Dell Venue 8 Pro Review

by Ed Hardy Reads (19,553)
Editor's Rating
7.75

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 5
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 10
    • Total Score:
    • 7.75
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Low Price
    • Decent Performance
    • Good Screen
  • Cons

    • microSD card required
    • Good vision a necessity 

Quick Take

A 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.

Dell Venue 8 ProThe entire front is glass, but the sides and back are plastic, and the back has a grooved texture that makes it easy to hold on to, and prevent sliding when the device is put down.

Screen

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.

Dell Venue 8 Pro -- Side ViewNext 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.


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3 Comments

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  1. jtb7711

    ? a MicroSD card is not REQUIRED. You can put one in if you want to. It works fine without if you don’t need the storage.

    The microSD is one of the reasons I bought this instead of an iPad Mini. It’s a plus. How could having expandable storage be a con? I bought the version with 64 gigs of internal storage, and then with a 64 gig microSD, it’s got 128 gigs of storage – enormous for a tablet! Plenty of room to carry movies on a plane ride.

    • Ed Hardy

      @jtb7711 I’m assuming you just looked at the pros/cons and not the full review, which explains that the Venue 8 Pro has so little internal storage that anyone who owns this tablet needs a microSD card to store their files locally.