Hands-on: Is the Dell Venue 8 Pro a “Just Right” Size?

Most Windows tablets that have popped up in the last year tended to be on the larger side. There are a few below 11 inches, many 11.6 inchers around, and some 13.3 and 14 on the shelves. It’s easy to understand why this is–Windows 8 tablets are supposed to be just as good for productivity as they are for play.

Thing is, the bigger the tablet the less light and portable it is, so why would you bother carrying it around? Of course, if you go too small then you end up squinting, which isn’t great for getting work done.

Tablets with 8 inch displays seek to hit that Goldilocks zone of compact and portable while still being powerful and large enough for people to get real work done when necessary. Dell’s new Venue 8 Pro is trying for exactly that.

Dell Venue 8 Pro

What first struck me about the Venue 8 is the display–the 8-inch, IPS panel is bright, crisp, and beautiful. The 1280 x 800 resolution is pixel dense enough for this size, though not as impressive as the Nexus 7. Good thing the venue doesn’t have to compete with that tablet.

Like the larger Venue 11 Pro, the Venue 8 is comfortable to hold due to the curved edges and overall light weight (0.87 pounds). I really like how it feels in the hand and the texture on the back. It’s possible to wrap a hand around it, even if you have smallish hands, and balances well in portrait and landscape.

The only ports are microSD, microUSB, and a SIM card slot for 4G LTE (optional). There’s no docking connector like the Venue 11 — Dell assumes you won’t connect this up to a monitor when you’re at your desk. The keyboard accessory the company offers connects via Bluetooth. That’s not terrible, but it’s not as speedy or reliable as a physical connection.

Another feature the 8-inch Venue shares with the larger model is stylus compatibility. The active pen is to thick to store inside the tablet when you’re not using it.

The stylus feels like a real pen, glides across the screen well, and should satisfy most people looking to take notes by hand. I wasn’t able to fully test things like palm rejection; stroke recognition worked as well as I’ve seen on other Windows tablets. The technology behind the pen comes from Synaptics, not Wacom, so artists might not be tempted.

Dell Venue 8 Pro

The Bay Trail Intel Atom processor inside means the Venue 8 Pro will likely be pretty snappy yet won’t get hot. Thus the thin profile. I didn’t get a chance to run any robust apps during my hands-on time, but opening apps and switching between them revealed no sluggishness.

With an 8-inch Windows 8.1 (not RT!) tablet with Atom inside you’re inching back toward netbook territory, which I know will make a lot of you happy. The $300 price tag also helps. Just keep in mind that price does not include a keyboard, which will be necessary. Even on a small tablet the Windows keyboard is all in the way.

If an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet is the kind of machine you dream about, the Dell Venue 8 Pro has a chance at winning your heart. On paper, and after a short hands-on time, it looks to have a good deal of potential.

  • Mors

    Nice first attempt. I’m waiting on the second batch of mini-tablets running Windows 8. I’m hoping to see a mouse in the bezel. I don’t ink nor do I draw. Needing a battery and no place to put the pen makes it less useful.

    What rates can the tablet be charged via micro-USB? Can it detect a PC USB vs a dedicated USB charger as specified in the USB specs? For dedicated chargers, does it have current sensing circuits to detect if the charger can’t provide any more current and will automatically lower its power draw before damaging the charger?

    • Alan

      I’m hoping for the revival of the OQO slider form factor that has a keyboard and mouse. No stylus needed. A touch screen is still nice for zooming and panning.

    • tmarks11

      The optical mouse control on the Raon Digital Everun was incredible. Sort of like a micro track point that was actually as easy to use as a mouse (I hate the rubber stub track points you find on some laptops, this was nothing like that).

      Much easier for mouse control then using those big blunt crayon-like things (fingers) on a touch screen.

      Why can’t someone put that on a modern device?

      The Everun was awesome….

      http://www.pocketables.com/2007/12/review-raon-dig.html

  • SE

    No micro-HDMI or any other way to output to a TV?? That would be a shame – being able to hook up to a hotel TV is an important use case for a tablet… (esp. if you have kids)

    • has hdmi

      It has HDMI out and also supports wireless. Also comes with Office 2013.

      • TrackSmart

        Sorry for the repost, but I want to clarify that it DOES NOT have an HDMI out. Nor any other physical video-out port. It supports wireless display (Miracast/WiDi) only. Check the Press Kit on Dell’s site, which has the full specs, plus photos that show all 4 sides. I know you mean well, but the 8 inch version has no HDMI out. It is only on the 11-inch version.

    • Haldor

      Try ChromeCast for the Hotel… and at your Home too. Oh and forget using Windows.

