Dell Venue 8 Pro review, specs, price: $270 gets you an 8-inch tablet with the productivity power of a Windows 8.1 unit. It may not come with the flashiest design or paper thin weight, but with the essential elements of a tablet that gets the job done, the Dell Venue 8 is a winner in its category.
Zdnet said that this is truly the first Windows 8.1 8-inch tablet worth buying. There were numerous sales for the device last Black Friday weekend and as 2014 begins, it’s expected that more deals for the Venue 8 Pro could be available by first week of January.
According to Zdnet, one may think that going from a 7-inch to an 8-inch tablet is a trivial change but in reality, it makes a really big difference. Compared to Google Nexus 7 and Kindle HDX which are premium 7-inch tablets, the Dell Pro 8 which runs Windows 8.1 proved to be the better of the 3. The added 1 inch of screen real estate comes in very handy when you have to read emails, books or news while still managing to remain comfortable in the hand.
The Venue 8 Pro was not made to have a flashy design. It has a front panel that is all glass and a black bezel which has the embedded 1.2MP camera. The back is made out of black plastic with another 5MP camera on top of Dell’s logo. So as to be easier to hold, the plastic has been ribbed for more grip.
Despite not being flashy, the Dell Venue tablet weighs just under 400g and comes with a fast Bay Trail Atom CPU Z3740D. Being so light, it is extremely portable and can entertain you or keep you productive the whole day without running out of power. The 32 GB version retails for $299 while the 64GB goes for $349 which is very reasonable for what you get today.
The device also has plenty of ports and slots discretely placed around the edges. On the right side on top of the power and volume buttons, you have the micro-USB connector that can take USB 2.0 devices or its 10 watt charger. There is a port cover on the bottom right that peels away to reveal a micro-SD slot that you can use to expand your storage by up to 64GB. At the top of the device, you have a dual headphone/microphone jack next to what you will be using as the Windows button.
The Windows RT-powered Surface 2 could not run the full desktop version of Windows 8.1 while the Venue Pro handles it with ease. You will be able to use all the Windows desktop apps like built-in mail, Bing aps and Nook or Kindle apps.
The Windows 8.1 it runs on reduced the minimum resolution and screen size so that the OS could run on Microsoft-certified devices. It also has increased app-snapping options, which has made the brilliantly clear 1280 by 800 IPS display easily usable.
In terms of the ever important battery life, the budget-friendly HD slate is promised to last up to eight hours, good enough for a full workday. Not bad for a tablet that's almost half the price of other slates.