Dell's Android-powered Venue tablets from last year were more than adequate, but failed to make a definitive impression on the crowded Android market despite reasonable specs and low prices. The Texas company is hoping that a quick refresh of the hardware on the 7-inch and 8-inch models will help move a few more units... and hopefully a few lucrative accessories as well. Updated versions of the Venue 7 and Venue 8 will run Android 4.4 out of the box.
The biggest change on the inside is an upgrade to Intel's Merrifield family of low-power x86 chips: the Atom Z3460 (dual-core 1.6Ghz) on the Venue 7 and Atom Z3480 (dual-core 2.1Ghz) on the Venue 8. The 8-inch tablet needs the extra oomph, because it now uses a 1920x1200 screen, while the smaller tablet has to make do with 1280x800. The tablets also feature Waves MAXXAudio Pro for "great sound quality," which might be more believable if it weren't for the SkullCandy headphones on the promo page. Dell's press release and promotional page don't go into much detail on further specs, but according to PC World's Computex report, both will sport just 1GB of memory (a downgrade from last year's 2GB tablets) and 16GB of storage space. Engadget says that the tablets have MicroSD card readers, 5MP rear cameras, and 1MP/2MP front-facing cameras on the Venue 7 and 8, respectively. C'mon, Dell, don't make us hunt for hardware details.
Forget about the RAM downgrade. Dell wants to tell you about accessories! The company will be marketing a wireless desktop charger, a standard case and a rotating Folio case, a Bluetooth keyboard case, and a Dell-branded portable Bluetooth speaker along with the new Venue line. All of these are "coming soon," which means they may or may not make it to market with the tablets on July 1st. The Venue 7 will cost $159.99, while the bigger, faster Venue 8 will run you $199.99. Both tablets will be available in black or red.
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8 Tablets: Solid performance in an eye-catching design
The updated Dell Venue 7 and 8 tablets enable people to experience enjoyable entertainment and productivity in an attractive, thin, and light design. Whether reviewing a presentation or kicking back to watch movies, the HD (Venue 7) and Full HD (Venue 8) screens deliver brighter viewing angles and a better viewing experience, even outdoors. Premium audio technology from Waves MAXXAudio Pro ensures great sound quality, especially when paired with the optional Dell Bluetooth Portable Speaker. Based on Android 4.4 “Kit Kat”, the tablets feature the latest Intel Atom Z3460 (Venue 7) and Z3480 (Venue 8) processors (“Merrifield”) to drive faster web browsing and media editing, contributing to a premium mobility experience at a price that’s pleasing to the wallet. The new Dell Venue tablets also feature an easy-grip design on the back, and both are available in red or black color options.
Dell Venue Accessories: Effortlessly adapt to your day
From a professional who wants the option of a keyboard for typing to a music buff requiring optimal speakers, Dell has a full range of optional accessories to customize the Dell Venue tablet experience.
- Stay connected with the Dell Venue Cradle (coming soon), designed specifically for the Dell Venue 8. Now, people can wirelessly charge their device while they use it. Simply place your Venue 8 on the cradle and comfortably surf the web or watch videos while charging the battery.
- When it’s time to take the Dell Venue on-the-go, a brightly-colored, dual-layer Dell Duo Tablet Case will keep the device safe while making a stylish statement. Similarly, the sophisticated Dell Venue Rotating Folio for the Dell Venue 8 provides dependable protection, while the 360-degree screen rotation allows for smooth, stable positioning in portrait or landscape modes.
- The Dell Bluetooth Keyboard Folio provides a wireless Android keyboard for easy, natural typing. Designed for travel, the cover provides protection for the Dell Venue 8 screen and also folds into a stand for hands-free use.
- Whether providing the soundtrack for a road trip or starting a dance party, the Dell Bluetooth Portable Speaker provides easy connection for a wide variety of devices with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless and NFC connectivity to tap-and-pair and tap-and-connect with NFC-equipped devices. It offers up to 10 hours of continuous play, a wireless range of up to 30 feet, and built-in microphone for hands-free calls.
- The Dell Venue 7 and 8 tablets will be available from July 1 on Dell.com starting at $159.99 for the Dell Venue 7 and $199.99 for the Dell Venue 8