Dell Streak vs. iPad: tablet showdown

How does the Apple iPad stack up against the Dell Streak, an Android-based tablet

Dell's Streak may look like a huge smartphone, but its form factor means it's a hybrid device that sits somewhere between a largish touchscreen phone like the HTC Desire and Apple's iPad tablet.

Read our comprehensive Dell Streak review.

Naturally, comparisons to the iPad are inevitable — the Dell Streak is the first of many tablet devices that will be released this year, aiming to steal sales from Apple. While it has a much smaller footprint than the iPad, the Streak will be used in a similar manner: as a media consumption device that's ideal for browsing the Web, viewing multimedia and reading books. Like the iPad, the Dell Streak is not a meant to be a complete netbook or notebook replacement.

With this in mind, how does the Dell Streak stack up against the Apple iPad?

Feature Apple iPad Dell Streak
Operating system (OS) Apple iOS 3.2 (upgradeable to 4) Google Android 1.6 (upgradeable to 2.2)
Display technology Capacitive LED-backlit IPS Capacitive TFT
Display resolution 1024x768 pixels 480x800 pixels
Multitouch Yes Yes
Camera None 5 megapixels, dual LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, face and smile detection
FM radio No No
GPS Yes (Wi-Fi + 3G models) Yes
Internal memory 16GB, 32GB or 64GB 16GB
Expandable memory No microSD card slot
Dimensions 242.8 x 189.7 x13.4mm 152.9 x 79.1 x 10 mm
Weight 730g (Wi-Fi + 3G models) 220g
Application store Apple App Store Google Android Market
Processor Apple A4 Qualcomm Snapdragon (1GHz)
3G networks HSDPA 850/1900/2100 HSDPA 900/2100
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11b/g
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 2.0 with A2DP
Quoted talk time N/A Up to 600min
Quoted standby time Up to one month Up to 400 hours
Adobe Flash support No No (Yes after 2.2 upgrade)

The Dell Streak offers greater customisation options than the iPad — whether it's changing themes, backgrounds or the interface's entire look and feel, Google Android is definitely far more flexible and open than the iOS platform used by the iPad. Of course you can jailbreak the iPad, just like the iPhone, but this will void your warranty.

The iPad's display uses IPS technology, while the Dell Streak boasts a standard, capacitive TFT touchscreen. Both displays are excellent at rendering text, making reading and browsing the Web a highlight, but the larger size of the iPad obviously scores extra points. On the other hand, the Dell Streak is far more pocketable and easier to carry around than the iPad. You would be hard pressed squeezing the Streak into the pocket of skinny leg jeans, and it would be uncomfortable in normal pants when walking up stairs, but generally the Streak should fit snugly inside most suit jacket pockets.

The iPad is an excellent multimedia device, aside from the lack of flash and built-in camera. Videos look superb on the large screen, while Web pages render superbly. However, the Dell Streak is far more flexible; you can transfer files by dragging and dropping them and you don't need to run iTunes. There are a number of third-party media player applications designed for the Android platform to boost the tablet's music and video playback capabilities.

The Dell Streak also makes phone calls. At 15cm wide, you wouldn't want to be holding it up to your ear all the time, but it is reasonably small for a tablet and is stunningly thin for a device this size. The Streak is just slightly thicker than Apple's iPhone 4, which measures just 9.3mm thick.

What do you think about the Dell Streak and the Apple iPad? Tell us in the comments below!

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Tags Apple iPad 3Gapple ipadDell Streaksmartphonestabletstablet PCsiPadAndroid tablets

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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