You want an illustration of how far things have shifted for Windows tablets in the last year, then you only need to look at Dell’s new Venue 11 Pro. In 2012 Dell launched its Windows tablet line with the XPS 10, an ARM-based tablet running Windows RT. In 2013, it’s re-launching its Windows tablet line with the Venue 11 Pro, an Intel-based tablet running standard Windows 8.1.The Dell Venue 11 Pro is intended to be highly flexible and is targeted at businesses whose workers are often on the move between meetings and the office. The portable tablet device comes with a host of additional extras to make this possible, including a Tablet Dock and Tablet Keyboard, which turn the device into a fully fledged netbook equivalent for longer desk-based use.The device we reviewed is the cheapest in the range, suited for widespread corporate rollouts. But the standalone tablet price is not a lot compared with the price you’ll have to pay if you want the device to be remotely useful.
The Venue 11 Proasus eee slate ep121 netzteilis a superior tablet in every way, with a better, high-resolution screen, more horsepower and a wider range of connections, but it’s the move to Windows 8.1 that is most telling. It seems that nobody outside of Microsoft and Nokia has any faith in Windows RT anymore, and with “proper” Windows and the full range of applications at its disposal, the Venue 11 Pro feels like a stronger, more flexible device.With options for Bay Trail Atom or Core i3 CPUs and a price tag that goes from ￡439 to ￡619, the Venue 11 Pro also provides a missing link between Microsoft’s budget Windows RT Surface 2 and the premium Windows 8.1 Surface Pro 2.Perhaps the tablet’s biggest asset is its removable backplate, which, when opened, reveals a replaceable battery, a feature often missing from work-focused tablets.Variations of the Venue 11 Pro come with 3G and 4G mobile data support, although our review model was WiFi only.
With everyone kvetching about its controversial interface, one thing Windows 8 perhaps hasn’t gotten enough credit for is its efficient performance on lesser hardware. Windows devices used to demand much more CPU horsepower and memory, and hence higher prices, than Android. Today, only $70 separates Dell’s Android-based Venue 8$149.99 at Dell tablet ($229) from the Windows Venue 8 Pro ($299), each with an Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM.That makesasus ux31a ladekabelDell’s flagship tablet, the Venue 11 Pro reviewed here, particularly interesting. Aside from its larger 10.8-inch, full HD screen, our $499 test unit’s “Bay Trail” Atom and 2GB of RAM make it resemble the Venue 8 Pro$499.99 at Dell. But if you crave a truly laptop-class computing experience, you can get a Venue 11 Pro with a Core i3 ($799) or Core i5 ($849) processor. Those models come with 4GB of memory and 128GB of solid-state storage, double the amounts of our “Bay Trail” version.
There’s really nothing particularly unique about the Venue 11 Pro’s case; it is, more or less, par for the course in the world of Windows 8.1 tablets. Although the casing is primarily plastic (in contrast with, say, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2/3’s magnesium), the bottom of the unit is at least outfitted with a rubberized finish to help make it easier to hold. The weight of 760 grams isn’t bad in context with many other similar tablets (for instance, the magnesium-built Microsoft Surface Pro 2 adp 90cd db netzteilweighs in at 915 grams), but it’s still a bit heavier than other high-end tablets of the comparable size (Google Nexus 10: 603 grams; iPad Air: 464 grams). Relatedly, the dimensions are also a bit larger: 176 mm x 279 mm x 11.9 (h x w x d)-versus the iPad Air’s 7.5 mm D and the Nexus 10’s 8.9 mm D-so the difference is noticeable if not functionally substantial. Fortunately, thanks to the rubberized back and comfortable curved edges, it’s easy to hold and doesn’t feel too cumbersome.
