Dell Venue 10 7000 2-in-1 Review: Brains And Beauty

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User Experience and Software

Using Android as a productivity platform will take some getting used to. I wouldn't be surprised to see Dell fabricate a secondary Venue 10 7000 with a slightly upgraded processor and Windows 10 onboard, but for now, we're dealing with Android 5.0.2. (Lollipop). What's powering it? The same 2.3GHz quad-core Atom Z3580 that I tested in ASUS' ZenFone 2 earlier this year. The CPU is paired with an Imagination PowerVR G6430 GPU, 2GB of LPDDR3 memory, and 16GB or 32GB of eMMC storage. That's slower than a bona fide SSD, though expected for a tablet running Android. For those who need added space, the microSD slot supports cards up to 512GB in size.

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While Dell doesn't offer a cellular version of the slate, its onboard wireless capabilities are stout. There's 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Miracast support. Dell Cast, the onboard software used to trigger the inbuilt WiDi functions, transforms the Android interface into an "elastic" one that "resembles a Windows desktop, with the ability to organize tiles, open multiple browsers, and edit/create documents with a connection to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse."

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This is perhaps the most interesting wrinkle on the software side for those pondering this product as a proper desktop replacement. While the above example isn't exactly like Windows, it's quite close in practice. When paired with external accessories, it plows through chores such as email and photo editing, though of course you're limited to what's available in the Google Play store in terms of applications. Also, the tablet is enabled to support Android for Work, which is becoming ever more powerful as the components found in Android slates continue to improve.

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In tablet mode, Dell Gallery is a notable software addition to the underlying Android architecture. It gives users the ability to view all of their digital photos in a single place, with Smart Albums handling the organization, and Facebook likes/comments being pulled in as well. Dell's assuming that many interested in this tablet will spend the bulk of their time emailing, engaged on social networks, and interacting with photos. That's probably a wise assumption, and Dell Gallery is a fun place to spend time.

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With the keyboard attached, the Venue 10 7000 is a powerful rig. The inclusion of a trackpad is a welcome feature, as it makes the experience feel that much more like "an actual computer" and less like a limited mobile device. Given how powerful Google's Productivity Suite (Docs, Sheets, etc.) has become, it really is possible to get a lot of real work done here. The Atom processor does struggle when multitasking and loading up large images/websites, but it's not unmanageable.

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Overall, the system responds quickly and performs well under duress, and Android 5 offers a wealth of system improvements. Those stuck on prior generations of Android will probably like the fresh look, zippier feel, and more streamlined underpinnings.

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