- Low Price
- Decent Performance
- Good Screen
- microSD card required
- Good vision a necessity
Quick TakeA good tablet for Windows fans to use for personal and occasional professional tasks, but not capable of being a full-time business computer.
The Dell Venue 8 Pro has drawn tremendous interest thanks to its $300 price tag — an amazingly low cost for a tablet that runs the full version of Windows. Which raises the question, how well does this device perform?
It has an 8-inch, 1280 x 800 screen, and is powered by an Intel Atom quad-core “Bay Trail” processor, with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage, and a microSD memory card slot.
Build and Design
The Venue 8 Pro has the standard design for a tablet: a rectangle with rounded corners. At 5.1 x 8.5 x .35 inches and .9 lbs., this is a mid-size device. It’s light enough to be used for long periods of time, and can be easily held in one hand, but it’s not really pocketable.
The 8-inch, 1280 x 800 (WXGA) display looks great: the pixel density is high enough that there’s little to no pixelization.
It uses IPS technology, so it supports a wide range of viewing angles. And the backlight is strong enough that the screen is usable outdoors, although it doesn’t look nearly as good in direct sunlight as it does indoors.
Other Buttons and Controls
A frequent complaint with Windows 8 was the lack of a Start button in Desktop mode. Version 8.1 added this, but the Venue 8 Pro goes one better by including a physical Start button on the top edge. The Power button is on the right side, and it will take some practice before the average user can stop getting the two mixed up.
Next to the Power button is the micro-USB port that’s this tablet’s only wired connector, as there is no full-size USB slot or an Ethernet port — but that’s not at all unusual in a slim-and-light tablet like this one.
Also on the right side is a rocker for volume up/down and the very welcome microSD memory card slot. This is essentially a requirement for storing media files, as most of the Venue 8 Pro’s internal storage is taken up by the operating system and much of the rest will be necessary to hold the third-party software that gets installed.
Don’t stop now — Part 2 covers performance and benchmarks of the Dell Venue 8 Pro.