Dell Nixes Streak 5 In Bid For Larger Tablets

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The 5-inch Dell Streak, an oversized smartphone pretending to be a tablet, is now officially dead as the computer maker puts its money on larger tablets that can better rival Apple’s popular iPad.

Dell bid “Goodbye” to the Streak 5 on its website this week, saying “It’s been a great ride.” But in reality, the tablet was short of Dell’s challenge to the iPad.

Dell is now banking on 7- and 10-inch tablets, much closer to the form factor of the market leader.

When it was launched in August 2010, the Dell Streak 5 had a few birth defects: its 5-inch screen was only 0.7-inch larger than that of the Droid X smartphone, and the resolution was lower than iPhone 4's 3.5-inch Retina display. The Streak also came with a then-year-old version of Google Android OS (1.6), when the current version at the time was 2.2 (Dell later updated the software to 2.2).

The Streak 5 also had a pricing problem. When it launched, it cost $300 with a two-year AT&T contract, or $550 without -- $50 more expensive than the cheapest (original) iPad, when bought unlocked as a tablet. For these reasons, the Dell Streak 5 was too little, too late to fend off the iPad’s growth. Dell did not publish any sales numbers related to the Streak 5.

Reviewers didn’t think much of the Streak 5 either.

All Things D’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher ridiculed the Dell Streak. Swisher said "the most likely use for the device was as something to eat." In PCWorld’s review, the Streak 5 only got 3/5 stars, and its only pro was the large screen when compared to a regular smartphone.

Dell has not abandoned the fight against the iPad.

CEO Michael Dell is bullish on Android tablets, and predicts Android tablets will one day overtake the iPad, just like what happened in the smartphone arena.

Dell has now moved on with the Dell Streak 7, a 7-inch tablet with an aggressive price-point (around $200 after rebates), but plagued with a poor display and buggy software, as PCWorld’s Melissa J Perenson explains in her review of the Streak 7.

The 10-inch form factor is also on Dell’s agenda: the company launched its newest 10-inch Android tablet exclusively in China this week, while the U.S. is on hold for its arrival. The tablet is called the Streak 10 Pro, uses a 1Ghz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor that runs the Android 3.1 operating system.

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