Dell Venue 11 review
Dell’s latest tablet is strictly business-focused. The Venue 11 Pro runs the full version of Windows 8.1 32-bit and includes a full-size USB port for maximum convenience. It even has a removable battery, which is a rare inclusion for any tablet but one that’ll come in handy for anyone who’ll be using regularly while mobile.
The rear of the Venue 11 Pro has a soft-touch plastic cover that comes off when you apply a bit of force. The Venue 11 Pro weighs a fairly hefty 760g. Add the optional keyboard dock and the weight increases to 1.4kg addition to your bag, which is close to the weight of many Ultrabooks.
Apart from the full-size USB3 port, The Venue 11 Pro also provides a Micro USB port for charging and a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Mini HDMI port, Kensington lock slot and microSD card slot on the right. You need a pin to access the microSD card slot, so it’s perhaps best to install a microSD in it for extra storage as it may prove fiddly to remove the card regularly.
The Venue 11 Pro has an 8-megapixel camera sensor on the rear, although there's no flash and the photos it takes are average at best. Microsoft's camera app is slow, with limited manual control, and the sensor can only capture dull, muted images that exhibit a lot of noise. However, the front-facing webcam is fine for videoconferencing.
It’s a shame the camera module is only mediocre because photos look great on the Venue 11 Pro’s 10.8in Full HD display. The tablet’s high peak brightness of 503cd/m2 means you can still enjoy the Venue 11 Pro outside in bright light, although its glossy finish makes light reflections a little troublesome. Even better, the Venue 11 Pro’s colour accuracy was superb, which made images and video look realistic and vibrant. Viewing angles were excellent, too.
The Venue 11 Pro uses a quad-core Intel Atom Z3770 processor, which runs 2.4GHz, and 2GB of RAM to power Windows. The Z3770 is a real improvement over last year’s Atom processor and is able to run Windows smoothly, although the Venue 11 Pro still struggled to complete our multimedia benchmarks. An overall score of 18 means the Venue 11 Pro’s performance is roughly on par with an entry-level laptop, and is significantly below the admittedly more expensive Surface Pro 2’s score of 47. Even so, we could use all our usual apps, including Chrome, Paint.Net and Microsoft Office, without experiencing slowdown.
Sadly, the Atom Z7330’s built-in graphics processor can’t cope with challenging 3D games, and the Venue 11 Pro produced a jerky 16fps overall in our Dirt Showdown benchmark, but older, simpler games were playable. You certainly won’t have a problem browsing the web, running MS Office applications or playing casual games.
The Venue 11 Pro’s Atom processor is, at least, energy efficient, which helped the Venue 11 Pro manage an impressive 10 hours 53 minutes in our light-use battery test. This means you'll get a full day’s word processing or web browsing per charge.
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