  • Jesse

    M$ Windows 8 is for IDIOTS AND SUCKERS!!!!!

    • HildyJJ

      Until we see an OSx or Linux tablet, Windows is the only non-phone OS tablet game in town. Besides, Win8 just surpassed OSx in total devices in the latest quarterly surveys.

      • Jesse

        But people still hate M$ Windows 8 with a bleeding passion. Your look at the wrong figures by the way.

      • Sam Curcio

        I am still waiting for iOS and Android to allow me to create extensive reports, charts, spreadsheets, and websites like I can on a Windows machine.

      • Jesse

        Just use Linux you IDIOT!!!

      • Sam Curcio

        What if I don’t want to use Linux!!!

        You’re the idiot. You come on this board and post like you are Mr. Know It All. Do us a favor and go play god somewhere else.

        If we want to use Windows or whatever devices, then so be it. I am tired of the jerks who think everyone has to do what they do. What’s wrong–not enough people playing by your rules in your little world? What a shame.

        If I enjoy using Windows, then I will continue to use it. No problems with it here.

      • Jesse

        Then you are an IDIOT and should get a brain transplant because your Plain STUPID!!!!!

      • Sam Curcio

        The moron has awoken from his slumber.

      • Jesse

        The moron has awoken from his slumber.

      • Sam Curcio

        Obviously, the loser is without his own words. Typical.

      • Jesse

        Obviously, the loser is without his own words. Typical.

      • Sam Curcio

        Speaking of copycat. Isn’t that what Linux is? Its GUI looks so much like Windows. Well, that is a compliment to Microsoft.

      • Daniel Anonuevo

        The hate is strong with this one…..

      • Jesse

        For M$ yes you would be right!!!!

      • Atul Malhotra

        GROW UP you IDIOT!!!

      • Atul Malhotra

        U hit the nail on the head Sam !

        iOS and Android are so schoolboyish !

      • CyberGusa

        You may not like it but W8 is not falling flat at all but steadily increasing… In the first few months alone the Windows tablet market when from near zero to over 3.3%, which means an increase of 700% from when there were only W7 tablets available, and it has continued to gain market share since then.

        Sure, it’s not a smashing runaway success but that’s to be expected for a brand new OS that makes major changes.

        Besides, adoption rates for a new version of Windows also averages just over 3 years… This was the case for XP, as it was for Windows 7… So anyone predicting dire straights for W8 when it’s only been a year clearly is projecting what they want to happen rather than actually analyzing anything!

        Much of the hate is total BS anyway, the vast majority of people haven’t even tried it yet, with many opinions based on just hearsay, and most of the complaints were for things that can just be changed by the user to the way they want it… making them less than valid criticism.

        No OS is perfect, there are over 600 Linux distros partly because of this simple fact. So a large portion of the user base will always have to opt for personal customization.

        While, the criticisms to date also seem to ignore what actually has been improved in W8… So, let’s not pretend W8 is anywhere near as bad as some have tried to portray it!

      • Sam Curcio

        I totally agree.

      • Jesse

        IDIOT IDIOT IDIOT!!!!!

      • Sam Curcio

        You’re intelligence is showing.

      • Jesse

        You’re intelligence is showing.

      • Sam Curcio

        Why thank you. Can’t say much for yours.

      • Jesse

        It was meant as an Insult. I am already far smarter than YOU’LL EVER BE M$ FANBOI!!!!!!

      • Sam Curcio

        You should really stop insulting yourself like that. It’s not good for the morale.
        Now go along play with your Linux stuff.

      • HildyJJ

        First, my figures come from both NetApplications and StatCounter. In both, Win8 has moved ahead of all versions of OSx combined. It’s also growing faster than OSx 10.8. Linux doesn’t even rate a mention – it’s just lumped into other. Besides, we’re talking tablets and Linux support is in its infancy.

        As far as Win8, I agree that Metro stinks. The only Metro apps I use are Overdrive for reading books, Zinio for magazines, and the Daily Show.

        However, except for the start button (which is easily replaced) I can have the full Win7 experience by switching to the desktop. Plus, Win8.1 will bring back the start button and allow me to boot to the desktop.

        The “hate” for Win8 is overblown.

