Rumors circulating around the Web suggest that Dell is preparing to launch an Android-based tablet, potentially beating Apple, Asus and others to the market. Pocket-lint reports that the new device will make its debut at CES in January, and could hit shelves shortly thereafter.

While details are scant, Pocket-lint's unnamed sources say Dell's tablet features a 5-inch display and runs the Android operating system. Like similar devices, it will allow users to surf the Web and its functionality should fall somewhere between a smartphone and a netbook.

The rumored tablet may resemble (or even be) Dell's "Streak" device (pictured), which leaked in late October and shares the mentioned characteristics. Features include a 5-inch 800x480 capacitive touchscreen, Android 2.0, built-in 3G (with support for calls), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a 5MP camera and a microSDHC slot.

When contacted for a response to the rumor, Dell answered with the following generality: "Dell continually develops and tests new products that extend the mobile experience. We have not made any product announcements and do not comment on speculation, rumour, or unannounced products."