Apple, Amazon and Google might be fighting it out for the thinnest, lightest tablet title, but Dell isn’t even competing. With its unusual 10.8in screen and rather thick bezel, the Venue 11 Pro is neither particularly svelte nor particularly light. In fact, the Atom version on test here is just over 10mm thick and 772 grams in weight, which makes it heavier than the 676 gram Surface 2, though not the 907 gram Surface Pro 2. It’s a little too heavy to use comfortably one-handed, and makes more sense if you have it resting on the arm of a chair or your lap while you tap away.As a necessary byproduct of its removable back (which we’ll cover more in just a moment), the unit does exhibit some characteristic creaks when twisted. But it feels solid regardless, and seems like it should be able to withstand the challenges of a busy workday. Since the screen is an OGS (one-glass solution), it is protected by Corning Concore Glass, which, according to Corning, provides 8 to 10 times better scratch resistance and five times greater compressive strength.
In the realm of connectivity, the Venue 11 Pro gets the job done. Apart from the usual candidates-micro-USB charging port, 3.5 mm headphone jack, volume rocker-you’ll also find a mini-HDMI port, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, and even a docking station port. Plus, there’s an easily-accessible micro-SD slot (supporting up to 128 GB) on the right side, as well as a SIM card slot under the back cover that does not require removal of the battery to access. Placement of the ports is about as sensible as one could expect, with all of them resting on the left and right sides while the unit is docked, and the power button at the top-right.The existence of a removable back panel, meanwhile, makes for easy maintenance and direct access to the unique swappable battery. The screwless design means that it can be removed by simply prying up underneath the large notch with a fingernail, and once removed, it snaps back into place without the need for any tools.
The Venue 11 Pro is a big improvement over the XPS 10 when it comes to connectivity. It still has a headphone out, a microUSB port and a microSD card slot, but also packs a mini-HDMI port for an external display and – best of all – a full-sized USB 3.0 port. With this, it can connect to any USB 2.0 or 3.0 device that will run on Windows 8.1. What’s more, with NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, it couldn’t be better equipped for wireless connectivity.On the plus side, the rubberised coating on the plastic rear cover makes it very easy to grip, and you have to twist quite hard before there’s a hint of give where the corners meet the matt grey metallic rim. The cover sports Dellmiix 2 10 netzteil and Intel Inside logos, along with a small symbol to highlight the tablet’s NFC connectivity, while there’s a slight bulge at the top where the 8-megapixel camera pokes through.
The quality of the separately-sold keyboard is expectedly inferior to that of most full-sized notebooks and even Ultrabooksj211h ac adapter. The key travel is very short, feedback is only moderately good, and the sizes of the arrow keys and some of the keys along the left side of the keyboard are smaller than usual. Still, it’s far easier to use than any touchscreen virtual implementation. The touchpad (more specifically, a clickpad) is equally cramped, but its surface is comfortable and we were thankful for its inclusion nonetheless. Accuracy, button performance, and gestures were all on par with modern clickpads.Also, as is expected from today’s capacitive touchscreens, the Venue 11 Pro’s is perfectly comfortable and accurate to operate. Windows 8.1 gestures were easy to perform and were accurately interpreted by the system.
Look at the bottom of the tablet and you’ll also spot another proprietary connector with a selection of contacts to either side. These allow the Venue 11 Pro to work with a range of docks and keyboard covers, including a Surface-style ultra-light keyboard cover that attaches magnetically, a bigger mobile keyboard cover with a rechargeable battery, or a desktop docking station (see the image below). There’s also a stylus accessory for handwriting recognition, annotation and more precise control. Sadly, none of these accessories were available for test. That’s a shame. With a keyboard cover attached the the Venue 11 Pro could rival the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 as a convertible Ultrabook-style device.
Like most of the first-generation Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets, the XPS 10 was saddled with a 10.1in, 1366 x 768 screen that was – at best – mediocre. Luckily, Dell has understood that 1920 x 1080 is the new baseline standard, so we get a full HD 1080p 10.8in screen. That’s two-thirds of an inch larger than the screen on your average tablet, and 0.2in larger than the screen on the Surface RT. That’s bad news for pixel density, but good news if you plan to get some work done, as that little extra bit of screen real estate makes it easier to see what you’re doing if you’re working on Office documents, browsing complex web pages or using the Windows Snap split-screen view.