      • Jesse

        No it isn’t overblown and M$ is very close to extinction!!!! M$ Windows 8 IS A JOKE and 8.1 is even more of a joke!!!! But Metro IS WINDOWS 8 there is NO OTHER WAY AROUND IT!!!! M$ Windows 8 is Butt ugly JUST LIKE YOU!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        There’s also some built in hidden options…

        For example, you can Right-click on the taskbar, go to Taskbars in the context menu, then click New Taskbar. When an open folder window pops up, type the
        following:

        %ProgramData%MicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms

        This produces the Start Menu Programs pop up menu in the taskbar, just unlock the taskbar and you can drag it to where you want, like next to the Start Button, and you’re set…

        8.1 also puts a lot of features under the right click menu… Including the Start Button, which gives you some power options and quick access to the Shutdown/Reboot options…

        There’s actually quite a bit you can do once you actually figure out how to do it with Windows 8 before even really needing a 3rd party solution.

        But W8 is a work in progress… Similar to XP, which took two SP releases before it was even considered a good update to Win95/ME (not that they were very stable to begin with) but MS has a habit of taking about 3+ years to fix a new OS release.

        At least W8 will get fixed faster as the 8.1 update is just the first of what will be annual releases from now on… Adopting the same upgrade system as Apple has for OSX… So we’ll see significant change over the next few years and Metro may eventually be something that becomes very useful as they continue to work on it…

      • W8 FTW

        I like Windows 8. Have you ever used it? Windows 8 is just a faster version of Windows 7. The only difference is they replaced the pop-up start menu with a full screen start menu with big finger friendly icons.

      • Jesse

        Damn you are stupid. The Full screen start menu is BUTT UGLY and it gets in the way AND NO ONE expect YOU DUMB M$ FANBOI’S like it!!!! Anyone with a half-brain which is not you or anyone else here HATES M$ WINDOWS 8 with a Passion!!!! Those buttons ONLY WORK with touchscreens which most people me included CAN’T AFFORD MORON!!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        Touch screens are becoming standard, even low cost devices will be getting them soon and then the point will become mute!

        Also, Intelligence has nothing to do with preferences, which is what you’re basing your judgment upon!

        Anyone, who wasn’t biased would know there are advantages and disadvantages to every menu system ever devised! Just because you can’t see the advantages doesn’t mean they’re not there!

        Like it or not the old start menu was never going to last forever, since the way we use computers was never going to stay the same forever!

        The old start menu didn’t even work for everyone in the first place. The whole reason they had the word “START” on it all the way from when they introduced it till Vista was because most people had to be taught what it was for and how to use it!

        It took over a decade but people are mainly just used to it now rather than it having any real advantages.

        The Start Menu is actually terrible for small screens and high resolution, which is where most new devices are headed!

        It may be true that MS solution may not be what ultimately becomes standard in the next decade but it’s hardly the only one heading into the direction of combining mobile and traditional UI designs for a more flexible usage range!

        Besides, Windows is customizable and people have been using 3rd party solutions to fix Windows for various reasons for over a decade.

        Even with Linux, you don’t like the UI then you use a solution developed by another project to fix it! No one, big or small, is going to make a OS with every possible change possible!

        Besides, for everything they fix there is always something else that someone wouldn’t like, but there is really no pleasing everyone and a OS that intends to be used on a wide range of devices by its very nature has to deal with compromises!

        And no, they can’t just put in options for everyone because then the OS would be massively bloated!

        So get a clue and stop complaining so much, especially if you have no intentions of using Windows anyway. It’s not like there are no alternatives for you to choose from!

        All you’re doing here is trolling and you’ve come up with no real reason besides your own personal bias as to why anyone should listen to your opinion!

        Really, you lost the argument before you even started the moment you denied the actual facts presented to you in favor of your opinion and yet you keep on trying to spout the same nonsense as if it makes any real logical sense to anyone but you!

      • HildyJJ

        If Jesse can’t afford a Win8 touchscreen (Amazon lists 69 with free shipping starting at $300) then, perhaps, Linux is all that will run on his old desktop. Hopefully, he will one day stop ranting and get a job.

        My son has a Win8 laptop with a touchscreen that he loves. However, for tablets, I would recommend either a stylus, which is an option for the Venue 8 Pro, or a larger screen. On a small, touch only screen, some menu filled desktop programs can become problematic.

      • Jesse

        HAHAHAHA, why would I buy a $300 touchscreen when I already have a 27″ LED non-touch monitor that I am quite happy with. That’s because you and your son ARE IDIOTS!!!!! My desktop isn’t that old and buying a touch screen is Pointless its JUST ANOTHER FAD like 3d that will FADE AWAY INTO NOTHINGNESS!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        We’re talking about mostly mobile devices here! The article itself is about a 8″ product!

        While you’re again confusing your opinions with reality, fact is touch screens are becoming standard. Like it or not they’re here to stay!

        So guess what, you just added more proof that you’re the one without a clue!

