Are you looking for a great tablet that doubles as a mini-pc? Then, the Dell Venue 8 Pro comes as close as it gets to being that great almost pocket-size mini-PC. One difference though is that it has all the bells and whistles as that laptop or desktop running Windows 8.1.
When paired with the optional Dell Bluetooth keyboard, and the included MS Office suite, you DO have a computer away from computer. When you are home, you have an ultra-portable device that can do whatever your desktop or laptop can do.
From un-boxing to start up, this was a breeze. It actually came with a ¾ charge, so testing could begin immediately. First of all, for the price of under $250, the base specs are impressive and include (but not limited to);
- Intel Atom Quad Core
- Windows 8.1
- Office Home & Student 2013 (as tested with Office Pro)
- 2 gigs of memory and 32 gigs of storage (as tested with 64)
- Dual cameras.
- Micro USB port and mICROSD port
It takes only a few seconds (22 to be exact) to go from hitting the power button to being able to log on. Once that is done and you log in, it appears less than half a second that the home (START) screen appears. In fact, the setup process is so quick that from power up, to fully using it, which includes registration and WiFi setup, took less than 5 minutes.
Testing incorporated all the usual tasks;
- Application processing
- Install of hardware and software
- WiFi Reception and Bluetooth Reception
- Touch screen sensitivity with and with out stylus
- General computing
First off, this entire article was written on the Dell Venue Pro. It incorporated the Bluetooth keyboard. This is a great device for those shorter docs or when space is a concern. My handicap here (as far as the product) is that I am large. My fingers sometimes slipped which is my own issue. Longer docs may have you taking a break after an hour or so. That being said, the keyboard was smooth with no disconnect issue. Also to be noted is the fact that the battery which started out at 100% prior to typing this, was at 90% after an hour of typing. Now that is low discharge.
Installing software, depending on the size of the package took the usual time you would expect. There were no freezes nor slowdowns. This was the same result for the install of a network (HP Photojet 7520) printer and a Bluetooth (Epson LW-600P) Label printer. There is one downfall to hardware installs though. It does not have a full size USB input port, so unless the hardware is mini-usb connectable, you may not be able to install it.
Once set up for an automatic connection. WiFi was almost instant upon start up, as was Blietooth. The touch screen was instantly responsive which was just as expected.
As for general computing, this appears to be the best of the best when it comes to tablets. If you can get past the small stature and focus on the internal power, precision and actual full ability, you can admittedly have yourself a winner.
Learn more about the Venue line of great tablets at www.dell.com. As always, head on over to Amazon for a great deal on the whole line.