AndroidUMPC

Dell Mini 5 becoming less shy as it “streaks” towards its debut

Dellm5 This might be painful to hear for some Archos 5 Android owners, but the Dell Mini 5 (aka Streak or M01M) is the 5-inch Android MID that many of us have been waiting for.

The problem is that the tiny tablet has taken so long to hit the market, it's been more of a tease as Android becomes the go-to OS for many devices. But we may be getting closer to the goods, as the Mini 5 has been making more appearances lately.

A few new tidbits have emerged this week, namely a nice photo spread over at Engadget that shows the littlest Dell Mini posing for all to see. While their demo unit looks fairly rough, as evidenced by the rash of scratches on the back surface, it does give a good glimpse of how the size and screen resolution stack up against the iPhone. The dialpad (remember, the Mini 5 will be a full-fledged smartphone like the Nokia N900) looks very unfinished with those large spaces between the keys, unless Dell is going for a retro look.

While Engadget enjoys their time with their not-so-confidential device, one other place that will see the Mini 5 is the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona next week. According to Chippy over at Carrypad, Dell will be displaying the model there and hopefully will be able to shed some light on the unknown details like price, availability, and participating carriers.

We've already seen the Mini 5 from every angle, plus had screenshots galore and even an up-close look at a full teardown. Now it's time for Dell to hurry up and pull back those curtains, turn on those spotlights, and get that online store ready for showtime!

Pocketables does not accept targeted advertising, phony guest posts, paid reviews, etc. Help us keep this way with support on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Chris King

Chris King is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

Avatar of Chris King

33 thoughts on “Dell Mini 5 becoming less shy as it “streaks” towards its debut

  • Avatar of John Q. Public

    Yeah, I REALLY need those details. I’ve got about 2.5 weeks left to return my Archos 5 and if Dell can get this out by March for less than $500 I may get rid of the Archos and hold out for the Dell. Of course, the closer they come to the Archos’ price, the more likely the Archos goes back.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Hola

    I though it was a umpc at first and I was so excited. I bought a viliv s5 back when they came out but got so frustraded with it that I just thought it was the worst purchased I made in my life. Anyways, I was so excited because I thought: cool a true mini computer on the go!! but, nope!! its just another damn phone.

    I’ll just wait for the iphone in june when they revise their model or maybe get the puma phone

    How come they cant bring the technology they have in japan to the states? video chat has been in japan for almost 2-3 years now and in the US “engineers” can’t figure out how to support it here. Maybe they just hired a lot of dumbasses who just barely pass college and get a degree and not true geniouses as they are supposed to be.

    This damn companies make so much money and yet can’t hire engineers to make what people really want.

    Sorry for the frustration but come on its 2010!!!

    Reply
  • Avatar of Hola

    Sorry for the misspelling!

    Reply
  • I think it’s much worse value than Archos in terms of pricing and specs.

    But let’s see.

    I’d be interesting if it has a capacitative screen.

    Though video playback likely will be limited, probably no HDMI output, no USB host, probably no DivX/XviD/MKV/Mpeg2 video playback support.

    All that probably for twice the price of Archos 5 Internet Tablet which you can find for $249 for 8GB at Radio Shack and $299 for 16 at Best Buy. With Archos prices likely to come down even further next month when Archos 7 Android is rumored to be released around $199.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Aaron

    Who cares about the Dell Mini 5 or Archos Internet Tablet, the SmartQ V5 runs Android, has an HDMI out, SD slot, and costs only $180. What have you all been waiting for that the SmartQ doesn’t offer?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Aaron

    I agree with this that the Dell Mini 5 likely won’t be as cheap and the Archos does everything it could. There are plenty of great Android devices out, so what is it about this thing that “everyone has been waiting for”.

    I am not being confrontational, I honestly believe that I may have missed something.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Phil

    Except that the Dell won’t likely shutdown, restart by itself.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Phil

    -MKV playback
    -HD video playback (no wasting time transcoding)
    -Embedded subtitle support
    -Non ARM 11 CPU
    -Full Google experience (app market, maps, Google service sync)
    -Built-in 3G
    -802.11n (stream videos through your network without transcoding)
    -Larger internal memory (should be faster than SD cards)
    -Capacitive screen

    Reply
  • Avatar of Phil

    Forgot to say, that’s what I’m waiting for. Plus
    -Doesn’t crash, shutdown, restart all the time

    Reply
  • I’m interested to know what makes the Dell Mini 5 more compelling to more people than the Archos too. The response to the Dell device on Engadget was pretty huge and largely positive. Is it mainly mainstream brand recognition?

