Dell Venue 8 (2014) Review

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Introduction and Specifications

Dell has become a very different company since going private about a year ago. It’s quieter, more nimble, and it has dramatically focused its product lines. A company once known for its ability to ship just about anything you could ask for on a custom PC is reinventing itself in a world smitten by handheld devices with tighter profit margins. While the company never found footing in the cutthroat smartphone arena, Dell is still keeping its toe dipped in the tablet waters. Around six months after shipping its initial Venue 8, Dell’s latest edition, the Venue 8 3840, is a vast improvement.


The new $179 Venue 8 maintains the same product name as the prior edition, but inside, it’s a different beast. The sub-$200 sector is a challenging one to play in, and it’s becoming tougher to cut through the noise as well. Externally, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the initial Venue 8 and the 2014 edition, but a Merrifield processor from Intel as well as an upgraded display makes this a very compelling offering. Those two additions alone make this one of the better value-targeted tablets on the market, but as you well know, buying decisions can’t boil down to specifications alone. In the pages ahead, we’ll evaluate the whole package.

For now, let’s take a look at a quick hands-on walk around of the device, and then we'll take a look what’s under the hood...


Dell Venue 8 (2014)
Specifications & Features
Processor
2.1GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z3480
Memory and Graphics
1GB LP DDR3 RAM
16GB eMMC Internal Storage

Intel HD Graphics (Imagination PowerVR G6400)
Size & Weight
216mm (H) x 130mm (W) x 8.95mm (D)
338g (0.74 lbs)

Display
8.0-inch IPS FHD LCD (1920 x 1200)
OS
Android 4.4.4 (KitKat)
Connectivity
802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0
micro-USB 2.0

Miracast
3.5mm Headphone / Microphone Combo Jack
Camera
5 Megapixel Rear-Facing Autofocus Camera
2.0 Megapixel Front-Facing Camera
Battery
4550 mAh
Price
$179.99+ - Find It At Amazon.com


Most tablets priced at $200 or less provide a subpar user experience. The corners cut are clear. But with the new Venue 8, what’s clear is that Dell has gone to great lengths to include high-end elements while keeping the price reasonable. Those looking to spend upwards of $500 on a tablet have plenty of options, but if you just need a secondary device to check email, indulge in the occasional game, and watch content, the Venue 8 is quite the temptress.
 

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