Audio is a mixed bag. It’s clearer and much more detailed than you generally get from a tablet, with a wider stereo sound. Unfortunately it’s also thin and a little bit wearing, particularly if you’re playing music. As with the vast majority of tablets, we’d recommend headphones if you want the best sonic experience.Quality, meanwhile, is very good. Text still looks smooth and crisp, and while the display isn’t the brightest we’ve seen – particularly if you let Windows control the levels – it has wide viewing angles and an impressive richness and depth of colour to compensate. It’s a fine screen for productivity, but a good screen for entertainment too.When it comes to your choice of platform, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a tablet that can run Office and sync files with a desktopakku für macbook pro 15 or laptop using SkyDrive, then a Windows tablet is by far the best choice, and you can still find apps to handle all the other core functions. If you want access to the latest, most creative and most innovative apps, then iOS and Android still bring you a wider range of these.
Barring miraculous sales of Surface 2 and Nokia’s Lumia 2520, it looks more and more like the combination of an x86 processor and a Windows 8.1 OS is the future for Windows tablets. You get all the touch-friendly UI features and apps of a Windows RT tablet, but without losing the Desktop interface and x86 applications. When used just as a tablet the Desktop interface doesn’t bring that many advantages to the Venue 11 Pro; too few applications are designed for small, high-definition displays, let alone touch control. Yet it does mean that you can attach it to a keyboard dock or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard combo, and use the Dellativ book 8 netzteilmuch like you would a small 11.6in laptop or Ultrabook.Similar to most business-centric devices, the Venue 11 Pro has virtually no bloatware. Instead, the usual cast of Windows 8 applications populates the tablet, including Mail, Calendar, News, Skype and SkyDrive.
There’s a lot of functionality now baked into the OS, the selection of apps in the Windows Store is steadily improving, and the split screen “Snap” views are incredibly useful and unmatched on Android and iOS. Just be aware – although the Venue 11 Pro comes with 64GB of flash storage as standard, the OS and applications will occupy a hefty chunk. Having installed Netflix, Asphalt 8 and a handful of other apps, we were only left with around 35GB to play with.Dell has also added a few utilities, including Dell Backup and Recovery, a service that allows users to create backups of their system or of selected data, and restore said information. The Digital Delivery software downloads and installs programs that were ordered with the computer. With the Power Manager, users can adjust power settings among Standard, ExpressCharge, Primarily AC Use, Adaptive and Custom.
The base-level Venue 11 Pro runs a quad-core Atom Z3770 processor at 2.4GHz, along with 2GB of DDR3 RAM. Previous Atoms have always struggled to run anything beyond the most basic applications, which is one reason why the old netbooks fell so far out of favour, but that’s not true of the new Bay Trail processors. While you still wouldn’t want to do a lot of heavy work in photo, design or video editing apps, there’s enough power here to cope with Office, some light photo editing and other mainstream tasks. Meanwhile, the Geekbench 3 score of 961 single-core and 3606 multi-core doesn’t just compete with other mid-range to high-end tablets, but also the low-end Core i3 laptops of a year ago.Further emphasizing the wide range of options available for hp 430 g2 power supplythe Venue 11 Pro’s configuration is the CPU selection. At the low end is an Intel Atom Z3770 with a TDP of around 4 W (SDP of 2 W), while at the top of the list is the Intel Core i5-4210Y with a TDP of closer to 11.5W (SDP of 6 W). Coupled with 2 GB of DDR3L-1066 RAM, our test candidate features the Atom Z3770, which is a quad-core SoC from the Bay Trail-T platform whose clock rates range from 1.46 to 2.4 GHz.
Performance when running on battery power is notably diminished; a subsequent run of 3DMark 06 while unplugged provided a total score of 1298 and a CPU score of 1453, well below our initial values of 1848 and 2203 (respectively). Finally, DPC Latency Checker revealed no detectable issues handling real-time video and audio streaming.Tegra 4-based Android tablets pull away slightly in graphics benchmarks like GFXBench, but the Venue 11 Pro can still run the demanding T-Rex HD test at 14 fps onscreen – a very credible result. We still wouldn’t recommend the Dell if you were looking for a part-time games machine, though. It hasn’t got the power to run modern Windows titles, and the selection on the Windows store is pitiful. We also noticed tiny stutters in the otherwise smooth frame rate on high-end titles like Asphalt 8.