        Worse, pointless insulting of others just makes you look more the fool. So even people who may have agreed with your dislike of MS and Win8 will have little recourse but to distance themselves from you, lest they too look like fanatical haters!

      • CyberGusa

        Active digitizer is the most flexible of the pen options, though Synaptic has a pretty good Stylus option that makes for more accuracy than you would normally get from a capacitive touch based solution.

        Though, bringing back the optical mouse track point that some UMPCs used (along with some other devices like the Blackberry phone prior to the touch screen introduction) would make for a good solution as you can easily use it while holding the tablet and just thumb the cursor around, with either tap or actual mouse buttons to provide the same control as you would get from a mouse but built into the tablet.

        It’ll also be cheaper than the pen/stylus solutions and you won’t have to worry about losing it… especially, since many of these tablets have nowhere to store the pen/stylus and even the MS Surface Pro magnetic solution isn’t great as the pen can still fall off and be lost.

      • http://ktbradford.com K. T. Bradford

        I have a hunch that the optical trackpad won’t make a comeback until someone decides to try and make it “cool”. Right now it looks old fashioned. I can just hear people saying “did they have those on OLD BlackBerrys? Ugh!” or similar. It’s a shame, since they do make a good solution in a machine like this.

      • CyberGusa

        Any bias against BB shouldn’t apply as it was a common solution for multiple mobile devices like UMPCs, which were one of the first mobile devices to run full desktop OS in a 5″ to 7″ screen devices.

        BB actually used a track ball type solution before they opted to the optical mouse and then finally they gave it up in favor of touch screens for the BB10 devices.

        But an optical mouse can also be easily integrated into the bezel and would look little different from another optical sensor, like the usual light meter sensor, or at works it could be mistaken for another front facing camera… as long as they don’t put a border outline on it to make it stick out.

        Though, there are alternatives… like putting a touch pad on the back of the tablet where the fingers can easily rest while holding the tablet in a natural position… mouse clicks can then be handled by multi-touch taps, gestures, etc.

        Really, if they can put things like that in a next gen game controller then they can easily do it for a tablet.

        Besides, cool factor may be something that may influence the design choices but people ultimately want something that can be useful and functional.

        Though, for now… people can just use a wireless mouse for at least when they can sit down at a table.

        Hell, they even got a app that lets you link your PC to your mobile device and use the keyboard and mouse with it for a little extra functionality at home or office.

      • http://ktbradford.com K. T. Bradford

        It’s not BlackBerry bias that I’m talking about, it’s bias against anything that seems “old fashioned”. In a perfect world, manufacturers would include a feature because it’s useful and good. But if you think that’s how they actually make decisions…. sorry that you’re misinformed? Yes, usefulness for the end user is an important thing, but they also have to sell this stuff and not just to enthusiasts. Thus we get a slew of not so useful features that *sound* good and not all of the features that actually *are* good.

      • CyberGusa

        You’re kidding, right?

        Sure, there are plagues of bad design choices but practicality has always been a factor too.

        Really, why do you think they’re even bothering pushing accessories like keyboard docks in a market dominated by slates and phones?

        The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a budget offering but it includes the keyboard dock by default because practicality does matter too!

        Ditto with the trend for giving mobile devices game controllers because touch screen only control is just too limiting.

        Same is true for Windows and mobile devices… The desktop needs precision in order to use it in any practical sense and touch screens alone will never provide that…

        So don’t be so overly pessimistic, it may take them awhile but they’ll get it done eventually…

      • http://ktbradford.com K. T. Bradford

        Every single example you listed is an accessory or add-on that isn’t embarrassing, though. keyboards aren’t on the same level as optical trackpads.

      • CyberGusa

        The Asus T100 is a 2 in 1 hybrid, which makes the “Included” keyboard dock part of the design!

        While the Acer example also was specifically advertised with the keyboard, you actually had to look up the fact it wasn’t sold with the tablet, but that shows the intent of the message the company wanted to get across!

        Really, keyboards aren’t the number one mobile device add on for nothing! And they’re not pushing 2 in 1 systems for the heck of it but because that’s the compromise for practicality.

        Tablets aren’t that good for productivity, so they adopt a compromise solution that allows them to be better used for productivity!

        Even the rise of phablets is because of functionality influencing design choices!

        Do you think holding a phone that’s nearly the size of a tablet and talking on it is cool and not embarrassing? Yet phablets are one of the fastest growing Smart Phone range!

        Really, like I already said… Sure, there’s a plague of bad design choices based on making the product seemingly look good but practicality is also a factor and has influence too.

