The Dell Streak and the Apple iPad must be two of the most speculated and reviewed devices to hit the tablet market, with the inevitable comparisons and contrasts being drawn. A look at the spec of these two devices, however, highlights that the Dell Streak and the Apple iPad, though targeting the same general consumer space, will probably not appeal to the same users.
Why would you compare the two devices, when you would no sooner compare the users likely to purchase them? The question then isn’t which is best? But which is best for you? The Apple iPad, the Dell Streak or neither?
The Apple iPad
Apple’s iPad is a stylish, polished device in the form of a 9.7″ 1024 x 768 resolution tablet that is surprisingly heavy to hold.
Detractors see only what Apple hasn’t delivered in the iPad-no phone calls, no camera, no multi-tasking, no HDMI Out, no Flash support and the list goes on, and claim it doesn’t replace anything that we already have. But isn’t that the point of a category defining device? It defines its own space in the market.
Instead of focusing on what the Apple iPad isn’t, lets for a moment look at what it is. The Apple iPad is an entertainment powerhouse for content consumers with a touch screen user interface, as yet unsurpassed in another device.
The larger screen provides a great video watching experience, and improves the eBook experience over the iPod Touch and iPhone, while still delivering the music experience of the iPod. Sure, if want to jog and listen to your iPod tunes at the same time, the iPad is not for you. But if you’re more concerned about content consumption than creation, the iPad just might be for you.
Apple revolutionized what we use our Smartphone’s for with the introduction of Apps for the iPhone and if reports of increasing developer activity is any indication, the iPad will soon have its’ own suite of Apps that go much beyond making your phone look like a lighter.
With a couple of sophisticated apps, the Apple iPad could have a great platform for simplified computing on the go. Not all computer users are high end users. For those users looking for a mobile platform for online banking, stock trading, minor document editing and web surfing, the iPad is a winner, with incredible battery life.
Light computing users may now be freed from the need to understand much about their computers. The Apple iPad has the potential to run simple computing tasks as a ‘black box’ with no need to understand the inner workings. Defrags, and a whole host of other pc maintenance required even on simple netbooks may be a thing of the past. And if that’s not a new market space-I’m not sure what is.
The Dell Streak
The advertised specs of prototypes make the Dell Mini 5 a convergence device-a Smartphone meets tablet device. A convergence device performs the functions of more than one device, desirable for users who have enough trouble keeping one device charged, synced and updated, let alone two or three. The convergence device user will also make small sacrifices in functionality for simplicity.
At first glance the Dell Mini 5 delivers a lot of the features that the Apple iPad doesn’t. Flash, 5 Megapixel camera on the back and front facing camera for web conferencing, USB port and SD card slot. Hence, the inevitable comparisons to the Apple iPad. Especially since the Dell Streak is rumored to be the first of a family of Dell tablets.
It is also a phone. Quad band 3G GSM according to specs online.
Running on the Android OS, it will also have access to the Android App store, presumably including the suite of Google applications, such as Google Earth. While the Google apps store doesn’t rival the Apple app store in size, yet, developer activity is keen.
A deal with Amazon to run a Kindle app makes it an eBook reader, with an instant library. The slightly smaller screen of the Dell Streak and the, likely, higher entry price, however, means the Dell Streak won’t be a Kindle killer.
If you are concerned with the number of purpose specific devices you currently carry and want a device that’s a one stop shop, the Dell Streak is a likely candidate for consolidating devices such as phones, media players and eBook readers.
The Dell Streak will be available in the US, in a number of colors and design finishes, later this summer. Interestingly this device launches this week in the UK for a contract free price of the equivalent of $630.