Touch-Screen Tablet Tussle: Dell Streak Vs. Apple iPad

Dell Wants In

On Tuesday, Dell officially pulled the curtain off of its compact touch-screen tablet, dubbed the Streak, the computer giant's answer to the Apple iPad.

The Streak (shown here in a mockup), which will hit the UK next month and the U.S. later this summer, is already turning heads. While pricing and data plans have yet to be released, we took a look at the specs to determine how it stacks up against Apple's iPad, which has taken on a life of its own, selling more than one million units in less than a month.

Here, we examine at some of the key differences (and maybe even some similarities) of the Dell Streak and the Apple iPad as the two prepare to duke it out for touch-screen tablet supremacy and see who wins out in a host of different categories.


When it comes to touch-screen tablets, the screen is a big deal. Users don't want to watch video and browse the Web on a tiny screen -- that's what a smartphone is for, right? Both the Dell Streak and the Apple iPad pack powerful displays. Here's the breakdown:

The Dell Streak boasts a smaller screen than the Apple iPad, promising a "full-screen browsing experience with a 5-inch capacitive multi-touch WVGA display."

The Apple iPad, however, features a 9.7-inch diagonal LED-backlit glossy widescreen multi-touch display with IPS technology and resolution of 1024 by 768 pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch. It also adds in fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.

Winner: Apple iPad (for now). Dell hasn't made much additional information available regarding the display, but from what we've seen of the Apple iPad, it's setting the touch-screen tablet gold standard.


If it ain't speedy it ain't worth the silicon on the chips. Right?

Both the Dell Streak and Apple iPad feature swift processing. The iPad imbeds a 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip processor. The Dell Streak, meanwhile, offers a fast 1GHz Snapdragon ARM-based mobile processor from Qualcomm.

Winner: Dell Streak. While Apple has built a heck of a processor on its own, Qualcomm's Snapdragon is proven and fast, giving the Streak a slight edge.


Tablets are mobile devices, so they're worthless if you can't connect to the Web. But more than that, how you connect can be just as important.

The Apple iPad is currently available in two versions: Wi-Fi with 3G and just Wi-Fi. The 3G option costs $130 more and requires a service charge from AT&T to use the high-speed network (about $30 for unlimited monthly use). Both iPad models also feature Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology.

The Dell Streak also offers Wi-Fi, optional 3G and Bluetooth connectivity. So far the cost and networks for 3G in the U.S. haven't been revealed.

Winner: Apple iPad. Again, it's too soon to tell how Dell will tackle connectivity, but with the iPad you know where you stand and what you're getting.


Yet another key feature of touch-screen tablets is the support of video. Users expect to be able to watch movies on the go or view YouTube videos wherever they are. Both the Dell Streak and Apple iPad support a host of video formats. But the Dell Streak has the edge in the video support category with its upcoming support of Flash 10.1 (planned for later this year). Apple, on the other hand, has been opposed to adding Flash to its devices.

Winner: Dell Streak. Stubborn Steve Jobs and Co. could learn something from Dell and its openness to Flash support.


No longer is mobility about the device itself. It's all about the apps. Mobile applications have become a must-have and can make or break a device.

On the apps side, the Google Android-based Dell Streak will have thousands of apps, games, widgets and other tools available from the Android Market.

Meanwhile, the Apple iPad has hundreds of thousands of applications available to it via Apple's now iconic iTunes-based App Store.

Winner: Apple iPad. Apple's App Store is pretty tough to beat. While the Android Market has made strides, it lacks the robustness and breadth that Apple offers, which is why the App Store has become the gold standard for Web-based application store fronts.


If you're on the go, music, movies and other data have to go with you and knowing you won't crash your touch-screen tablet by pushing the memory limits gives a little peace of mind.

The Apple iPad keeps it simple, offering models at 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. That's what you get -- no more, no less.

The Dell Streak, on the other hand, has promised a slim 2 GB of internal dedicated storage, but it’s the option to upgrade and expand memory with a 32-GB microSD card that ups the ante. The expansion can unlock the ability to store up to 42 movies, or 32,000 pictures, or 16,000 songs.

Winner: Dell Streak. Yeah, you can't bulk up the Dell Streak to the 64 GB that Apple offers in the biggest iPad, but the choice option is nice to have. Think of it as a "choose your own memory" adventure.

Battery And Power

Don't want your device dying in the middle of a thriller; do you? Nope. The battery power of a tablet is of the utmost importance as users expect it to last at least long enough to watch a few movies on a long flight.

The Apple iPad is a powerhouse, no pun intended, offering up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi Web surfing, video viewing or listening to music and up to 9 hours of 3G Web surfing.

Aside from promising a removable battery, Dell has revealed little about what kind of juice the Streak can get.

Winner: Apple iPad. 10 hours on one charge is nothing to shake a stick at. Hopefully the Dell Streak follows in Apple's footsteps and packs a power punch.


Dell hasn't revealed pricing for the streak just yet, but odds are it will be cheaper than the iPad.

The iPad runs $499, $599 and $699 for the 16-GB, 32-GB and 64-GB Wi-Fi versions, respectively; and $629, $729 and $829 for the 16-GB, 32-GB and 64-GB Wi-Fi with 3G models.

Winner: Apple iPad. Until Streak pricing is revealed, the iPad wins. Apple makes it very clear what the consumer gets and how much it will cost and doesn't beat around the bush.

Size And Weight

The iPad clocks in at 9.56 inches high, 7.47 inches wide and 0.5 inches deep and weighs in at 1.5 pounds for the Wi-Fi model, and 1.6 for Wi-Fi with 3G.

Dell has not publicly released the Dell Streak's weight and dimensions yet, but it appears to be a bit larger than a standard touch-screen smartphone.

Winner: Tie. This one is totally up to user preference. If you want a smaller, more compact touch-screen tablet, the Dell Streak (shown) is for you. If you want a larger form-factor, take a look at the Apple iPad.

Other Goodies

It's not just the standard specs that get gadget heads excited about new gear, but it's all of the other bells and whistles too. And neither the Apple iPad nor the Dell Streak skimps on the extras.

The Dell Streak packs in a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash; VGA front-facing camera that will soon allow for video chat functionality; a 3.5 mm headphone jack; integrated Google Maps with voice-activated search, turn-by-turn navigation, street and satellite views; Google Voice support; and quick access to social networks.

The Apple iPad adds a 3.5 mm headphone jack; a built-in speaker; a microphone; an accelerometer; an ambient light sensor; and a host of other goodies.

Winner: Dell Streak. You had us with the camera. And the Google Voice support ain't too shabby either.

Overall Winner: Apple iPad

Apple has done it again. Jobs and Co. have created a touch-screen tablet force to be reckoned with that dominates both on style, design and features. What helped make the Apple iPhone the smartphone to beat will do the same for the iPad.

That's not to say the Dell Streak isn't bringing a lot to the table, but there are still way too many unknowns and it's still too early for it unseat the current king of the touch-screen tablet mountain. And the odds that it can overcome the Apple iPad are slim to none. Still, we're excited to get our mitts on the Dell Streak when it hits the stores so we can put it through the ringer and see how it stacks up against what's sure to be its biggest rival: The Apple iPad.