Can Dell Get Tablets Right with a 10-Inch Streak Pro?

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In the game of Android tablets, Dell has two strikes against it.

Strike one was the original Dell Streak, a 5-inch tablet remarkable for its lack of identity. Was it an oversized phone, or a diminutive tablet? Dell’s press releases suggested the latter, but the only way to reduce the Streak’s shocking $550 price tag was to sign up for a voice and data contract through AT&T. It didn’t help that the Streak 5 launched with Android 1.6, and didn’t upgrade to Android 2.2 until November. This phone-tablet was a failure from the beginning.

Strike two was the Dell Streak 7, a 7-inch tablet that launched in February. Despite a dual-core processor and a $200 price (with a two-year data contract), the Streak 7 was dragged down by weak viewing angles, a meager 800-by-480 resolution display and — worst of all — less than four hours of battery life. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab retained its status as the 7-inch tablet to beat.

I bring all of this up because Dell is now preparing a 10-inch tablet, reportedly called the Streak Pro, and Tweakers.net claims to have some specs and images.

So what’s Big D bringing to the plate this time? According to the report, the Dell Streak Pro will have a 1280-by-800 resolution display, an Nvidia Tegra dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, front- and rear-facing cameras and a choice of 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB for storage. It may be heavier than an iPad 2 at 1.59 pounds, but it’ll be almost as slim at 0.35 inches thick.

The specs, if accurate, are promising, but this is the big leagues. Dell’s entering the most crowded category of tablets, occupied by a growing number of Android tablets from Motorola, Samsung, Asus and Acer, not to mention Apple’s iPad and the upcoming HP TouchPad. Dell may try to stand out with a variety of colors, a couple of docks and its Stage 2.0 user interface, but that doesn’t mean much until we see the product in action — and know how much it’ll cost.

The Dell Streak Pro reportedly launches in June. I hope for Dell’s sake that it doesn’t whiff.

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