Your ultimate productivity companion. Take the full power of Windows 8.1 and Office Home & Student 2013 wherever you go with an 8" HD screen, a quad-core Intel Atom processor, dual cameras and an optional keyboard.
• Intel Atom processor Z3740D (2MB Cache, up to 1.8GHz Quad-Core)
• Windows 8.1 (32Bit) English (Upgradeable to Win8.1 Pro)
• Office Home & Student 2013 for Tablet (English/Traditional Chinese)
• 2GB Single Channel DDR3L-RS 1600MHz
• 32/64GB eMMC Hard Drive
• Intel HD Graphics
• 8.0 inch IPS Display with HD (WXGA 1280 x 800) resolution with 10-pt capacitive touch
• Integrated 1.2MP HD Webcam (front) / 5MP (back)
• Dell Wireless 1538 Dual-Band 2x2 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0
• 18Whr (4830mAh), 2-Cell Battery
• 10 Watt AC Adapter
• Firmware TPM
Ports, Slots & Chassis
Ports & Connectors
• 1 x Micro-AB USB2.0 (for trickle charging and data transfer)
• 1 x Headphone and microphone combojack
• 1 x 3FF micro-SIM slot (coming soon, optional with WWAN configuration)
• Thickness: 9mm
• Width: 130mm
• Length: 216mm
• Starting at 395g
The Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet is marketed as a budget conscious entry level device. Within this category of 8" tablets there are only a couple of other competitors. So what does this tablet do to make you want to buy it instead of the others?
In this review I will be happy to tell you. The packaging and weight of this item lends itself to some serious quality. It does not feel like a cheap plastic toy. The box is nicely packed, easy to undo to retrieve the charger booklet and tablet itself and small enough that you would want to keep it. I am the sort of person that keeps boxes but end up a year later wondering why the garage is stuffed full of empty boxes. This one won't even be noticed.
When you first get the tablet out and into your hands, you will notice the nice rubberised textured backing and the generous weight of the device. In saying that it is not heavy, it just feels like quality. Many competitors go for the smooth finish on the back which is fine but I was really impressed by this simple rubberised design change. It is a concentric circle pattern emanating from the central DELL logo which is a nice touch. This tablet comes in two colours. Black and Red. Staying on the back of the device there is a rearward facing 5 megapixel camera, and Intel inside lower down towards the bottom.
On the front top face there is a 1.2 megapixel camera for selfies and Skype, you will note there are no front face buttons. Not even soft touch hidden buttons. If you are an iOS user or an Android user you would be forgiven for wondering where the home button was or how the hidden back and menu buttons were used but you see this is running the Windows 8.1 OS. Everything is done on the screen with swipes.
I have my issues with Windows 8.1 but I am not going to let it affect the review for this device because it is just an OS. The big advantage of this tablet running Windows 8.1 proper, is that you can install any programs you currently use on your main computer with Windows 8.1 onto your tablet. You are unable to do this if it had the embedded version of Windows installed.
Around the outside edge of the tablet, on the right side top is the On/Off button and a volume up and volume down button. There is a Windows button and a 2.5mm headphone jack on the very top right of the device. You will find the speaker grille slot neatly placed on the bottom edge and the charging and reset hole on the right side at the top. An expansion slot is on the right lower side allowing you to expand upon the included 32gb or 64gb internal memory with a MicroSD, which is behind a flip out clip cover to minimise dust and dirt ingress.
Let's talk about the battery life. For normal browsing of the internet and casual gaming with the apps, and watching YouTube the tablet ran for around 8 hours. From dead flat to full charge turned off (so not using the tablet whilst charging) this took around 4 hours, which was pretty reasonable.
Performance to go with that battery longevity was impressive also. Due to the Z3740D integrated graphics processor, I was able to play graphics intensive Flash games like Candy Crush, watch HD video streams and even open resource heavy apps without any appreciable delays or stuttering. The only glitching I saw was due to my dodgy internet connection. 2gb of single channel RAM facilitated this with the onboard memory reserve for installing apps and games etc being around 10gb. I would recommend not installing programs and apps and documents etc to fill this space up too much, as when you eat away 80% of that space the device will start to lag and performance will suffer as with most devices. I definitely recommend installing 64 gb of class 10 memory. I compared the opening time of my i7 Laptop Elgato app and the Venue 8. The time was slightly faster on the tablet to open the program and also quit out of it. I am running Windows 8.1 Pro on my laptop and the tablet runs Windows 8.1 standard. I found this quite impressive that it could compete with my i7 and was not left behind.
Display capabilities are great with its 8 inch size and resolution of 1280 x 800 px this is slightly over the standard 720p HD size of 1280 x 720. Brightness and contrast is lovely with deep blacks and rich clean sharp looking colours. The touchscreen was as good as any touchscreen experience should be with accuracy not being pinpoint but at least within a few mm of where you press. Bearing in mind your finger is not a solid point.
Speaking of which, the tablet has stylus support and they even sell an accessory stylus that you can buy for this tablet. It is called an Active Stylus and is a metal pen shaped device with a rubber grip and thumb operated buttons x2. The use of the stylus and its buttons are not able to be commented on as it was not available for review.
Preinstalled software includes Microsoft Office 2013 full license so you get Word, Excel, Powerpoint and One Note if you use any of those programs.
Overall I was very impressed and pleased with this device and for the price it was definitely my choice in this particular category of tablets available out there, with just one point deducted for not including the stylus and making us buy it for the sake of $40. Especially when only 2 tablets on the market currently in this price and spec range actually have the digitizer built in for a stylus.
I definitely recommend you give this one a try I am confident you will not regret it.
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