Dell pushes out Ambient Light Sensor fix for Venue 8 Pro tablet

Between the various sales, discounts and all around good word-of-mouth, the Dell Venue 8 Pro, featuring Windows 8 (x86) on an 8-inch tablet, has become a mini-hit this holiday season. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if many aren’t given out as Christmas gifts in two days.

One complaint about the otherwise stellar device is the ambient light sensor. Out of the box, the brightness on the Dell is very dim. That’s surprising if only because throwing it into manual control (instead of the default auto adjust), you’re treated to a very bright display—easily the brightest of the all the 8-inch Windows tablets on the market. The reason it’s so dim? To preserve battery life and rake up that 10 hour rating. Unfortunately, Dell’s settings are too aggressive.

Luckily, they seem to be listening. A new patch came out a few days ago, featuring new ambient light sensor settings, which will optimize them for better performance. The update is just 2 MB and it will only take you a few moments to install.

So how is it? It’s a lot better. We just compared it to our Toshiba Encore, which has more aggressive lighting adjustment and it now behaves in a similar fashion. In short, when you put the tablet into direct light, after about five seconds it will ramp up to a suitable level of brightness. Covering up the sensor will dim the screen, once again, in about five seconds. It’s still a bit dim, but it at least adjusts to acceptable levels now.

If on your Dell now, just follow this link on their support site to download the patch. Also note that there was a BIOS update on December 9th.

How's your Venue 8 Pro been treating you? Let us know in comments.

Thanks, Diego, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.