        None of these products would sell for very long if all they were good for was eye candy!

      • Jesse

        One problem in Linux you can choose the UI you use. While in M$ Windows YOU CAN’T which its biggest problem and by the way there was NOTHING wrong with the start menu on Windows XP and 7 it could done well for another decade. M$ Windows 8 caused A MASSIVE decrease in sales because NO ONE WANTS it expect FOR IDIOTS LIKE YOU!!!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        Sorry but repeatedly you’re showing yourself to be the only idiot because you confuse your opinions for facts and you don’t even know what you think you know.

        For example, Windows UI is modifiable! And no, you don’t just choose the UI you want to use in Linux either!

        Say, you’re one of those people who hate Unity for Ubuntu… You still have to uninstall Unity and install an alternative… This is no different than getting a 3rd party utility to modify Windows UI !

        The only difference is there’s a lot of proprietary and closed code for Windows. So there are some things you have to work around or outright replace but it still can be done.

        The PC market was also already in decline before Windows 8 came out and for your information, Apple’s OSX based product sales have also gone down and they obviously have nothing to do with Windows 8.

        So, let’s not confuse what you want to believe with actual reality!

        While you have to be pretty obtuse to not realize there was plenty of problems with the start menu.

        Like already pointed out, the Start Menu is not optimal for working on small screens with high resolutions. It’s also much harder to use with a touch screen, especially since you can’t use right click and capacitive touch lacks the accuracy needed to always hit what you want to and that can be very problematic for a menu system with lots of extra files, like uninstall option, all clustered together with the app… If you can’t see the problem with that then you’re definitely not one to talk about intelligence!

        Also, ever since Windows 7, most people just use the Search option anyway to quickly get to the app they want or pin it for quick access without needing to search through the sometimes complex start menu that if you had a lot of apps can quickly become a maze.

        Resulting in a steady decline in actual usage of the Start Menu…

        A lot of lay people simply used desktop shortcuts for the apps they needed and IT support even got calls as to what to do when they accidentally deleted the desktop shortcut because they didn’t know where to look for it or really what the Start Menu was really for!

        Really, 3rd party utilities for the Start Menu have been around for over a decade and they wouldn’t exist if there weren’t issues with it!

        Solutions like virtual desktop utility to go through and manage desktop shortcuts instead of using the start menu, and yes, people were willing to get pay for apps to provide these alternative solutions to the Start Menu…

        Apple themselves opted for a full screen menu for OSX and haven’t had anything like the Start Menu since OS9…

        Canonical even developed Unity specifically for dealing with small screens and the possibility of adding touch screen support and also veered away from a Start Menu type system and now they’re pushing ahead with Ubuntu Touch…

        So, singling out MS for the Start Screen is incredibly biased and obviously based on nothing more than your hate for MS, which like it or not is illogical and something only you care about!

        Really, you can pretend all you want. Rant and rave all you want, but in the end you’re just adding to the proof that you’re nothing but a troll and actually helping to make MS look good because you can’t come up with a single valid argument and your rants just continue to discredit you!

      • Jesse

        First off UNITY SUCKS ASS and so does metro!!!! Second Canonical can GO SUCK IT for all I care because THEY SUCK ASS!!! Well that and putting amazon on unity is unacceptable. Yes desktop sales were going down steadily HOWEVER M$ Windows 8 and 8.1 made go down FAR MORE than they would of if M$ make Windows 8 the RIGHT way with NO metro. I see you don’t get it DUMB M$ FANBOI!!!!! Wrong people are willing to pay a start menu DOUCHE FOR BRAINS which is UNACCEPTABLE and should NEVER happen if a software company IS ACTUALLY doing ITS JOB but M$ is not and DUMBASS FANBOI’S LIKE you are making it Worse. Just let M$ and Metro DIE ALREADY and people will be happy. So what I would have to uninstall the UI I would do that anyways because UNITY SUCKS and GNOME SUCKS ASS!!!! Wrong little man I will know FAR MORE than YOU EVER WILL!!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        Sorry but again you just prove your ignorance and obvious bias.

        Ubuntu is the closest thing GNU/Linux distros have to anything mainstream!

        And Ubuntu Touch is the closest thing to a version of GNU/Linux that can work well on mobile devices and can still be a gateway platform for the more traditional desktop!

        So basically, you just hate progress or anything worth actually using because you only like what you like and be damn with anything else.

        But guess what, the world does not revolve around you and the only one acting like a Fan Boy around here is you!

        So continue to embarrass and shame yourself with these continued rants. You’re fooling no one but yourself if you think you’re coming off as anything else but a childish troll!

