It’s been while since I have purchased a Dell product for personal use. If you have been following in my older posts, you will see that I currently have an affinity for Acer products at the moment. To be honest, Dell just hasn’t had anything that was compelling in recent years plus I have started to question the build quality of some of their consumer products. I decided to give Dell another try with the release of the Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet.
Prior to getting the Dell Venue 8 Pro, I decided to pick up a Acer Iconia W3 tablet from Staples to see if running Windows 8/8.1 on a smaller screen was worthwhile. Needless to say, after a week of using the W3, I returned it to Staples (should have paid attention to the signs when I had to return the initial one I purchased because it would not power on). That being said, I did not return the Acer Iconia W3 because it was a bad device, but it’s not a great device. It was a bit bulky compared to other smaller devices such as the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini. The screen was terrible. If anything, I would consider it more of a proof-of-concept device to show that Windows 8/8.1 can be functional on a smaller screen. The Dell Venue 8 Pro bring the 8-inch tablet concept to reality.
Here are the basic specs:
- Intel Atom processor Z3740D with 32GB storage (2MB Cache, up to 1.8GHz Quad-Core)
- 2GB Single Channel DDR3L-RS 1600MHz
- 8.0 inch IPS Display with HD (WXGA 1280 x 800) resolution with 10-point capacitive touch
- Dell Wireless 1538 Dual-Band 2×2 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0
- Integrated 1.2MP HD Webcam (front) and 5MP (rear)
- Micro USB 2.0 (for trickle charging and data transfer)
- Headphone and microphone combo jack
- Micro SDXC slot that supports up to a 64GB card
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
Priced at $299 with 32GB of storage (a 64GB version is also available) the Dell Venue 8 Pro is 0.35” (9mm) thick, 5.12” (130mm) wide, 8.50” (216mm) long and weighs 0.87lbs. The tablet ships with the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 (not Windows RT) and also comes bundled with a complimentary copy of Office Home & Student 2013. Best of all, it does not ship with a bunch of crapware like other computers. Just a few Dell applications that can easily be uninstalled.
Another nice feature of the Dell Venue 8 Pro is it’s wireless display technology, which allows you to stream videos, photos or presentations from your tablet to your TV through Miracast wireless technology. It requires a compatible media adapter and an HDMI-enabled display in order to take advantage of this feature. Surprised that more tablets aren’t taking advantage of wireless display technology.
An optional accessory is the Dell Active Stylus, which can allow you to take notes, edit and retouch photos and make it easier click those buttons that your fingers are too fat to do so. There is also an available wireless keyboard and tablet folio.
If you are looking for an alternative to iOS or Android in a tablet, you can’t go wrong with the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor, it runs the full version of Windows 8.1 so you can use your legacy programs if needed. This is the 8-inch Windows tablet to own.