Dell Venue 8 Pro



  • I love technology and gadgets but there can come a time where I feel "over gadgeted." Sometimes less is actually more. I have a Windows Phone, Surface Pro 2 (Surface Pro 3 on the way) and a desktop PC. All have their functions and serve me well. So why would I need an 8" Windows tablet when I get those features in the Surface Pro 2 and to an extent, my Windows Phone? I can't answer that really but I've found the Venue 8 Pro to be surprisingly useful and productive.

    The Venue Pro 8 is a full PC It has the latest Intel Atom processor and it has proven to be snappy and up to the task at whatever I have thrown at it. I've installed Visual Studio 2013 and it runs great and not as slow as expected. I've even tried Steam and loaded Skyrim and while needing low settings, it worked well enough in a pinch to play a full desktop game. Other older games, like from GOG.com worked great though you do need a keyboard and mouse for 95% of these games.

    The device is an absolute joy to use in portrait mode. The latest Windows 8.1x updates have greatly improved portrait mode use and I find myself using it the majority of the time for reading, browsing and other consumption use. I've even used it via VPN/Remote desktop and it scales my servers to portrait mode in Remote Desktop and I can't say enough how useful it has been.

    I was also quite surprised at how productive I could be without using a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse. Microsoft Office 2013 (included, in Home/Student edition) handles the differences between touch and keyboard/mouse quite well. I did some light editing of Word documents with ease and copying and pasting from PDF files (using READER) and it all was quite easy to do. The aforementioned Remote Desktop works great and I find that I don't have a lot of problems with the desktop, though sometimes hitting minimize or the X is not terribly easy.

    I also have the optional stylus and if you are thinking of getting it, do know you need to use your My Dell program and download the firmware updates for both the tablet and the screen before you use it. It is not a good experience without the updates. Coming from the Surface Pro 2, I can say the stylus experience on the Venue Pro 8 is OK. But if this is your only tablet and option, then I can recommend the additional expense.

    The screen is quite clear and vibrant though sometimes small text is hard to read, at least with my eyes. Sound is VERY impressive and better than other tablets I've seen costing hundreds more.

    You will want to get the 64GB model for sure. The 32 GB model, even if you backup and remove the recovery drive, doesn't leave you with much space. You can install desktop apps on a MicroSD card (directly or via mount point) but the C drive is essential for a lot of operations of the tablet. I've moved over SkyDrive to the MicroSD but it doesn't seem to run as well. Also, Windows Store seems to have a lot of "cache space" when you download and install apps. You recover it after some time or a reboot. But I can't stress enough, go for the 64GB model .

    I've connected other Micro USB devices to this (including as Micro USB to USB adapter) and all have performed quite well.

    I've had no real problems with it. I've heard of issues with the micro USB port and charging problems. I've had none of that. I have had "modern" apps not respond quite a bit. You get their splash screen and then nothing happens. A reboot (sometimes several) seems to take care of that. I also got the blue screen of death (friendlier in Windows 8 with at least a frown face) when starting the camera app but rotating to landscape mode before it finished loading. But no real show killers with the device.

    I may be convinced that even with nifty devices like the Surface Pro 3, there may be a place for 8 inch tablets in your life. I can highly recommend the Dell Venue 8 Pro 64GB.



  • Had a bit of hands-on experience with one of these as a laptop replacement, and I was highly impressed. Just hope they crank out one with 8GBs of RAM soon, and maybe an Intel 4000 series integrated GPU.



  • As mentioned, I have the Surface Pro 2 and a Surface Pro 3 on preorder. But this device has been a joy to use. As some say, 8" may be the sweet spot. I am sure I'll use the heck out of the Surface Pro 3 but may find I travel more with the Venue Pro 8.



  • It's interesting to hear others opinions as I used one for a bit and didn't like it. However to be fair I am comparing it to an Ipad mini and the ipad just beat it in all areas that I need a tablet for hands down. Though to be fair I use these devices differently than you guys do.



  • @Minion-Queen said:

    It's interesting to hear others opinions as I used one for a bit and didn't like it. However to be fair I am comparing it to an Ipad mini and the ipad just beat it in all areas that I need a tablet for hands down. Though to be fair I use these devices differently than you guys do.

    I used to love to jump on the "tease Apple users" but working as a solo IT shop manager, I know there is a device for every person. I prefer the Microsoft Ecosystem but I appreciate what the iPad offers my users. I am not against Android but we only have iOS or Windows Phones/Windows tablets here.


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