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BLOG: Dell streak is dead: Lessons for other tablets

Tony Bradley | Dec. 6, 2011
The death of the Dell’s Android tablet line doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it points to some lessons that other tablets might learn from to be stronger competitors.

It might be comical—if it weren’t so sad—to see tablet vendors fixate on specs. Faster processors, more processor cores, more memory, more megapixels in the camera, SD memory card slots, and other differences in hardware don’t make up for a poor interface, or an inferior user experience.

That is not to say that specs don’t matter—just that they are not the only consideration, or even the primary consideration. Assuming two devices each have a solid user experience, the one with the better hardware specs is likely to be the better deal, but iPad rivals need to focus more on delivering a quality experience overall, and less on trying to outdo each other with leapfrogging hardware specs.

Comparing hardware specs of tablets is like comparing ingredients of food. I am sure a quinoa salad with organic beets and goat cheese is superior in many ways, but the user experience of eating a slice of cheesecake wins every time.

I believe the market is out there. I like my Motorola Xoom, and I have seen other very capable tablets. Tablets like the Dell Streak have competed in the wrong ways, though, and left a virtual iPad monopoly in their wake. Hopefully, the Amazon Kindle Fire can lead the way, and we will see more mainstream adoption of a diverse array of tablets beyond just the iPad.


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