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Dell Streak 7: Android tablets hit 4G speeds

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(Read caption) Dell Streak 7, the latest tablet computer from Dell, is being positioned as a rival to the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. But does the Streak 7 hold up?

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Dell Streak 7 – a 4G successor of sorts to the original Dell Streak – makes its debut this week on the T-Mobile network, and Dell is positioning the device as a rival to the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. So how does the Dell Streak 7 stack up? Well, the thing is certainly cheaper than the Tab or the iPad – T-Mobile is pricing the Streak 7 at only $200, with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.

By comparison, the T-Mobile edition of the Galaxy Tab will set you back at least $250. And the Streak 7 – on paper – sounds like a pretty powerful machine, from the Android 2.2 operating system, to the 4G capability, to the 16 GB of internal storage, and the 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. But according to Seth Weintraub of Fortune, who was one of the first to review the Streak 7, Dell's newest tablet isn't quite up to snuff.

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Among the problems, according to Weintraub: the "washed out" colors of the "inferior" screen, and a finicky touch screen. " 'Good, not great' is kind of the theme here and the battery is no exception," he writes. "While my Tab would last about 8 hours of significant use (and even more since the 3G was turned off), the Dell tablet is closer to 5-6 hours depending on use."

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Still, Weintraub finds plenty to like about the Dell Streak. "The antenna was amazing," he writes. "I got 4G in my home for the first time on T-Mobile and in places where I can't with other 4G T-Mobile devices, like the G2 or the MyTouch 4G. The network was fast and reliable and I rarely dropped down to 3G or EDGE at all in and around New York City. Download speeds felt very Wifi-ish on 4G."

When the original Dell Streak debuted on AT&T Back in August, reviewers worried that consumers would be turned off by the device's "tweener" status. (Unlike the Dell Streak 7, the first Dell Streak had only a 5-inch screen, which meant the machine fell somewhere between phone and tablet in terms of size.) The Streak 7 is certainly more of a tablet. But will consumers be willing to ditch their iPad or Galaxy Tab to get a Streak?

Let us know in the comments below.

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