Dell unveiled two new Android tablets today at an event in New York under its Venue brand of devices, a 7-inch Venue 7 and an 8-inch Venue 8. Both devices launch on Oct. 18 at budget-friendly points. We had a chance to get our hands on the new tablets so here are our first impressions.
Dell Venue 7
The Dell Venue 7 is the company’s smaller lightweight Android tablet. It runs the 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, though Dell claims it should receive a software update in the near future. The device comes equipped with 16GB of internal storage and microSD slot for adding additional memory, a 2GHz dual-core Intel Z2580 processor, and a 1280 x 800-pixel IPS display.
It’s not the most impressive 7-inch slate on the market, but at $149 it’s hard to beat the price. The Venue 7 is extremely lightweight, easy to hold in one hand, and the software runs quickly with minimal bloatware dragging it down. It doesn’t feel cheap either, and the display is fine if not great, though our biggest complaint would be the heavy glare bouncing off its screen — an issue with all of Dell’s tablets announced today. There’s no comparing the Venue 7 to Google’s Nexus 7 when it comes to hardware, software or speed, but that’s why Dell is doing its best to to undercut the Asus-made tablet. Honestly, though, if you’re looking for a 7-inch Android device we’d recommend coughing up the extra $50 and choosing Google over Dell.
Dell Venue 8
Dell’s larger Android tablet offers pretty much the exact same specs as the 7-inch model, but costs $180 for 16GB and an undisclosed amount for 32GB of storage. It also comes in either black or red, while the smaller version is only available in black. The Venue 8 is still very lightweight, but it’s slightly too large to hold comfortably in one hand. Again, this Android tablet is nothing to write home about, but offers a budget-friendly price point for some pretty good functionality.
The design is fine, falling short of Google’s Nexus 7 though we’d say it’s on par with Samsung’s mid-sized Android slates. The display offers the exact same resolution as the Venue 7, making it feel a tiny bit stretched, though not noticeably so, but that’s definitely going to be noticeable when you’re reading Web sites, watching movies or viewing photos. At $180 the Venue 8’s price is probably its best feature, but we’re not sure that’s a good enough reason to buy this tablet.