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Dell Venue 8 7000

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: N/A, WiFi only
Manufacturer: Dell
Where to Buy

What's Hot: Slim and sexy all metal build, awesome 2560 x 1600 AMOLED display that pops, good battery life, fast performance.

What's Not: The rear Intel RealSense Depth camera seems like a waste of resources.


Reviewed January 27, 2015 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Dell Venue 8 7480

Dell, maker of budget tablets has a shocker: they can make a truly impressive high end slate when they put their minds to it. If this were laptop land, the new Dell Venue 8 7480 would be an XPS model, complete with classy metal chassis, a stunning Infinity display and a slim design. In fact, we wish that they had come up with a new name to signal that this isn't the same old Venue. While Dell's Venue Android tablets and Venue Pro Windows tablets have put value first with OK specs and generally plasticky backs, the latest Venue looks at the iPad mini with Retina Display and says, "put 'em up, I can win this fight". Not that I believe Android tablets have to answer to the iPad--if you want an Android, you want an Android. But classy good looks have largely been a sore point for Android tablets, even high end ones like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and the Nexus 9 with which the Dell competes. The Dell is an angular metal slab, and it's currently the thinnest 8" tablet on the market at 6mm, though it beats the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and iPad mini by only the tiniest of margins. The nearly bezel-less design will catch your eye in a sea of bland looking tablets, and the simply superb (we need an even better superlative here) 2560 x 1600 OLED display will seal the deal. You'll want it, though the $399 price tag isn't for everyone.

Dell Venue 8 7000

The Dell Venue 8 is an Android 4.4 KitKat tablet, and Dell says Android 5.0 Lollipop is coming (we're surprised it didn't ship with 5.0). It has a clean Android build in terms of UI and it's a refreshing alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab line with their overwrought TouchWiz software embellishments. From the moment you look at the home screen you get that feeling of sharpness and simplicity that is clean Android. There are of course customizations under the hood for Intel's new 3-lens RealSense depth sensing camera (more on that later) and some Intel enhancements for video playback and motion sensing for things like waking the tablet when you pick it up. Yes, the Dell Venue 8 runs on a quad core, 64 bit Intel Z3580 CPU with 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of internal storage plus a microSD card slot. Android has improved when it comes to optimization for Intel CPUs and performance is no longer an issue. The tablet is quick, as are Lenovo's recent Android tablets with Intel inside, though the Dell has the fastest Atom among name brand Android tablets for the win.

Design and Ergonomics

The Venue 8 7480 is a striking metal tablet that looks so simply designed, it at first glance might seem a prototype. The virtually nonexistent bezels on three sides are also eye-catching once you turn the display on. When turned off, the scant bezels disappear into the black glass. The design reminds us of the also recently released Dell XPS 13 2015 edition Ultrabook that also has improbably small bezels. In the case of the Venue 8 there's a sizeable chin at the bottom that doesn't look bad... more like odd. It's a great handhold, because honestly how else would you hold a tablet with almost no bezels that's also exquisitely thin? Like the XPS 13, the bottom bezel is only place Dell had room to put the front camera, so you'll have a chance to take the world's least flattering selfies and to show off your chin's excess in video chat. At least with the tablet you can hold it upside down for a more flattering look. Be warned that the WiFi 802.11ac antenna and speaker grilles are in the chin, so if you grip it by the chin with two hands you'll muffle the speakers and the WiFi signal will drop a bar or two.

Dell Venue 8 7000

The gray back has a modern industrial look and feel that speaks of quality. There's a big Dell logo on the back that does interrupt the clean design. The tablet is rigid and feels strong, as you'd expect from something with a completely metal casing. It has enough weight at 11 ounces to feel like a quality piece but it's not a heavy tablet compared to the competing NVIDIA Shield Tablet. Despite the slim design and metal back, the tablet didn't get hot when we worked it hard by running a few races in Real Racing 3 and shooting a few bad guys in Dead Trigger 2.