    I have the Archos 5 Android and will likely get the Dell too (if it is tied to AT&T, I hope it’s available without a contract), but I’m curious about why people seem so excited about this. I’m looking forward to its release, mainly just to see what it’s about and to experience Android’s full Google Experience (without a hack) for myself, but I wouldn’t say I’m excited about it.

    Reply
  • @Aaron, the SmartQ v5 may be slightly cheaper, but it only seems to be available from a retailer in China. That hardly makes it very available to most of us (at least, not the risk-averse among us).

    @Phil, the cure to the continual crashing and rebooting of the Archos is memory management. Get SysTray Monitor to display free RAM, and then use TasKiller to kill unwanted processes any time your free RAM gets below 20MB (the unit will slow down below that level, and crash below 15MB). Just don’t kill the Archos Media Center (put it on the Ignore list) or you’ll have problems.

    Reply
  • I knew you would like the Archos better, Charbax… ;-)

    To tell you the truth, I have been very close to picking up an A5A everytime I walk by it at Best Buy, but I want to see what kind of pricetag is attached to the Mini 5 before I decide.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Phil

    I shouldn’t have to do that. On my Motorola Droid, Android kills background apps (any app not currently visible) automatically when memory is low. If the app is programmed properly, it should save it’s state when it receives a kill command before closing. The task killer apps cause more harm than good especially if you don’t know how Android works.

    Reply
  • There are too many differences to even make a fair comparison between the SmartQ and the Archos and/or Mini 5. Like Phil said, the ARM 11 CPU is a definite non-starter for me, at least in 2010.

    Reply
  • For me, it’s one thing…integrated 3G and phone capability. I wouldn’t plan on using the Mini 5 as a full-time replacement for my 3GS, but I would like to have the option to carry it as an all-in-one device.

    Not only that, I just have a feeling that the Dell Mini 5 will have better long-term support not only from Dell, but the Android hacker community.

    Reply
  • If I’m not mistaken, the memory management in Android 2.x has been vastly improved compared to the older versions. When i had my Sprint Hero for a short time, I remember people in the forums always having to use process killers to get a stable device.

    Reply
  • I guess Android 2.x should be on that list of things I’m waiting for.

    Reply
  • Doesn’t your Droid already have Android 2.0 or 2.01? You should be OK there, my reply was actually directed more at Midtoad.

    Reply
  • Ya but that list is something I want in a PMP/MID device that’s separate from my phone.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Sere83

    Yeah I have to say the distinguishing factor with this Dell MID for me over a device like the Archos is definitely the phone and 3G integration. I think as well that with a 5 inch screen it really is a beast of a device, phones with a slim profile and a 5 inch display are pretty rare to say the least, although practically questions remain about whether this could be an everyday device due to it’s size.

    To date personally I haven’t been impressed with any of the android MID’s that have surfaced although I would like to get one. I don’t really want to touch anything with an ARM 11 as the web experience and UI lag is just too bad on android/ARM11, although I may buy a Ramos W7 if the price is kept low just out of curiosity as I hear it will have android market integration.

    The archos MID looks OK but reports I have read have not been favorable and I have personally never been a fan of archos devices. Here in the UK they are also expensive.

    As people have mentioned one of my main concerns with this dell device is how it will handle media playback. In fact the media playback capability of android in general is a very sore point for me. It actually makes me quite angry about how poor the codec support is and how ugly the stock Media playback UI is.

    Google are in my mind morons. They could have made a real feature of the stock media player by offering features and functionality that companies like apple never will eg.including open source codec support (Xvid, Flac etc) and including great looking/functioning media applications. Even add advanced features like ID3 tag editing, gapless playback, some kind of cover flow type thing etc etc to make it appeal to audio and video enthusiasts. Another great reason to go with andorid…..

    But no. Instead media consumption has figured very low on googles list of priorities, a shocking oversight in my mind, considering the allure of media playing functionality and the rate at which people consume it. We are at android 2.1 and still the media player is a complete joke. Makes apples UI and integration look like its in a completely different paradigm. The google media app looks like something from the late 90’s and functions like that too. In fact it irritates me so much it makes me want to defect from android completely.

    This brings me to how I feel about android in general. The word ‘half cooked’ springs to mind. Many will disagree with me but I feel that while android excels in some areas (Google services integration, notification, customization, multitasking etc etc) For an average non-techy savvy consumer looking to purchase a smart phone the iphone in my mind still embarrasses any android device). To put it simply the user experience on a an iphone is far better. Android is still not ready for prime time IMO and still not catering to the geeks either.