      • Jesse

        Sorry but again you just prove your ignorance and obvious bias. Ubuntu is the closest thing to PURE GARBAGE on Linux. Wrong its more geared towards mobile devices rather than Desktops. A troll maybe but I am FAR smarter than you’ll ever be M$ FANBOI!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        First, I’m no Fan Boy and you can’t even spell correctly!

        Second, Ubuntu is the closest thing to a mainstream distro for GNU/Linux Period! A decade of Market shares don’t lie and since most users have to actually choose to install it then the only one who thinks it is junk is you!

        So try to get a clue about what is reality from your distorted egotistical warped imaginations!

        With absolutely nothing to back anything you say besides your biased opinion, you just keep proving the only Fan Boy and fool is you!

      • Jesse

        Some people don’t know any better other than crappy Ubuntu and it seems like you don’t either. Oh I spelled fanboi the way I did on purpose IDIOT FOR BRAINS!!!!! So about you get a clue because I already GOT ONE BUT YOU DON’T!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        No, plenty of people know… they just follow actual logic instead of whatever you’re using.

        Really, face facts that you’re not even in the general minority but an infinitesimal fringe of wackos who stick to one thing no matter what goes against them.

        You’ve failed to come up with even remotely sensible reason for your conclusions and your only reaction to anyone of differing opinion is to outright insult rather than even pretend to do any reasoning whatsoever!

        You obviously never done any real debating because you would have known that one of the first things you don’t do is resort to such tactics because that’s the first sign you don’t have an actual case and you basically lost the debate before it even really started!

        So you can keep on pretending but like I said already, you’ve already lost the debate and you’re just digging yourself deeper in public shame!

      • Marcel

        Jesse why don’t you go play somewhere else this web sides are for grown ups, you are obviously kiddo who don’t even now how to earn money to buy such things. so pls. go play elsewhere :-)

      • DD98524

        Those who protest too much and resort to name calling have already lost the argument!

      • Jesse

        Oh killjoy the IDIOT speaks!!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        Considering that person made a valid point and you continue to spout nonsense, it’s clear the only one lacking intelligence here is you and you prove it every time you make such clearly unintelligent comments!

      • Jesse

        Nope I made a valid point you are speaking PURE GARBAGE!!!! I shouldn’t be surprised M$ Metro Lover!!!!

      • CyberGusa

        Insults and repeatedly spouting your opinion, without any real basis in any facts, is the real garbage.

        And no, being honest and basing conclusions on actual facts does not make me a “MS Metro Lover” as you put it but rather just the one pointing out what’s reality from your obvious fantasy!

        Like I said before, you’re doing nothing but helping MS at this point as you’re just going to drive anyone even remotely thinking they don’t like this product to reconsider when it means following a obviously biased troll… Just on principle you’ll drive droves of people back to MS… So congratulations on being you’re own worst enemy!

      • hoodoo__operator

        how old are you?

      • Jesse

        How old do you think I am? I think you’re only 12 M$ FANBOI!!!!!!

      • jsp4057

        Then get a job MORON! I work full time and have no problem affording it. Happen to have 6 tablets, 2 of which are windows 8. Grow up and get out of your moms basement

      • Callum King-Underwood

        Linux tablets have existed for a decade, the intel core based current gen tablets can run linux (and there was an unverified youtube video of a surface pro hackintosh, theoretically feasible as its been done on ultrabooks and they are essentially the same hardware). Clovertrail (current gen atom tablets) cannot run linux, hardware locked to windows 8 but intel have confirmed that baytrail is not locked and will be capable of running linux etc. Many linux desktop managers have touch modes, ubuntu unity, KDE, enlightenment. Could easily whack linux on one of these little babys.

      • guest

        But then there’s also the problem of the bootloader, from what I understand, Microsoft 8 uses a special boot loader locked to windows 8 and incompatible with linux (grub bootloader). There’s a workaround but what I’m trying to say is that it can’t be “easily” whacked on a baytrail tablet

      • Callum King-Underwood

        bit of a long delay on my reply here, disqus only just notified me.

        Windows 8 models sold on store shelves use secureboot and UEFI, however it is a microsoft requirement before allowing OEM’s to bundle windows 8 that these be possible to disable anyway (probably so no-one sues them for vendor lock in, although apple seem to get away with it). There is work on a UEFI linux bootloader regardless, but windows tablets with 2 exceptions (getting onto that) can run linux no problem.

