablet.com) So...maybe...depending on what size jeans you wear...

I could be wrong, but I see more promise with Dell's leaked 7 and 10 inch tablets than I do with this hybrid device.

But time, like always, will tell.

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