Dell Venue 8 7000 a Strong Contender in Lightweight Tablet Market

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-01-26
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Dell Venue 8 7000 a Strong Contender in Lightweight Tablet Market
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    Dell Venue 8 7000 a Strong Contender in Lightweight Tablet Market

    By Don Reisinger
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    There's Just Something About That Design
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    There's Just Something About That Design

    One of the first things to notice about the Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet is its rather interesting design. The device comes with a prominent screen on the front and a thin bezel. Its machined aluminum finish adds a level of character not previously seen in Dell tablets. However, perhaps the most interesting aspect of its design is the extra band at the bottom that houses the device's speakers. Typically, speakers are hidden from view in tablets, but Dell says its design allows for better sound for its slate.
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    Dell Really Gets the Whole 'Mobility' Thing
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    Dell Really Gets the Whole 'Mobility' Thing

    It's hard to find fault with the mobility factor built into the Dell Venue 8 7000. The device is just 0.24 inches thin and less than 5 inches wide. It is also 8.5 inches tall, making it one of the smaller devices on the market. Apple's iPad Mini 3, in comparison, is 0.29 inches thick and has a 5.3-inch width, despite having a smaller screen than the Venue 8 7000.
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    The Screen Has Earned Rave Reviews
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    The Screen Has Earned Rave Reviews

    The Dell Venue 8 7000's screen is arguably one of the best reasons to buy the tablet. The screen is an 8.4-inch OLED with a 2,560-by-1,440 resolution that supports 10-point capacitive touch. OLED displays tend to deliver outstanding color accuracy and strong black levels. Judging by the Venue 8 7000's specifications, it delivers on all of that and more.
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    Dell Provides the First Intel RealSense Depth Camera
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    Dell Provides the First Intel RealSense Depth Camera

    The Dell Venue 8 7000 has leveraged Intel technology quite effectively. The device is the first tablet to come with Intel's RealSense Depth Camera, which allows users to snap a photo and then automatically refocus an image by simply tapping on anything in the photo to make it clear. The feature creates a blurring effect in other areas and allows for a wide variety of photo-editing options.
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    There's an Intel Atom Z3580 CPU Inside
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    There's an Intel Atom Z3580 CPU Inside

    Speaking of Intel, it's important to note that the Dell Venue 8 7000 isn't running an ARM-based processor. Instead, Dell decided to go with the Intel Atom Z3580 with up to a 2.3GHz clock speed. In addition, the tablet has Intel HD graphics. Intel has little market share in the mobile space now, but if its components can find their way into strong tablets, like the Venue, the company might expect better success in the coming months.
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    It Runs Android 4.4 KitKat
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    It Runs Android 4.4 KitKat

    Although the latest Android version available right now is 5.0 (Lollipop), Dell has decided to go with Android 4.4 KitKat. That's not necessarily an issue. KitKat is a generally strong version of Android, but it's something to keep in mind. It's also worth noting that supporting an older operating system means Android's fragmentation issues, which have subsided over the past year, aren't gone just yet.
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    Dell Has a Partnership With Dropbox
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    Dell Has a Partnership With Dropbox

    Dell has a partnership with cloud-based storage company Dropbox to offer cloud storage to customers. So, after users pick up a Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet, they'll receive 20GB of free storage capacity on Dropbox for a period of one year. After that, those who want more storage can get Dropbox Pro, which provides 1TB of storage for $99 per year.
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    But the Venue 8 7000 Doesn't Ship With Much Onboard Storage
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    But the Venue 8 7000 Doesn't Ship With Much Onboard Storage

    Speaking of storage, the Dell Venue 8 7000 is a little light in that category. The tablet comes with just 16GB of onboard storage, which might not be enough for the average user. However, like other companies, including Microsoft and Amazon, complementing that with online storage is a solid move. Apple, however, sees it differently and offers three storage options to customers. Keep that in mind before choosing between the two slates.
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    There Is No Mobile Broadband Connection
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    There Is No Mobile Broadband Connection

    Those looking to connect to the Web on the Venue 8 7000 while away from a WiFi connection will be disappointed. Since Dell designed the tablet to be affordable and lightweight, the company didn't include a mobile broadband connection. Several competing products come with cellular connections, however, so Dell may be compelled to make a move in that direction at some point.
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    Pricing Makes It a Winner
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    Pricing Makes It a Winner

    Although it has some shortcomings, it's hard to find fault in the Dell Venue 8 7000's price-to-value ratio. The tablet comes with a wide range of outstanding features, including a nice display, a great design and solid cameras. And for all of that, customers can buy the device for $399, or $429 with a case.
 

Dell over the last few years has tried its luck in the tablet market with tepid results. Consumers have, for the most part, decided that tablets from Samsung and Apple are better options, and Dell is one of the also-rans left to pick up the scraps. But at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Dell unveiled the latest model in its Venue tablet series, called the Venue 8 7000. The device garnered critical acclaim at CES and has since received some glowing reviews. The Venue 8 7000 has been tagged as one of the best small, lightweight slates on the market, and it might just be the top competitor to Apple's own iPad Mini. Central to the Venue's popularity thus far has been its outstanding design and high-resolution screen. The device also comes with an attractive starting price point of $399, making it accessible to customers on a budget. Dell has made a significant move in the tablet market with the Venue 8 7000, which is worth a closer look from business buyers and consumers. This slide show provides more details about this Dell model.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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