        Exception 1: ARM tablets running windows RT. They cannot have UEFI removed, supposedly. However someone has found an exploit on the asus vivotab RT where it may be possible to boot an unsigned image from it but it hasnt been fully explored. ANother alternative being looked into is a technique which has been used on otehr systems where you allow windows to boot, then have a windows driver running in kernel mode which then effectively removes windows and boots into something else, this has been done before but is very difficult to pull off effectively. We dont care about this too much, thats ARM, the venue isn’t.

        Exception 2: clovertrail processors. Clovertrail was originally intended to only be able to boot android, it doesnt have a fully unlocked bootloader etc, it can only boot android. Then windows 8 came along, intel quickly modded clovertrail to boot windows 8, didnt fully unlock it. Clovertrail tablets are stuck loading windows 8 and nothing else.

        Intel have confirmed that baytrail will be like any other AMD or intel processor and will not continue with what clovertrail did. They have confirmed that you should be able to go into the bios and disable secureboot and UEFI. Only thing standing in the way is if dell will have the BIOS supporting PXE boot or USB boot, that isn’t a microsoft requirement. Actually I dont think PXE booting on wifi is common at all (usually done on ethernet only, allowed booting over a network, to be done over wifi would require the BIOS to have wifi drivers and be capable of connecting to a wireless network, not a task they bother with), USB booting would probably be enabled as a) bay trail supports it and b) windows tablets normally use USB recovery media and removing USB boot would remove recovery support.

        You should be fine to run linux on one of these no harder than on a core i5 notebook that came from the store with windows 8. Disabling secureboot is a simple bios setting, seeming as you have to go into the bios to move USB up the boot order anyway you can simply do both at the same time.

        Grub isnt the only bootloader btw :P

    • Callum King-Underwood

      you sir, are a moron

      • Jesse

        Oh and how is that Mr. IDIOT underpants?

      • Callum King-Underwood

        Hypocritical narrow minded trolling with an absolute failure to back up hypothesis with fact.

        Also, why am I an idiot? I professed nothing about windows 8.

    • HF74

      Android is STILL in beta right up to the as now current KitKat. I find iOS and Android so horribly limited as to be unusable for anything other than what Google or Apple wants you to do. They are not real OSes, they are consumption platforms ruled by huge corporations.

      • Jesse

        That is true but what if apple uses their ALL-POWERFUL A-series chips in macs THAT WOULD BE FUCKING AWESOME!!!!! With OS-X and Apple A-series Apple will be unrivaled in pure power.

  • HildyJJ

    The way I read it, the stylus is a capacitive stylus using Synaptics ClearPad technology (which senses a capacitive tip as small as 2 mm). Is this correct? (An easy way to tell is – does the stylus have a button to activate right clicks?)

    I was hoping for a Wacom Active Stylus which is used in the last generation of Dell tablets. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what Lenovo comes up with.

    • Alan

      She says it has a battery and she even takes it out. A button also appears on the side. Anyway, I’m going to pass since there’s no silo and it requires a battery.

    • http://ktbradford.com K. T. Bradford

      Yes, the pen uses Synaptics technology and not Wacom.

  • artinvent

    First of all I’d like to say Hurray! This doesn’t run that foul dog RT!

    I’m thinking the stylus is maybe similar to the Ntrig stylus on my
    Sony Duo 11 (also has a battery and also is not quite as good as a
    Wacom.) Actually it works pretty darn well and is 1000 times better than a crummy capacitve ‘detached pinkie’ stylus.

    This seems like a cool thing to achieve, a full Win8 machine in such an ultra compact package. I can’t really see this being that well adapted to any use I can think of though. Having a Win8 convertible for a while now I don’t find the ‘tablet’ interface very useful. Not sure why you would ever really want to use that over Android or an iPad unless you had to. The apps just aren’t there. I don’t think most people would want to use the desktop on a measly 8″ screen. I would say 10″ is really the bare minimum for desktop apps.

    Now, if you could plug it into a desktop KB and monitor setup or dock or something it might be doable . . . but this has no HDMI, no USB host port. So that’s out.

    Hey wait I just thought of something: with a stylus you can run the full Windows version of ArtRage and Notes and some other cool stylus programs that aren’t available on Android or iOS or Metro/RT.

    I will keep an open mind.

    • ItDoes

      It has mini-hdmi out and supports miricast

      • TrackSmart

        It DOES NOT have an HDMI out. Nor any other physical video-out port. It supports wireless display (Miracast/WiDi) only. Check the Press Kit on Dell’s site, which has the full specs, plus photos that show all 4 sides. I know you mean well, but the 8 inch version has no HDMI out. It is only on the 11-inch version. And that is a shame.

    • IsRTthatBad?

