What CIOs need to know about the Dell Streak

With a plethora of tablet PCs hitting the market this year, CIOs and IT managers may be struggling to work out which device will best suit their needs.

With a screen size of five inches, some may call the Dell Streak a small tablet that simultaneously acts as an oversized smartphone. Its compact nature and multi-tasking capability, however, makes for an extremely useful device that, while appearing cumbersome at first, soon has you thinking you could never go back to the small screen of a smartphone.

Why it could be an iPad competitor

Running the Android 2.2 operating system allows the Streak greater customisation than Apple’s iOS; something that may lure CIOs away from the iPad and consider looking to the Streak as a device to deploy across their organisation.

The Streak also has Swype functionality incorporated, with users able to trace a path with their finger across the screen to quickly type words. The on-screen keyboard is also quite large and makes it much easier to type when compared to a regular smartphone.

Another plus that may lure CIOs in is the fact that the Streak is a phone as well as a tablet, and therefore kills two birds with one stone by providing staff with a tablet PC and a smartphone.

Apps for the enterprise

The Android Market provides a large range of apps that can be used on the Streak, with companies working in the Cloud able to download GDocs to access and collaborate on documents in Google’s Cloud. The Streak also comes with a QuickOffice app, which is designed to allow you to create, access and write documents on the go.

For network administrators, the SeverUp app is a must have from the Market at $2.95. Working over 3G networks and wi-fi, the app allows users to see what condition their server is in, with the ability to either enable or disable specific hosts.

The Streak can also integrate multiple e-mail accounts, with Gmail, Lotus Notes and Outlook all being supported by the device.

Battery life

As is generally the case with any smartphone, the battery life on the Streak can be drained quite quickly if you are using a number of different apps simultaneously. However overall, the battery performs quite well when compared to its competitors, with the device able to perform a number of different functions simultaneously.

When it came to charging the Streak, it was a surprise that the device used a 30-pin USB 2.0 connection rather than using a Mini USB charger cable. With many Blackberry and HTC devices using Mini USB cables and chargers, and with the main industry association for US mobile operators putting its support behind an initiative calling for a universal cell-phone charger, it makes you wonder why Dell went down a different path with the Streak.

To Streak or not to Streak?

Devices like the Streak may have a real place in the enterprise, with the combination of Android and Dell’s “middle ground” approach to the tablet market a breath of fresh air to CIOs looking to deploy tablets internally.

While fans of the iPad may view the Streak as too small and not as flashy as its Apple competitor, it may be a viable alternative to deploying smartphone across an organisation.

With CIOs being told to change their IT strategies to better manage an influx of ‘fashionable’ consumer led mobile based devices or face a backlash from Gen-Y employees and graduates the Streak is an alternative for IT managers looking to deploy one device that can do many things.

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Product specifications

Operating System Android™ (multi-touch UI)

Processor QSD 8250

Bands UMTS 2100 / 1900 / 900 MHz GSM / EDGE 2100/1900/900 MHz HSDPA / HSUPA:HSDPA 7.2 Mbps / HSUPA 5.76 Mbps

Display 5" (12.7 cm) WVGA (800 x 480) in-cell TFT LCD supporting multi-touch

Camera 5.0M Rear-Facing Auto-Focus Camera + VGA Front-Facing Camera

Video H.263 / H.264, .3GP, MPEG4, WMV

Audio and Speakers MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, Midi, WAV

Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, IM

Browser WebKit (Android)

Memory 512 MB ROM + 512 MB SDRAM + 2 GB non-user accessible MicroSD for system applications files only

Storage 1 user accessible MicroSD™cardslot (16GB pre-installed)

Connectivity WLAN 802.11b/g, Bluetooth®2.0 with EDR, USB 2.0

Dimensions 152.9 mm wide 79.1 mm tall 9.98 mm thin

Advertised System Weight 220 g

Primary Battery 1530 mAh

Miscellaneous Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, e-compass, GPS, Capacitive sensor keys.


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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