Dell isn’t usually the name you associate with good Android tablets. Samsung, Sony, NVIDIA—all companies offering great choices. But not Dell. The company hasn’t really found its footing in the mobile market, but it’s finally (finally!) showing us that it maybe has some dog left in this fight.
The thing is is that the Dell Venue 8 7000 probably won’t even be on most people’s radar—not like an iPad, or even a Nexus 9. And that’s a shame. But it’s still really great to see the company confidently enter into what is becoming an increasingly drab market. What Dell has released feels fun and fresh, but without going overboard. It’s much more than just a lovely design.
For now, the Dell Venue 8 7000 is the world’s thinnest tablet, coming in at just 6.1mm. It sports a very durable, very premium aluminum build, an 8.4-inch 2560×1600 OLED display, an Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM. Other specs include a near-stock version of Android 4.4.4, 16GB of expandable storage, an 8-megapixel camera (2-megapixel front), a front-facing speaker, and a relatively hefty price at $399.
Other notable mentions include Intel’s RealSense technology, which basically puts three depth-sensing cameras on the back to perform a number of neat abilities. You’ve probably seen the commercials marketing these gimmicks, or maybe even our CES video explaining what it can do. It’s very likely you won’t spend very much time using RealSense, and, anyway, the device’s camera isn’t particularly great to begin with. Not a huge deal on a tablet, but something to note.
The way I see it, there are three Android tablets worth considering: this, the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and the Nexus 9. For my money, I’d still go with NVIDIA’s option, and because the Nexus 9 is guaranteed quick updates, I’d go with that over the Dell. But that’s not to see the Dell isn’t a good device, because it is. But at $399, it’s not really standing out in any significant way. Sure, the design is beautiful, so there’s that.
Think of this as a beginning of something more exciting to come. Dell has proven it can be in the tablet conversation, but it hasn’t yet earned the privilege of being the top dog. Nobody really has in the Android tablet market just yet, so I’ll be curious to see if Dell decides that it wants to continue experimenting with fun projects like the Dell Venue 8 7000. Just, please, let’s think of a more exciting name.
Check out the video above to see the our full review.