The DELL Venue 8 Pro is a Windows 8.1 tablet with a 8″ 10-point touch screen. It can be used with a digitizer and has a 1280×800 IPS display which looks fantastic. The internal storage is 32GB eMMC, but it can be extended with a microSD card. Unlike the other current 8″ tablets from Toshiba, Acer & Lenovo, it has nice back, a black rubberized material with concentric circles makes it a pleasure to hold. The CPU is a Intel Baytrail Atom 1,8GHz (Quad-Core), which powers it very well. I was pretty surprised how fast and snappy this tablet works. Unlike the newest Lenovo and Toshibas Encore, it does not have a microHDMI port, but you can extend the display via USB or Miracast (wirless). You can also extend the storage by connecting a OGT (microUSB to USB) cable. This allows you to attach (powered) harddisks, USB sticks, card readers or even USB hubs which you can then use to attach a mouse and keyboard.
As mentioned before, it comes preinstalled with Windows 8.1. Because it’s a real x86 CPU build-in, there are no drawbacks like on the Surface 2, which has an ARM CPU and limits a lot in the RT edition of Windows 8.1. You can install every application that is made for 32bit Windows x86. When you play with such tablets, you understand the Modern UI. While it does not make much sense on a traditional PC, it is a very good idea for a device like the DELL Venue 8 Pro.
What you should know
- You have only one USB port, so you can’t use for an example an USB stick while charging. Rumors report that a special cable is in development currently which allows USB out & charging the same time. This “problem” counts for all 8″ Windows tablets, also those from Acer, Lenovo & Toshiba.
- 32GB is a bit on the low side. I’ve had the Toshiba Encore with 64GB internal storage and that gives you a lot more space the breathe. See the tips below.
- Playing games, it get’s a bit hot.
Windows tablet vs. iPad vs. Android tablet
I wanted to get a new iPad mini Retina, but the 16GB would cost about 369€, and a feature I was looking for is a “split mode”, that allows you to browse and use Skype, or Twitter next to each other without having to jump forth and back between these apps. As mentioned in previous posts, I simply don’t like Android. I tried the Nexus 4 & 7 some months ago, but I never was too happy with it, so I gave both away. Windows is normally not my first choice as OS, but in the last few months, especially since Windows 8, I started to like it a bit more – and it’s the tool for the work I want to do (like video editing). It’s simply a personal decision.
32GB is not much. On the DELL Venue 8 Pro, you have 23GB left for the Windows 8.1 partition (the rest is reserved for the restore partition). But there are some ways to save some space.
- Power Management: run cmd as Administrator and type “powercfg -h off” – this will disable some Power Management settings and gives you some more GB of storage. It does not affect the usability of the tablet.
- Move the swap file onto the microSD card. 2GB are fine.
- If you don’t use the Office that comes with the tablet, deinstall it.
- There are a lot of updates available directly from DELL. Be sure to download and install them.
- Disable the ambient light sensor: Settings -> Change PC-Settings -> PC & devices -> Power switch and energy saving -> turn the switch to “off”.
I now have 9,34GB free space on the “C”-Drive. I will not really use it as a productive device, more as a device for the couch and for this, it works absolutely fantastic.
Applications I can recommend
- Asphalt 8
- Official Twitter Client
- Channel 9
- Microsoft Mahjong
- Teamviewer Touch
- Microsoft Wetter
I bought it from the German Dealer Notebooksbilliger. Special Offer: The Dell Venue 8 Pro (32GB) + 32GB Extreme microSD card (Sandisk) + 25GB voucher for the Windows Store for 279€.