Will Dell Supersize Its Mini Tablet?

Everyone loves tablet gossip--blame it on our obsession with Apple's iPad--and today's rumor is a good one for Dell and Android fans. Engadget has obtained an allegedly leaked photo of two upcoming Dell "Streak" tablets, a 7-inch and 10-inch model, that would complement the company's previously announced Mini 5 device. (Or will it be the Streak 5?)

Will Dell Supersize Its Mini Tablet?
Photo courtesy of Engadget

None of Dell's touchscreen tablets is shipping yet, but that may change soon. In February, Dell officials said the Mini 5 would ship "in a few months," and it's a safe bet that an early-summer launch is in the works. As for the larger slates, the 7-inch Streak could debut later this year, with the 10-incher appearing next year, if an internal Dell document obtained by Engadget (along with the Streak pics) is the real deal.

Dell's tablets are expected to run an as-of-yet unreleased version of Google's Android operating system, a logical move that would allow users to choose from more than 38,000 apps in the Android Market. The larger screen sizes--particularly the 10-inch Streak--are likely to appeal to consumers who want a tablet that does what their smartphones don't do very well, such as provide satisfactory Web-browsing, video-watching, and e-reading experiences.

Dell's 5-inch Mini may be pocket-sized like a smartphone--OK, a very large pocket--but its petite size could prove a turnoff to tablet shoppers who've spent some quality hands-on time with the iPad. A tablet isn't a smartphone, after all, nor should it pretend to be. A larger display opens the door to many apps that simply don't run well on a phone's dinky screen.

A Familiar Look

Visually, it seems that Dell has lifted a few design elements from Apple. The (allegedly) bootlegged photos of the 7-inch and 10-inch Streak reveal a slim, sleek handheld that mirrors the iPad aesthetic. Specs? Dell's tablets will likely win a Streak vs. iPad features race, at least initially, if they come with a front-facing VGA camera (for video chats), a 5-megapixel camera on the back, and a microSD card slot that they're expected to have.

Of course, Dell will soon have plenty of competition from a host of other major-name tablet makers, including Acer, Google, HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba, all of which are readying their own iPad-killers for market.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci ) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com .

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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