Unboxing the Dell Streak 7

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While most of the tech world is still poring over details from this morning's Google event or browsing the new web-based Android Market (yay!), I've been playing with my new Dell Streak 7.

The Tegra 2-powered tablet has different software build and OEM version numbers than when I saw it at CES 2011 (14039 vs 14291, GLUNB1A132033 vs GLUNB1A132233), but I'm not reading too much into it since this version has obviously been T-Mobile-ized with the carrier's apps and such.

I'll have a lot more to say and show you about the Streak 7 in the coming days, weeks, and months, but for now let's start from the beginning and get the device out of the box.

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It's a nice-looking box, really, and quite the departure from the original Streak's packaging.

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Inside it are the Streak 7, T-Mobile SIM card, PDMI-to-USB connector cable (same as the one used by the Streak 5), hands-free headset, USB wall charger with removable US plug, Start Guide, and various warranty and safety manuals. Noticeably absent is any kind of case/sleeve/pouch.

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The hardware is exactly as I remembered it to be, with its solid feel, high quality construction, and nice textured back. It makes a good first impression that should make those who bought it without seeing it in person feel good about their purchase. Nothing's worse than unboxing a brand new gadget, holding it in your hands, and thinking it feels cheap or poorly made. In this respect, the Streak 7 does not disappoint.

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As with countless other devices, the Streak 7 ships with a partial charge so you can turn it on and start using it right away.

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And unfortunately, this is where some of the positive feelings elicited by the hardware may start to fade away. As most early reviewers have noted, the screen definitely lacks crispness. It looks fine when held at a normal viewing distance, but since all the comments on its quality will cause most people to inspect it much more carefully than they normally would, everyone will notice some of the fuzziness.

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The screen isn't as terrible as people make it out to be, though. Yes, it's not as crisp and clear as the one on the Galaxy Tab, but it's not unreadable or even unpleasant.

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The Tab's screen (above right) obviously looks better than the Streak 7's screen (above left) because of its higher resolution. Everything looks sharper and smoother on the Tab because the pixels are smaller and there are more of them. But I can see and read what's on the Streak's screen with no problems. Can't you?

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A lot of people are complaining about the Streak 7's lower resolution too but because of its LCD density, it can actually display more content on the screen in some cases than the Tab. For example, the Streak shows 8 apps on the main page of Android Market, while the Tab shows just 6. Also, don't forget that many apps are written for WVGA max resolutions and therefore don't fill the Tab's screen unless a little hack that most people would never know or find out about is done.

This is not to say that the Streak 7 shouldn't have had a 1024 x 600 screen. For competitive purposes and better Honeycomb compatibility, it should have. But it doesn't . . . and it's not the end of the world.

I'll go into more detail about the Streak 7's merits and shortcomings later. This was really just supposed to be a basic unboxing but I couldn't resist throwing that stuff about the screen in there.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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