The Venue 11 Pro has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facer. The latter is fine for video chat, but the image gets noisy if your room isn’t brightly lit. The rear camera is slightly disappointing. While there’s a little more detail in the images than you might see with the 5-megapixel cameras we’re used to from other tabletsasus ux32a charger it’s slow and not consistently accurate when focusing, and the images are slightly dull with muted colours. Still, as you’re more likely to use it to snap documents or QR codes than actual photos or video, this isn’t much of a deal-breaker.The 8-MP rear camera fared better, delivering vibrant color in addition to sharp detail at 3264 x 1836 resolution. Our favorite floral shot showed off the delicate striations of the daisy petals, as well as the tiny florets. The camera did a good job of capturing the deep blues and oranges in the bouquet without blowing out the image.The front-facing 2MP camera on the Dell Venue 11 Pro captures sharp, but somewhat dark images. It didn’t matter if we were under fluorescent or natural light; most of our selfies came out darker than the actual room. The camera was sharp enough, however, to capture the individual locks in our barrel curls and the pattern of the fabric in our sweater.
With the big screen and quad-core processor you’ll get around eight hours of mixed use from a single charge, and a little more if you turn down the brightness and avoid using Wi-Fi. That’s better than the Surface Pro 2, though not the ARM-powered Surface 2. Eight to nine hours is more than adequate for a day of work, and the Venue 11 Pro has one advantage in that you can remove the back cover and replace the battery with a spare – a real rarity in the tablet world.The Atom Z3770’s performance is significantly better than that of previous Atom CPUs. In spite of some comparative performance fluctuations, it can be seen in the same group as the Pentium Dual Core T4200 and even the Core i5-2537M depending on the results one chooses to examine. As it compares to the higher-end Core i5-4210Y option, it’s nearly always much slower (as much as 50% slower, in fact), barring a few outliers such as 3DMark 06 CPU and wPrime.With a business-centric tablet, you expect a batterysony vgp ac10v10 that can last at least as long as the workday. During the Laptop Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi), the Venue 11 Pro lasted an even 8 hours, topping the 7:38 tablet average. That time jumped to a whopping 15:40 when attached to the keyboard dock.
The Microsoft Surface 2 lasted 9:19 on our battery test, while the Apple iPad Air posted 10:47 over 4G LTE and 11:51 over Wi-Fi. The ASUS Transformer Book T100 notched a very impressive runtime of 12:28 (it’s dock doesn’t house a battery).As for how the Venue 11 Pro 5130’s Atom CPU stands in comparison to the i3-powered model, there are few surprises. The i3 model takes the crown in nearly every category; for example, it is 26% faster in 3DMark 11 Performance Physics (1908 vs. 1510) and 30% faster in Super Pi 32M (1220 seconds vs. 1735 seconds). Considering the higher price and TDP of the i3 model, however, this is to be expected.If you need more performance, then you can opt for a model with a dual-core Core i3-4020Y or 4300Y processor with 4GB of RAM running 64-bit Windows 8.1. The tablet will be slightly thicker and heavier, though, and you’ll pay ￡180 extra for the privilege. However, that’s still less than the going rate for a Surface Pro 2.
The Venue 11 Pro is a big improvement on the old XPS 10 and one of the best Windows tablets on the market. It’s fast enough to get some real work done, battery life is more than adequate and it has a great screen. It’s even priced competitively against similarly-specified Android and iOS tablets. It is big, heavy, and a little cumbersome, and it lacks the practical kickstand of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, but if you’re looking for a tablet and productivity is your priority, then this one should be high on your shortlist.The Dell Venue 11 Pro is a little bit tablet and a little bit ultraportable, but it’s all business. For $499 you get a tablet with full Windows 8.1 (not the Surface 2′s limited Windows RT) and 8 hours of battery life, in an elegant, yet eye-catching frame. We also appreciate the multiple docking options. Just keep in mind that the option for the desktop and keyboard dock inflates the price to $777, the cost of a mid-tier business notebook like the Dell Latitude E6430.