We're thrilled to see a microSD card slot here, even if Android KitKat doesn't support installing apps to SD cards. You can put your media and documents on a card and preserve precious internal storage until Lollipop arrives on the Venue 8. Sorry there's no 32 gig internal storage option. The card slot lives under a door on the side that you'll pop open with a paperclip like the SIM card slot on some smartphones. The tablet supports USB host, and that means with a USB OTG cable adapter you can use select USB low power peripherals like flash drives and game controllers.

Dell Venue 8 7000


Deals and Shopping:


Dell Venue 8 7480 Video Review



The display is every bit as gorgeous and bright as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, and it's a match for the Samsung with likely the same OLED 2650 x 1600 panel. The Dell looks a bit more striking in the home screen because the unmolested Android icons are sharper and smaller than on the TouchWiz-laced Samsung. When viewing movies or photos, they're on even ground and are the best displays you'll find on an 8" tablet (yes, even better than the Retina iPad mini). Let me put it this way: it makes you want to watch videos and find really awesome photos to look at. Contrast is near infinite, blacks are rich and colors are sumptuous without looking fake. Whites aren't AMOLED's strong points, but the display manages a neutral white with no blue or magenta cast. Text is rendered sharply and it's a pleasure for reading eBooks and viewing magazines. Even tiny magazine text is readable and you won't spot a jagged letter in Google Play Books or Kindle. Our only complaint is that screen rotation often takes a second or four longer than it should. The Intel motion sensing feature that wakes the tablet when you move it works reliably enough, as do live wallpapers that move in response to motion, so it's not a hardware issue.


Intel processors are making inroads into Android land, especially for companies like Dell and Lenovo that work with Intel for the processors in their laptop and Windows tablet lines. We have no complaints about the 2.3 GHz quad core Bay Trail 64 bit Atom Z3580 with Intel HD graphics (actually rebranded Imagination PowerVR G6430 graphics) and it benchmarks as well as the competing Snapdragon 801. The tablet is quick and responsive in all things except screen rotation. It handles 1080p video playback flawlessly and does a good job with more demanding games. That said, it doesn't outperform the NVIDIA Shield Tablet for gaming. The NVIDIA has a much stronger GPU for fewer frame drops, not to mention a compelling selection of Tegra-optimized games and Grid gaming (streaming PC game titles). That said, we rarely saw frame drops in Asphalt 8, a very demanding 3D racing game.

The tablet has 2 gigs of DD3L RAM and 16 gigs of storage with 9 gigs available. That's not a lot of room if you're into today's lush looking 3D games that weigh in at 1 to 3.5 gigs apiece, and we wish Dell had gone with 32 gigs to make this a value proposition vs. the 16 gig competition.


  Quadrant AnTuTu 3D Mark Ice Storm Sunspider JavaScript Test
Dell Venue 8 7480 21,314 43,926 18,343 596
Nexus 9 13,728 56,937 26,307 926
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4(Exynos) 21,513 32,927 13,475 468
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (LTE, Snapdragon) 22.278 37,786 16,434 428
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 23,355 34,890 13,785 396
NVIDIA Shield Tablet 21,414 51,838 30,364 510
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8" 14,689 34,275 15,606 740
LG G Pad 8.3 11,913 22,644 6480 (extreme) 982
Google Nexus 7 (2013) 5339 19,981 7304 (extreme) 1058
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7" 20,382 n/a 16,657 (extreme) 572
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 9181 17,239 4615 (unlimited) 920

Geekbench 3: 787 single core, 2456 multi-core


Sound and WiFi

The tablet has dual band Intel WiFi 802.11ac, and throughput was good in our tests. Range was average for a tablet unless we covered too much of the chin area with our hands, blocking the antenna area. The tablet has Bluetooth 4.0 but there's no 3G/4G option.

Dell Venue 8 7000

The chin-firing speakers sound decent until you enable MaxxAudio (thereafter available with quick settings in the notification area). With MaxxAudio turned on and particularly set to video mode, sound is very good. It becomes much louder and fuller and dialog is emphasized so you'll never go "huh" and miss a conversation on-screen. It really is a great sound experience unless you cover those speakers in the chin.

