Dell ended sales of its Venue and Streak smartphones in the US earlier in 2013 but promised at the time that the company would continue to strategize on how to best position itself for the rise of computing mobility. Those promises appear to have now borne fruit, as the Dell recently announced a host of Venue-branded tablets, with several high-power offerings running Windows 8.1 and getting the “Pro” designation. There’s an opportunity in the market for a quality Windows-based alternative to Android and iOS tablets and, at first glance, the Venue Pro tablets just might fill this need.
The Venue and Venue Pro Lineup
Dell teased the Venue 8 Pro, the 8-inch tablet model, last month at the Intel Developer Forum, but offered little details at the time. Now, not only are the details about that tablet becoming clear, but Dell has also announced the specifications for an 11-inch Venue Pro model.
As detailed in PC World, the Venue 8 Pro features an 8-inch, 1280×800 IPS display, a 5MP rear camera, a 1.2MP front camera, 2GB of DDR3/1600 memory, and either 32GB or 64GB of flash storage, depending on the model, with the option to add another 64GB of storage though a MicroSD slot. Even with all of those features, the highlight is probably the 1.8GHz quad-core Atom Z3740D processor, based on Intel’s new Bay Trail technology. The processor uses Intel’s Silvermont architecture to generate better processor and memory performance while being five times more power efficient than older architectures, as noted by ZDNet.
The Venue 11 Pro turns out to be much more than just the 8-inch tablet with a slightly larger screen. This tablet seems to be targeting the high-end and business markets, with a ton of features that enterprise users will love, such as wireless display technology for remote HD viewing and presentations and three different docking options, one of which basically turns the tablet into an ultrabook.
On top of those features, the device sports a 10.8-inch 1080P display, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and LTE capabilities. The base model uses a Bay Trail Atom Z3770 processor, which comes with 2GB of RAM. There are also more advanced versions that run using Y-series Core i3 and i5 CPUs, which can come with up to 8GB of RAM. Onboard memory will range from 64GB to 256GB, based on the model.
The Venue 8 Pro will go on sale in mid-October 2013, starting at $299. The Venue 11 Pro will go on sale in early November in the UK, with US, availability to follow shortly. The 11-inch model will start at $499, but pricing information for the high-end models and the docking accessories has not yet been announced.
Dell and Windows in the Tablet Market
Windows 8.1 is slowly gaining traction in the tablet space, and if the right sequence of devices hit the tablet market, the OS could find itself gaining serious market share on the two big mobile OS giants. Microsoft’s mobile OS has a long road ahead of it, but when you consider how much the mobile market has changed in just the last six years (there was no iOS, Android, or even a tablet market before then), it wouldn’t be strange to see another player burst onto the scene.
While it’s way too early to suggest that Dell’s Venue tablets can disrupt the tablet market, or to suggest that people start turning in their old tablets to buy A Venue Pro, the specs and early looks at the tablets all point to a potential winner. Now, all that’s left is for Dell is to ensure that the device quality meets expectations and that the devices are released in a timely manner.
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