10 Ways To Not Make An Android Tablet

If it was possible to drown in plastic and silicon, we would so choke to death on all the Android tablets coming soon. This is a guide to not making one. The Dell Streak 7 followed it precisely.

The Dell Streak 7 is perhaps the last Android tablet from a major manufacturer that will follow this guide. In a couple of months, after the tablet-centric Android 3.0 becomes de rigeur for any decent producer of Android-powered knick-nacks and bobbles, we'll enter a new phase of Android tablets where across-the-field genericness is offset by the taste and utility of Honeycomb. (In fact, I hope manufacturers don't take too deeply to differentiating by tweaking Honeycomb, since they've proven over and over again Google has better designers than they do.) But that doesn't mean we won't see plenty more tablets from other manufacturers that follow the template set out by the Streak 7:

1. Use a middling, low-res screen with crummy viewing angles.

2. Use out-of-date software designed for a phone.

3. Halfway cover up said out-of-date software with a custom interface that is only mediocre—like covering a tiny face stretched across a giant head with a ski mask made out of wet flannel.

4. Make something with the heart of a cheetah—the Tegra 2—occasionally respond so slowly that a crippled turtle drowning in a meteor-sized ball of laffy taffy would move with greater speed.

5. Make sure that your pokes are ignored at least one quarter of the time you try to touch something on the screen.

6. Get rid of the search button without a good reason. (Was there not enough space? I do not think so.)

7. Require a two-year contract to buy it, tethering its money-draining corpse to you long after it's obsolete.

8. Turn the apps screen into a version of Minesweeper called, "App or Crapware?" (I am looking at you, BrainPOP.)

9. Design a paperback-sized device—that is still almost as much phone as tablet—around the idea that it'll primarily be held in a landscape position.

10. Pull all calling functions out of your giant phone-tablet.

If you absolutely must pick up a 7-inch Android tablet immediately, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is better at this very moment. The pickle is that the Streak has better guts and will one day be updated to Android 3.0, which will likely obliterate the software problems, while we've heard that the Galaxy Tab may not ever be updated to 3.0. (That said, Honeycomb won't do anything to fix the Streak 7's mediocre screen, which is totally inferior to the Tab, and we hate the idea of purchasing anything predicated on the hopes or promises of a software update, which is only slightly less risky than purchasing a lottery ticket.)

In the US, it's $US200 with a two-year contract on T-Mobile, after a $US50 rebate. Or you can buy it off-contract for $US450.

Given the flood of Android tablets that are in the pipe though, I'd very much just wait. Either for another Android tablet, or for this one to get 3.0.

Music by Kevin MacLeod



    it is odd that they got rid of the search button but you can just hold the menu button and it goes to search

    But I agree. Particularly with the Phone OS point...
    Android WILL be a good tablet OS, but it hasn't been to date.

    Engadget reviewed the Dell Streak 7 and noted that it was snappy and smooth with the Tegra 2 CPU clocked @ 800Mhz, so saying - quote "Make something with the heart of a cheetah—the Tegra 2—occasionally respond so slowly that a crippled turtle drowning in a meteor-sized ball of laffy taffy would move with greater speed" makes you boyz look a little friggin dumb.

    The quote from Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/31/dell-streak-7-review/) quote - "The Streak 7 is the first tablet we've tested with NVIDIA's 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 T20 processor. Oddly, the device indicates that the processor is downclocked to about 800MHz, and Dell tells us that it downclocks to conserve power. Either way, the performance was extremely snappy. In most instances, we found it to be more responsive than the Galaxy Tab -- there was no lag opening applications, scrolling down webpages, or flicking through Dell's Stage widgets. Similarly, games like Asphalt 5 and Angry Birds were very fluid..."

    Not that I'm a dell fan, the scathing comments really don't do the 7 justice until you've actually used it - have you actually used it Matt?.

    or, you could buy a nook color (cheap), root it (easy), and it will be awesome.

    i order a 7 inch android tablets only 239 $$ :)
    Samsung S5PV210 Coretex A8

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