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Dell 5-Inch Streak Device Is Missing Link Between Phones & Tablets

Lost in yesterday's announcement that Dell will ship the 5-inch Streak device to O2 is the fact that there will be other Streaks coming to the market soon.

They will feature 7-inch and 10-inch displays which will make them direct competitors to the slew of tablet computers coming to the market over the next few months.

More importantly, Dell's Streak is the first attempt by a top-tier company to bridge the gap between the tablet and the smartphone. Indeed, mobile internet devices, otherwise known as MIDs, might be considered as an extension of smartphones.

The Streak for example shares exactly the same features as a smaller smartphone except for its bigger screen but is presented as a tablet rather than a smartphone, despite the fact that it will be able to make calls.

The symbiosis between ARM's architecture and Android is what has made it possible. Both elements have evolved and have been flawlessly adapted by manufacturers to suit both form factors.

The latest version of Android, Froyo, not only brings in a number of major features but also improves performance across the board while ARM's Cortex architecture is flexible enough to scale from entry level smartphones to more powerful, desktop-ready applications.

It will therefore not be a surprise to see more smartphone manufacturers come up with tablet-like devices in the wake of a quasi-certain iPad success. Indeed, Toshiba, RIM and Samsung are already apparently working on such products.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.