    When I sit in my front room with 3 family members all using their iphones they all effortlessly consume data and info for long periods of time. I get out my htc hero and frankly don’t really want to do anything on it, i’d rather go to my pc. I know the hero is underpowered and I know it runs android 1.5 but this is besides the point. The user experience in my mind feels weak in comparison to even the 1st gen iphone.

    You have worse touch response and input delay, another issue which I don’t think even a snapdragon powered android devices can solve. When you press the screen on any android device and drag (and i have used a nexus one) it is simply not as fluid and the response time is simply not as fast as on the iphone…this is a fact I have done tests. Scrolling in any app or browsers is also far less fluid on all android devices.

    You also have a worse web browser (despite what anyone says safari kills the android stock browser, although being web kit based I agree they share many similarities), worse app store (many of the core apps on the iphone obliterate their android counterparts. Eg. facebook, twitter, youtube etc etc). And less face it even the non core apps are worse on android, both visually and often functionally with a lack of multitouch. Apple also has the backing of a multitude of big names. Multitouch is also more laggy and less fluid on any andorid device ive seen when compared to both the palm pre and iphone. It also isn’t supported in many apps. A lack of both visual and functional consistency plagues the whole android platform IMO.

    Anyway i’m not going to bash andorid anymore and preach about the iphone but it simply makes me wonder how well dell can execute the software/hardware integration on this MID. I would love to see it done well and I believe dell do have the pedigree (the axim x50/x51 were strong performers) but the portable device arena has changed drastically since the pda era….

    I still think fundamentally that in terms of user experience I’m still waiting for an android device to really make use of the potential of the platform. I’m hoping someone like dell can come up with some tweaks and added features to bring the best out of android
    and bring the (non atom based) MID category to life as at the moment I’m not seeing much to get excited about.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Brookespeed

    I just picked up an Archos 5 8gb the other day. I wavered for a long time on whether to wait for the Dell mini5 or not. I just came to the conclusion that with the integrated 3G, camera, compass and the capacitive screen the likelihood that it would be under 400.00 (or even 500.00) seemed really slim. I’m a big fan of the 5″ screen size for a modal device. I think it’s just the right size for portability and viewing real estate. My experience with UMPCs tells me 7 inches is too much. I also like the fact that I can keep my phone separate. But it seems lots of people are looking to use this as a phone. I think it’s a great option and will be very popular. I can see it being a great business tool so I’m not going to be shocked when Dell starts putting it out in WinMo 7 flavors.

    The one HUGE disappointment is the lack of ad hoc wireless support. It may be a deal breaker and push me to (*gasp*) an iPod Touch. But I think that’s a general Android thing right?

    Reply
  • Whats the point of releasing a 5″ screen on Android? Android has the worst video playback capabilities out of all mobile OS. I’ll stick with my HD2 and coreplayer thanks!

    Reply
  • Btw Archos SUCK, I will never buy anything from that company again, had x3 replacement units from them within a span of 7 months(Archos products have horrible build quality, this is widely known too). They have HORRIBLE, absolutely HORRIBLE customer service.

    Reply
  • Avatar of James

    If it can play MKVs with subtitles, I’d buy it as a media consumption device.

    Reply
  • Avatar of jethro_static

    I am shocked that people are complaining about it having a phone function and they want their phone separate. I think this is common sense. If you do not want to use it as a phone, Do not put a SIM card and use it as a regular MID! DUHHHH!

    Reply
  • Avatar of John in Norway

    Put an Intel CULC processor in, Indoor/outdoor active digitiser screen, thumb keyboard and mouse thingy as on the OQO 02, 320GB SSD, inbuilt stylus silo, 6 hour battery, Windows 7 – all for less than $1000 and I’m in, otherwise not interested.

    Reply
  • Avatar of medah4rick

    Well the dell has 3g connectivity and thats what the archos really lacks in a mobile device.

    Reply
  • Yup, Archos products are crap. The only reason to get the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is if you want MKV support. So IF the Dell Mini 5 has media playback capabilities on par with the Archos 5 and doesn’t crash all the time with the only solution of “reflash it” then it would take away a lot of the already low sales of the Archos.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Orgol

    Probably they don’t want to pay for something they won’t use. They could buy the Archos 5 instead but then they pay for something that doesn’t work.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Orgol

    Never gonna happen or if it does it’ll be $10000.

    Reply
  • It’s not the engineers, it’s the executives that are to blame for this.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Dellusionary

    The A5A is likely a superior media player given its legacy. I’ve really enjoyed mine and it hasn’t had any stability issues. If you need 3G get a MiFi so you don’t have to worry about having it on every device and use a VOIP app. That being said, a capacitive screen would improve overall productivity and usefulness. Getting access to paid Market apps and Android 2.x might get Archos to hustle to keep their initial marketshare.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *