Dell Streak 10 Pro review

This guest review was written by TheManii.

Dell-streak-10-review

The Dell Streak 10 Pro made its official debut in the Chinese market in July. It's a 10.1-inch tablet manufactured by Pegatron (previous Dell devices are made by Qisda) and powered by a common Tegra 2 250-T20 processor, which can be found in the majority of available tablets today, including the Streak 7.

The Streak 10 Pro began shipping in late July/early August for ¥2999 RMB, approximately $475 USD. The device was pre-installed with Android 3.1, and an OTA update to 3.2 was released at the end of October.

Display

The 10.1-inch LCD has a resolution of 1280×800 and is neither amazing nor disappointing for a tablet of its size.

S10-1

Colors aren't washed out or oversaturated. Viewing angles are excellent; even looking at it from the edge, text is readable and no hint of color inversion can be seen at all. Brightness even outdoors gave me no issues, and I was able to see/read the maps just fine when using it as a GPS during a road trip.

One quirk I noticed, however, is that there are many vertical lines running across the display. They're most apparent against solid color backgrounds and are not a huge issue at all times, but they are somewhat noticeable during web browsing since the background is usually white.

Overall the display is leaps and bounds better than the one used on the Streak 7. I do not have much experience with other 10.1-inch tablets, so I cannot make valid comparisons to them. 

Build Quality & Design

One of the main hardware-related reasons I bought the Streak 10 is that it has an aluminum backing just like the Streak 5.

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It's a black brushed aluminum with lines running horizontally, with nothing but a prominent Dell logo in the center and the camera cluster centered at the top. It looks sturdy and gives the impression that it does not scratch easily; hence, no need for a cover/case. It feels similar to the backing on the Streak 5 except that it's not as matte and has some texture to it. Overall this (and the larger size) is the main distinguishing point of it visually.

The front is simply the display and the bezel with nothing else (like all recent Android Honeycomb tablets). The only thing that breaks the minimalism is the notification LED on the top left corner.

S10-left

The top right side houses the power button. The top left is where the notification LED, headphone jack, and volume rockers are located, in that order. The right middle has a single micro-USB jack, and finally the bottom has the speakers (haven't used them yet) and the dock connector.

The right bottom is also where a covered SD card slot and a space for what seems to be a SIM card for future models can be found.

The Streak 10 Pro takes full-sized SD cards but must be upgraded to Android 3.2 to actually be able to use it. The S10 ships with a dummy card occupying the slot that can be removed. The cover/flap itself is more flimsy than the one on the Streak 7; hopefully it won't be an issue over time.

Weight & Thickness

The Streak 10 feels only slightly heavy to me. It's about 1 and 1/3 as heavy as the Streak 7 or approximately the weight of two Streak 5s. It is a little heavy for reading while lying down, but not when reading while propped up in bed.

The Streak 10 is only a credit card thicker than the Streak 7, which is itself only marginally thicker than the Streak 5. Overall it feels to be just about the right thickness to hold comfortably with one hand. It feels like holding a magazine in both weight and thickness and would only be improved by lightening it up by just a small amount.

Camera

After using the back cameras on all three Streaks, my general opinion about them is that they're okay/acceptable but definitely not amazing.

The Streak 10 Pro's back camera is 5 MP and takes acceptable pictures. There's a moderate amount of noise in the images, but not so much that they can be considered bad. If you have ever seen pictures taken on a Streak 5 or 7, you can expect the same level of quality from the 10.

I have never used the front cameras on any of Streaks, so I cannot comment on the quality.

Using a 10.1-inch tablet as a camera is rather unwieldly. I would not ever consider using the rear camera ever except as a last resort or simply for the novelty. Perhaps eventually when augmented reality apps become more common it may be more useful, but at the moment it's merely there to stay on par with other competing tablets.

Performance

The Streak 7 and 10 Pro share many of the same components; as stated earlier, both are Tegra 2 devices. As such, there is not much to say, as performance is about the same. The Streak 10 Pro may in fact be slower in games since it has a higher resolution screen and has to do more work for the same scene, but in general they are comparable.

Software

The Streak 10 Pro initially shipped with Android 3.1 and just recently got the upgrade to 3.2. Considering that there are still other tablets out there who have yet to be upgraded from 3.1 to 3.2, the update for this device has been very timely. As the device is only a few months old, I would fully expect at least Ice Cream Sandwich to be made available for it.

Android itself is more or less fully stock. The 3.2 update doesn't add much in terms of features; it's very similar to the Streak 7's update.

Stage UI 1.7 is included. It's similar to what was seen in the Streak 7's Android 3.2 update, but is severely crippled in comparison. The only included widgets are the weather, picture, radio, and web ones. The weather one can automatically grab your location from the GPS receiver on the Streak 7, but you must manually search for your location on the 10 Pro. The books, music, social, and email widgets were not included out of the box.

Included Apps

The Streak 10 Pro is sold in mainland China, so it contains none of the Google apps or any of the Google frameworks. I cannot reall y dock points off it for this since it's an imported device. It seems that no devices sold officially in China can have Gapps/Google support; the Streak 5 has a mainland China-specific ROM that also omits the same apps.

What is included is what seems to be the Chinese equivalents of Search, Maps, and Market. I only used them briefly but the selection in the market app is very sparse. Google translate was available in its catalog, though, so I would assume you would be able to install some of Google's apps on it officially.

All the stock Android 3.2 apps are included, such as the clock, camera, browser, and email.

There's also an app called Dell work profile, but it requires you to be registered so I cannot comment on it.

Bootloader

Like other Dell devices, the Streak 10 Pro's bootloader is completely unlocked. This means that you can expect the same amount of "freedom modding" on it as on the Streak 7.

Connectivity

This is the weakest point of the Streak 10. It has no HDMI port of any kind, and the dock connector is different from the PDMI connector on the other Streaks. The only included items in the retail box are a completely proprietary charger and headphones. There is supposedly an HDMI adapter for the devices, but it's either still very new or not yet released. Other accessories may be in the works as well, but so far only cases are available.

Wireless connectivity is what you would expect on any device of its age: WiFi B/G/N, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and the previously mentioned GPS.

Fam portrait

As a GPS device, the Streak 10 performs very well. It's leaps and bounds ahead of the one on the Streak 7, but still not as good as the one on the Streak 5.

After initially getting my location, it only lost it once for a short amount of time on a two-hour trip. By comparison, the Streak 7 had a great deal of trouble getting a signal during that trip (to be fair, I was juggling three devices at the time so it may have been fixable with a reboot). The Streak 5 still seems to beat both of them out, though, as after a year's use I rarely ever lose a connection for more than a couple seconds, and that's only when I'm driving under various obstructions.

In terms of how quickly the Streaks can get a new location (150 miles away from last use), the 5 locks almost immediately, the 10 Pro takes 1-2 minutes, and the 7 takes 15-20 minutes.

Note: The Streak 10 Pro has a check box to enable A-GPS while the Streak 7 WiFi does not.

Battery Life

Like most tablets out there, the Streak 10 Pro's battery life is quite good. You can get a couple of days of light use (e.g., email, web browsing, chatting) before you need to find an outlet and nearly 6 hours using Google Maps/Navigation with another device to tether to for data.

One thing to note is that you cannot charge the 10 Pro though the USB port and must use the included charger. The charger itself is a "line-wart" type charge; if you have ever seen a laptop charger it looks just like that, but 33% smaller than most common smaller ones. It outputs at 19V @1.58A so it's not even at USB spec.

Price

The MSRP for the Streak 10 Pro is ¥2999 (~$475) online and ¥3699 (~$580) in stores.

MSRPs mean a lot less in China than in countries, though, so you can get it for approximately ~¥2260 to 2400 (~$360-378) if you spend time browsing around stores. In a direct conversion, it's not uncompetitive with other tablets at that price, though I doubt you'd be able to import one for less then $450 since online prices are generally higher in China since you can't haggle your way down.

Except in large chain stores, it's actually very common to negotiate prices, especially since electronics are sold by small merchants. Unfortunately, there's also the very real risk of cheap knock-offs and the like.

I would conclude that instead of price being a bad point, it's completely variable depending on the seller. But unless you're fluent in Chinese and can buy it in person, do not expect a great deal.

Conclusion

Overall I cannot recommend the Dell Streak 10 Pro at all since there are so many other competing tablets available in the US. The ~$475 is only valid if you can have it shipped to an address in mainland China and can have it delivered for free; otherwise expect to pay nearly $600 for it.

There are plenty of other tablets that are available for less on the market. There's no compelling reason to buy the Streak 10; I only bought mine as a companion to my Streak 10 and for dev purposes. I was able to get mine rather cheaply so I don't regret buying it at all, but not many are able to import it without having to go through eBay or the like.

Pros

  • Fast Android updates
  • Good construction, excluding flap/cover
  • Good display
  • Promising battery life

Cons

  • Price
  • Lack of Google apps/support (to be expected considering its region)
  • Proprietary ports/charger
  • Cannot charge through USB
  • No HDMI port
  • Average camera

This guest review was written by TheManii.

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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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