Updated: Final countdown begins for Dell Streak tablet launch

The final countdown for the long-awaited launch of Dell’s Streak tablet has begun. The device – which hits the steamy streets sometime this summer – is expected to carry a $300 price tag contingent upon a 2 year service contract with AT&T.

So, holding your nose and signing a deal with the rather unpopular carrier is probably your best bet, because an unsubsidized tablet will set you back a whopping $550.

Still, as Brad Linder of Lilliputing points out, the contract-free Streak costs just $50 less than an unsubsidized iPhone 4.

“And it’s just $20 more than Google was asking for an unsubsidized Nexus One phone. [Yes], that might seem like a lot of money, since the Apple iPad starts at just $499.

“But bear in mind, the $499 iPad doesn’t have a 3G modem and it can’t make phone calls. At $549, the unsubsidized Dell Streak is actually pretty typical for an unsubsidized smartphone.”

Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Streak – which does not support T-Mobile’s 3G bands – will only be shipping with Android 1.6.

Dell engineers are reportedly running test builds of Android 2.1, with an an over-the-air update to Android 2.2 (Froyo) expected later this year. 

Additional features include: 

  • 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel display
  • 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G 

  • 5MP camera
  • MicroSD card slot

Update: Dell has acknowledged that it “mistakenly” posted an online message on its Web site saying that customers could purchase the device as early as Wednesday, July 28.

“It was a mistake, and we took that information down this morning,” spokesman Matt Parretta told ComputerWorld.

“I can say definitely that the Dell Streak won’t go on sale in July.”