2 Oct 2013

Dell Unveils Venue Line of Android and Windows Tablets

Dell jumped back into the tablet space in a big way on Wednesday, unveiling no fewer than four tablets, including both Android and Windows models — all of them powered by Intel chips.

The Dell Venue 7 and 8 are aggressively priced Android tablets aimed at "millennials." Both tablets have high-def IPS (in-plane switching) LCD screens, and Dell says they have "all-day" battery life thanks to the Intel Atom "Bay Trail" processor. The Venue 7 and 8 cost $149 and $179, respectively.

On the Windows side, Dell showed off the Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro. Calling it the "world's thinnest Windows tablet," Dell says it's less than 9mm thick. Dell also offers a stylus and 4G connectivity as options, and the back has a "soft touch" grip, similar to BlackBerry phones. The Venue 8 Pro starts at $299.

The Dell Venue 11 Pro is a 10.8-inch tablet with a full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS screen. Buyers can choose between Intel Atom and Core-powered versions, and Dell will offer an optional desktop dock for hooking up to a workstation. There'll also be an optional travel keyboard that augments the battery life to 17 hours. Pricing starts at $499.

The Android tablets are exactly what you expect: cheap slates that perform adequately but don't stand out in any way, except maybe for the Iron Man-red finish on some of them, and the "Intel Inside" logo on the back.

The screens looked good in a brightly lit room, and an HD YouTube trailer of 300: Rise of an Empire was nice and sharp. However, the cameras are terrible, unable to capture a non-blurred image even with plenty of natural light in the storefront event space.

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