We’ve reviewed quite a few tablets here at Techaeris, both Android and Windows alike in various sizes. Dell was kind enough to send over one of their “thinnest tablets in the world” and we take a look in our Dell Venue 8 7000 review to see how it stacks up against the competition.
The Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet features the following specifications:
- Display: 8.4″ WQXGA (2560×1600) 361 ppi OLED display
- Processor: Intel Atom Z3580 Quad Core processor
- Storage: 16GB or 32GB, microSD card slot up to 512GB
- Memory: 2GB LPDDR3
- Graphics: HD Graphics (Imagination PowerVR G6430)
- Camera: 8MP Intel RealSense Snapshot Depth Camera (rear); 2MP front camera
- Connectivity: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Miracast
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope
- Speakers: Front stereo speakers with MaxxAudio Waves tuning
- Battery: 5900mAh/21WHr (up to 10h battery life)
- OS: Android Lollipop 5.0.2
- Dimensions: 8.5″ x 4.89″ x 0.24″ (215.8mm x 124.4 mm x 6 mm)
- Weight: 306g (0.67lbs)
In The Box
The Dell Venue 8 7000 includes:
- 8.4″ Venue 8 7000 tablet
- USB AC Adapter
- USB cable
First impressions speak volumes in most cases, and that is no exception with the Dell Venue 7 8000 tablet. Right out of the box the tablet has a nice weight to it and feels solid due to its machined aluminum back and sides. The bottom is manufactured with Thermoplastic Engineering Polymer Resin and houses the cameras and speakers.
The top left of the Venue 8 7000 features the power and volume buttons, the microSD card slot sits on the bottom right side of the tablet, and the microUSB port sits on the bottom center of the tablet. While speakers on the bottom portion of a tablet aren’t a new idea, the placement of the front and rear facing cameras on the bottom seemed a bit odd to me. As I am right handed, I hold my devices in my left hand. With the front facing camera on the lower left of the tablet, my hand is covering it and to effectively use it I have to flip the tablet around so it is upside down and the camera/speakers are at the top. The same goes for using the rear facing camera.
It’s an interesting design choice to put the cameras near the bottom, I think I would have preferred to have the camera and speaker arrangement at the top – or better yet speakers at the top and bottom with the cameras placed at the top. I constantly found myself using the tablet “upside down,” and as a result my left hand sometimes rested on the bottom corner of the screen which made the input registration of my right fingers non-responsive on occasion. Holding the tablet with the speaker at the bottom at least provides a thicker portion of the frame to hold it and not interfere with the actual screen.
Another issue with the design that I encountered is that the WLAN antenna is located right beside the front facing camera. There were more than a few times when I would have very slow WiFi access even though a strong signal was showing. The second I flipped the tablet around into the “upside down” position, the wireless access sped up to normal speeds. Eventually I got used to using it with the speaker on the top or on the right when in landscape mode, but there were a few games (like Simpsons Tapped Out) that wouldn’t rotate properly and I had to use it with the speaker on the left and be wary of my hand placement.
The Venue 7 8000 is a well constructed tablet, but unfortunately that one design issue keeps it from getting a perfect score in this department.
The display on this tablet is outstanding. The colours are nice and rich, the resolution is nice for the screen size and everything from apps to games to videos are sharp and crisp. The screen is also very responsive and I didn’t have any issues at all with it. The adaptive brightness setting worked well in most situations, and even outside in direct sunlight I had very little issue seeing the screen when setting the brightness to maximum.
On the performance side of things, the Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet loads up apps and games quickly and I didn’t notice any performance issues while using apps, playing games, or watching videos. Aside from the wireless issue noted above in the design section, the tablet performed flawlessly with every app or game I tried on it.
The Venue 8 7000 runs on Android’s latest version – 5.0.2. (Lollipop). The default Dell launcher doesn’t mess around with things too much and it feels pretty close to stock. Dell has added small things like including the MaxxAudio quick menu under the notification swipe down allowing easy access to the different audio modes. The usual included software shows up here like Evernote, Dropbox, Facebook, and a few others. Dell has also included their custom Dell Cast, Dell Live Wallpapers, Dell Gallery, My Dell, and MaxxAudio apps.
While the speakers are stereo speakers, you only really notice when holding it in portrait mode as the speakers are on the bottom of the tablet. Once you rotate it so the speakers are on the left or right side of the tablet, you lose some of the stereo effect. That being said, the speakers do sound pretty decent and as mentioned above the MaxxAudio app and quick menu allow you to set the sound to preset movie, music, dialogue, or game modes, as well as including an equalizer for more specific sound customization.
The 8MP rear facing and 2MP front facing cameras are nothing to write home about on their own, the image quality is about average and is pretty much on par with other tablet cameras I’ve tested in the past. What sets the rear camera apart from other devices is the inclusion of Intel’s new RealSense Depth camera. The back of the tablet contains the 8MP camera and two 720p stereoscopic cameras that allow users to capture depth information while taking a photograph if the feature is enabled in the camera app.
When a photo is taken using the depth feature, an additional Z pixel is created for each and every X and Y pixel in the photograph. Once captured and stored, this information is used to allow you to refocus the image after you’ve shot it, measure distances between objects in the image, and even select specific objects or people in the image to apply custom filters or editing to that object alone. The few tests I did seemed to work pretty well, and the measurement tool worked best in well lit areas and was impressively accurate in most cases.
Dell’s Gallery app not only displays local images, but can also be linked to Dropbox, Picasa, and Facebook to give users a central gallery for their photos across different social media or storage sites. The app allows you to view your images by timeline, location, person (using face tagging), favourites, and albums (both on the device and albums present in Dropbox, Picasa, or Facebook). If enabled, Facebook comments and likes are also synced to the gallery for the appropriate photo, and you can even respond to comments without leaving the gallery app.
While in the gallery, you can also use the RealSense Snapshot Depth camera features and adjust the focus or measure distances between items in the photo.
With it’s 5900mAh battery, you would expect the Venue 8 7000 would last quite a while and Dell claims a 10 hour usage per charge. Throughout repeated charges and average use, I was able to get between 8-10 hours per charge with a few days between each charge. When not in use, the tablet was left on in standby mode and definitely comes close to meeting Dell’s 10 hour mark.
Dell has always provided quite a few accessories for their products. Two of the optional accessories you can pick up for the Venue 8 7000 are the Tablet Keyboard and Folio which doubles as a cover and protects the screen while not in use, and the Dell Cast adapter which allows you to wirelessly cast your tablet screen to a larger display.
The Venue 8 7000 is reasonably priced for the size, resolution, and build quality, and is available for between $349USD ($449CAD) and $399USD ($529CAD).
Dell’s Venue 8 7000 is a solidly built 8.4″ Android tablet with decent sound, and some cool additional camera features. If you can overlook the design flaw that places the cameras and WLAN antenna where most people would hold the device and get used to holding it upside down, this tablet does perform well and is worth a look if you’re in the market for an 8″ Android tablet.
*We were sent a demo unit of the Dell Venue for the purposes of this review.
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