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Review : Dell Venue 11 Pro Series 7000

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You would probably have heard about Microsoft's Surface tablet - be it the latest model or less successful earlier versions.

However, you may have not heard of Dell's Venue 11 Pro. Like the Surface, it is a Windows tablet.

The marketing for both slates stresses that they are versatile and productive tablets which can replace your laptop. Dell's slate, however, is targeted at business users.

This enterprise focus is reflected in the Venue's dark grey and black design. Weighing about 750g, it is not as handy as most Android tablets. The Venue is thick enough to support a full-sized USB 3.0 port.

This port is a must-have for any device which wants to succeed in the business world. Another useful feature: a microSD card slot which lets users increase the built-in storage (a 128GB solid-state drive on the review set) by an additional 64GB. In addition, Dell offers 20GB of free cloud storage (Dropbox) for one year.

More importantly, a whole range of Dell accessories transforms the Venue into a proper business machine. They include a keyboard dock with a secondary battery, which, in combination with the Venue tablet, become a laptop. Connect the Venue to a tablet dock, which comes with HDMI and USB ports, to support more peripherals.

The Venue's screen is impeccable. Viewing angles are wide and colours look vibrant without oversaturation. There is no air gap between the glass and the display. This minimises reflection, despite the glossy screen.

Text and images look sharp on this 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen. However, at this resolution, icons can look fairly small on the Venue's 10.8-inch display.

Although I could still tap the icons with my fingers (at no point did I feel the need to use the optional stylus), users with pudgy fingers will find this difficult to do.

Like most tablets, the Venue comes with front (2-megapixel) and rear (8-megapixel) cameras.

However, as it is awkward to hold and shoot with this hefty slate, most users will likely find the front

camera - which can be used for video-conferencing, for instance - more useful.

Powering this tablet is Intel's new Core M processor. This low-power chip does not require a fan, which helps to reduce the thickness of the device. It draws little power (4.5W), which is probably why the Venue managed an impressive seven hours of uptime in our battery life test.

Overall system performance was fairly decent and comparable to some ultrabooks.

The review unit is priced at $1,487, slightly more expensive than the Surface Pro 3 ($1,348 for the Intel Core i5 with a 128GB solid-state drive).

The Dell’s business slant puts it in good stead against its rivals. However, it does not come cheap, especially when you add in the accessories.

TECH SPECS

Price: $1,487

Processor: Intel Core M-5Y10c (800MHz)

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530

RAM: 4GB

Screen size: 10.8 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

Connectivity: 1 x USB 3.0, micro-HDMI, headphone and microphone combo jack

Battery: 38 watt-hour


RATING

Feature 4/5

Design 3/5

Performance 4/5

Value of money 3/5

Battery for life 5/5

Overall 4/5

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