Dell Venue 8 7000


The Dell Venue 8 7000 series has a front 2MP camera located on the chin (hint, hold the tablet upside down in portrait mode so you don't look like a chubby-chinned gargoyle). It does a decent job but is nothing special in terms of noise, brightness and colors. The 8 megapixel Intel RealSense Depth Camera and Dell Gallery... seem like technology for the sake of technology. Maybe things will look up with a firmware update or two more, but for right now it takes mediocre photos and 1080p video unless lighting is ideal, and the 3D depth-sensing thing is a feature nobody asked for. I feel sorry for Dell--I can imagine the meetings where Intel pushed this down their throats as the next big thing when in fact it adds hardware complexity and cost (3 rear lenses) with no more benefit than software-based solutions to add depth of field effects after shooting. There's a tool to use the camera to take measurements that's hit or miss and it was actually removed in the first OTA update but will return in a future update. For vertical market and business use--Dell's bread and butter, the feature could be useful for construction, real estate or insurance. But this seems to be a very consumer-oriented product complete with a Best Buy launch exclusive and bells and whistles that appeal to consumers like super slim designs and pretty looks. Those aren't the features you'd expect in a tablet used on a construction site where rugged rubbery backs make more sense. Now that I've trashed the poor rear camera, I will say that under good even lighting, say outdoors with no glaring direct sunlight, the camera can shoot some nice photos and video. Bright sunlight will cause whiteout, and indoor shots under average (relatively dim) home lighting are very noisy.

Dell Venue 8 7000

Oh my, that thin bezel!


Battery Life

There's more good news here: the Dell Venue 8 7000 averaged 8-9 hours of mixed use on a charge. That's a pretty strong showing for an 8" tablet in terms of actual screen-on time. The tablet ships with the usual 5v, 2 amp charger that many tablets use (and even some phones). It's a 10 watt charger, and since Intel doesn't have anything similar to Qualcomm's Quick Charge, it's not super fast to charge, though it is faster than Samsung's Exynos platform tablets at 3 hours from 10% to 100%.


The Dell Venue 8 7000 series is hands down the sexiest tablet Dell's ever made. It has top-notch specs, a chic metal build and a simply remarkable display that pops with clarity and vibrancy. At $399 like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and iPad mini with Retina display, it's not for everyone--that's quite a bit of cash for an 8" tablet and $100 more than the NVIDIA Shield Tablet. But for those who want the best in an Android tablet and prefer a cleaner Android build than Samsung offers, the Venue 8 7480 has little in the way of competition except the Shield Tablet with its chunkier design, shorter battery life and more pedestrian 1080p LCD. The Shield Tablet does fight back with a bundled digital pen, excellent optional game controller and an even better gaming experience-- the Dell is no slouch but the NVIDIA is a gamer's tablet. We just wish the Venue's rear Intel 8MP camera system was something more than a gimmick--heck we'd settle for reasonably sharp and colorful photos and video under a variety of lighting conditions.


Price: $399

Related Reviews:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S Review (8.4 and 10.5" models)

Google Nexus 9 Review

NVIDIA Shield Tablet Review

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8" Review

iPad mini 4 Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Review

Dell Venue 8 Pro (Windows)

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Display: 8.4" OLED 2560 x 1600 display. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable. Claimed battery life: up to 10 hours. Standard 2 amp 5 volt charger included (10 watt).

Performance: 2.3 GHz Intel Atom (Bay Trail) Z3580 quad core, 64 bit processor. Intel HD graphics (Imagination PowerVR G6430). 2 gigs DDR3L RAM, 16 gigs internal storage with 9 gigs available.

Size: 8.50 x 4.88 x 0.24 inches. Weight: 11 ounces.

Camera: 2MP and 8MP rear Intel RealSense Snapshop Depth 8MP Camera with 1 main lens and 2 secondary lenses for capturing depth data.

Audio: Built in stereo speakers with MaxxAudio software enhancements, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated Intel 7260 dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Android OS 4.4 KitKat (OS 5.0 Lollipop coming). Standard suite of Google Android applications including web browser, email, gmail, YouTube, Maps, Google Now and the Google Play Stores.

Expansion: microSD card slot supporting cards up to 512 gigs, USB host (requires USB OTG cable adapter).


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