      “Foul dog RT”?
      Help me understand. Which existing desktop apps would you expect to run on this small tablet? That’s really the sole benefit of the “full” Windows OS, right? Run existing software? Well, the question I have is: what software? What do you expect to run on this 8″ screen? These kind of devices are tailor made for Metro apps – which will run just fine on either OS.
      Please provide specific reasons on why you think RT is a foul dog.

    • NathanMentley

      It does have host USB. the Microport can host devices.

      However, I don’t know if it’s possible to charge the device while it is in host mode.

    • Torontococck

      artivent

      Speak for yourself and dont just over generalize
      I have been waiting for a full windows tablet less than 9 inches and you come on here and say that no one wants a tablet less than 10 inches?

      Thats the most crazy thing I have ever heard

      Shame on you

  • Tsais

    Major miscalculation, thinking people won’t want to hook this up to larger displays…

    That omission alone puts it out of the race for many…
    Unless it sports at least WiDi

    • peejay

      Agree it’s a shame that there’s no HDMI out, though I guess that’s one reason why it’s thinner than the Acer A3. But I’m pretty sure it supports Miracast. The Dell video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QskaTVPi8oU) shows mirroring onto a TV.

  • Oolie zool

    Could have been perfect with HDMI out or dock capabilities. Hopefully they will release another version soon that will sit in the 11’s dock. At least it does support miracast.

  • Cultural Critic

    I am crossing my fingers that a similarly speced and priced Windows tablet will come out that dual boot with Android.

    That way I don’t need to buy a tablet and a laptop. I can get both at the same price.

    Android will be faster than Windows on a tablet and Windows will allow more functionality.

    On top of that I would hope that Windows could run iTunes and I could plug in an iPod Touch. That way I could buy the latest iPod Touch and have a laptop I could plug it into. (Sadly you still need a computer to make full use of iOS devices)

    (Also someone needs to make commenting ob this site easier with iOS devices- some sites are really difficult for some reason and this is one of them)

    • CyberGusa

      If you’re having issues with Disqus commenting system on multiple sites then you should contact them… Just choose the send Feedback option from the configure button…

  • Moku

    I think this might be my next computing purchase. Not only does it have enough power for what I would need, it’s also full Windows 8.1. And here the tablet UI DOES make sense. Only problem would be the keyboard. That’ll be a top priority. Also, a full-sized USB port would be nice too, but I’m not going to quibble on that one.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      you can still use the Micro-USB host/OTG adaptors with this at least.

  • Albert Hall

    I agree that lack of video out might turn out to be a mistake. Here’s to hoping that the micro USB port is OTG so you can hang usb peripherals on the tablet. I used an Acer inconia w3 for two weeks and found it to be a nice machine (the display was the weak point). My monoprice OTG adapter was essential…. allowing me to use flash drives, keyboards, etc. It might even allow a usb video output…

  • Lan Jay

    the micro-USB port is only for power supply?
    I will be interested if you can plug other USB devices for Venue 8Pro

  • haldor422

    This install of Win 8.1 is crippled by Dell as the OEM as Office 2007 or 2010 will not get past setup. I have called them and Dell India claims that Dell did not do that. Wrong! Other little bits are: You cannot back up the device in a non-booted state or perform any kind of shadow copy backup. The Recovery Partition is locked so as not to be able to move it to a thumb drive as the Win 8.1 option is grayed out. Perhaps this is due to the Bitlocker encryption. Regardless I have been unsuccessful at any attempt to backup or restore.

    I am told that the only option is to send the Venue 8 Pro to the Dell Depot to have any system reinstall. Dell has thus built in Service call revenues into the device. The device itself is rather zippy for a tablet. The 32 Gig version has only 9 to 10 Gig left after the system and Office 2013 installs. Many apps will not let you install to removable drives i.e. an Micro SDCard, leaving little room for any real work to get done. As there is no Sim card you must depend on WiFi. With only 1 Micro USB port to use for both power and USB attached devices your left not being able to both at the same time. To a USB device and Power the tablet at the same time some hacking into the cable is involved along with performing a series of jumps to get both.

    Like one commenter stated, “It’s a nice start, toward a really useable Windows Tablet. One aside note: the ONLY Tech Support you will be getting is Dell India Phone Support. Be prepared to go through hours of pointless troubleshooting along with being transferred to the wrong departments numerous times for no particular reason. The 3 day experience with Dell India Phone Support was not at all unlike being Waterboarded the whole time.

  • Wolfy

    I am really hoping for a mini-keyboard that I can dock my Venue 8 Pro into. That would complete my dream mini-PC. Anyone know if Dell, Zagg, Belkin or any of those other clowns are working on one?