Dell Venue 8 Pro vs. Lenovo ThinkPad 8

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The Lenovo ThinkPad 8 and Dell Venue 8 Pro appear to be very similar 8-inch tablets. They have the same general design and run the same operating system: Windows 8.1. But there are far more differences than first meet the eye.

The team at TabletPCReview pitted these two against each other to help shoppers decide which one comes out on top.

Build & Design

While at first glance, they both look like any old mid-size tablets, upon closer inspection it’s easy to see that there are a number of differences in the build and design of the ThinkPad 8 and Venue 8 Pro. The Dell features a plastic backing with grooves that give it some traction in the hand, whereas the Lenovo features a sleeker design. While more polished and professional looking, the ThinkPad also seems to be built sturdier than the Venue 8 Pro.

Lenovo ThinkPad 8The Lenovo measures in at 8.8 x 5.2 x 0.35 while the Dell measures 8.5 x 5.1 x 0.35, making the ThinkPad 8 slightly taller than its rival but otherwise almost the same size.

While both have a weight of 0.9lbs, the Lenovo feels a bit heavier when comparing side-by-side with the Dell, but this can be attributed to its quality of build. To put it plainly, the Lenovo just doesn’t seem as cheap as the Dell, so the perceived extra weight may just be due to the design.

Looking at ports, the Lenovo is the clear winner thanks to its its microHDMI port, which allows users to easily hook the tablet up to a second screen. Both tablets boast a mico-USB and microSD port, but the Dell is lacking an HDMI output.

Therefore, for build and design, TPCR has to give it to Lenovo for the quality of build and the amount of ports.

Display

Although both have 8-inch screens, the ThinkPad 8 is the clear winner when it comes to display quality. While the Venue 8 Pro’s screen is nothing to bark at, the comparison is a matter of pixels; Lenovo packed more resolution into its 8-inch display, and the results are obvious. The ThinkPad 8 sports a 1920 x 1200 IPS display, which works out to a resolution of 280dpi, while the Venue 8 Pro’s 1280 x 800 IPS display works out to 188dpi.

Dell Venue 8 ProThat being said, the Dell model certainly isn’t lacking in display quality, but for those looking for a multimedia tablet that is easy on the eyes, then the Lenovo is the way to go. Its resolution is on par with the iPad mini with Retina Display, meaning great picture quality and easy-to-read text.

Software

Both tablets run latest version of the full Windows 8.1, which is a plus for any tablet, since Windows RT leaves users wanting when it comes to available apps. A mobile computer featuring full Windows 8.1 allows users to make the most of their tablet, and fill in any gaps that users with RT might experience.

Another key element to both of these tablets is the fact that they both come bundled with a full copy of Microsoft Home and Student Office 2013. So no matter the tablet, users will get to make use of the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more.

When it comes to software, the Lenovo and Dell tie, with both offering a full suite of functionality.

Performance

Forget aesthetics and design, for many power users, the buck stops at performance. The TPCR Lab ran four benchmark tests on each tablet to test processor performance, overall performance, graphic card performance, and battery life.

On the wPrime test, which looks at processor performance, the Lenovo took first place, with the Dell device falling in behind not just it but also the HP Omni10, Toshiba Encore 8, and Asus VivoTab Note 8.

Dell Venue 8 Pro vs. Lenovo ThinkPad 8: wPrime

(Shorter bars mean better performance)

With PCMark 7, which measures overall performance, the ThinkPad 8 took first, while the Venue 8 Pro came in last behind the Omni10, Encore Note 8, VivoTab Note 8, and Asus Transformer Book T100.

Dell Venue 8 Pro vs. Lenovo ThinkPad 8: PCMark

(Shorter bars mean better performance)

When running the 3DMark 11 test, which measures graphic card performance, the Dell actually came in first place while Lenovo’s offering came in last behind the Transformer Book T100, Encore 8, VivoTab Note 8, and Omni10.

Dell Venue 8 Pro vs. Lenovo ThinkPad 8

(Longer bars mean better performance)

Finally, on the battery life run down, the Dell beat out the Lenovo tablet at 2nd place behind the Transformer Book T100, while Lenovo was fourth behind the Omni10.

(Shorter bars been better performance): PowerMark

(Longer bars mean better performance)

The Lenovo takes first in performance, and while the battery life wasn’t stellar on the tests, with more realistic daily use, users will find they get around 7 hours on the ThinkPad. TPCR runs extensive battery tests, pushing each tablet to the max, which might not reflect general daily use such as basic browsing and using apps.

Conclusion

It’s important to consider price point when pitting these Venue 8 Pro against the ThinkPad 8, because while the Lenovo comes out on top in features, the Dell will save consumers around $100. The Lenovo retails for around $400 for the 64GB model while the Dell retails for as low as $300 for the 32GB model.

Dell Venue 8 Pro vs. Lenovo ThinkPad 8The ThinkPad 8 is marketed to business users, but TPCR felt that it was still a great option for those looking for a 8-inch multimedia tablet, considering its display, performance, and microHDMI output. Those interested in a more budget friendly option, who aren’t too concerned with streaming Netflix or other multimedia content, might want to save some cash and go with the Venue 8 Pro. However, the Lenovo certainly makes up for its cost with its performance, display, and high end design.

For users who can swing the extra $100, the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 more than makes up for its bump in cost. Considering the build, display, and performance surpass the Dell, combined with the microHDMI port, the Lenovo is the clear winner in this battle.

Still can’t make up your mind? Rear our Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Review as well as our Dell Venue 8 Pro Review.

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