Dell unveils 7-inch Streak 7 tablet

Dell has made good on its promise to turn the somewhat disappointing oversized smartphone that was the original 5-inch Dell Streak into a proper tablet, and has launched an upgraded 7-inch version at CES 2011.

Based around the Tegra T2 system-on-chip platform from ARM licensee Nvidia, the new Dell Streak 7 features a dual-core 1GHz CPU - a significant upgrade over the 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon of its 5-inch predecessor.

Like the original Streak, the Streak 7 includes smartphone functionality - although you'll look even more like Dom Joly if you hold the 7-inch version up to your ear - with 4G network capabilities and in-built 802.11n Wi-Fi.

In a clear attempt to get one over on Apple's iPad, the Streak 7 features dual cameras: a five-megapixel rear camera for still and video shots, and a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera for video chat - powered, interestingly enough, by the Qik technology that has just been acquired by VoIP specialist Skype.

Sadly, the news isn't all good: the device is scheduled to ship with Android 2.2 'Froyo,' rather than the decidedly more-up-to-date Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' - and if you were hoping for the tablet-friendly Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' you can forget it.

That said, Android 2.2 is still new enough to include Adobe Flash 10.1 in the browser, but it's still a shame that Dell won't be using the latest version of Google's open-source mobile operating system at launch.

As well as the core OS, Dell is bundling its Stage 'experience,' a tile-based interface that might leave you in mind of the main screen of a Windows Phone 7 smartphone - and is likely to leave those that prefer a vanilla Android interface as God and Google intended cold on the device.

The device is to launch in partnership with mobile network T-Mobile initially, with US availability scheduled for 'the coming weeks.' UK pricing and availability has, sadly, yet to be confirmed.