Dell Venue 8 Pro – Unboxing and first impression of the 8-inch Windows tablet

With Windows 8.1 unleashed by Microsoft a couple of weeks ago, it’s about time we started seeing some new hardware. One of the big new areas for Microsoft is in the 8-inch tablet range, where Apple and Android have been fighting it out for some time now.

Sure, Microsoft had the Acer W3 but with its craptacular display, they needed some more finesse from their other OEMs.

Enter Dell with their recently announced Venue 8 Pro tablet. Running full Windows 8.1 with an Atom processor, we have to wonder if the device has what it takes. Head past the break to see our unboxing video and first impressions!

Dell Venue 8 Pro - $299/$350

  • Windows 8.1 (32-bit)
  • 8” IPS HD touch display (1280x800)
  • Intel Atom Quad-Core processor (Z3740D); 2MB cache, up to 1.8 GHz
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of internal storage (64 GB optional); microSD expansion
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Office Home and Student 2013 Tablet Edition
  • Integrated Intel HD graphics
  • 5 MP rear camera; 1.2 MP front facing camera
  • 18WHr battery (Rated for 10 hours)
  • Thickness – 0.35” (9mm)
  • Weight: 0.87 lbs (395g)

On paper, the specs are respectable and in real life, they seem to hold up. Windows 8.1, built for smaller devices and optimized for Atom processors, handles just fine in our initial tests. The Quad-Core Atom processor should give an edge in performance over the Acer W3 and other early Windows 8 tablets, which only had a Dual-Core.

The feel of the device is solid. It’s not too heavy, relatively thin and easy to handle in one hand. Interestingly, 8-inch tablets and Windows 8.1 lends itself to using it in portrait mode rather than landscape.

The real story here though is regards to the display, which is quite fantastic. As others have pointed out, you’ll want to disable the auto-brightness in Settings, otherwise it will seem too dim. Once manual control is empowered, the display is a real charmer. Great viewing angles, bright and suitable color rendition. It’s night and day between it and the W3.

The rear camera gets filed under “okay” as it will get the job done. It's muddy, not too sharp and the colors are bland. Same with the front facing camera. The Surface 2 is much better here, but we’re not expecting too much for such a small device anyway.

The one speaker seems to crank with little distortion. While not stereo, it should suffice for most uses on the Venue 8.

Oddly placed Windows key

The one complaint we have is that there is no front facing Windows key. Instead, there is one at the top of the device, similar to a power button. It’s awkward to use and you’ll find yourself using the Charms Windows key more often to navigate back to the Start menu. We’re not sure why Dell could not have put either a physical or capacitive key on the front bezel. It’s strange, but not a deal killer.

The device comes with an optional digitizer pen (not Wacom), though ours hasn’t showed up just yet to evaluate.

An excellent IPS display

For $299, we’re quite impressed with the Dell Venue 8 Pro. It’s priced right, feels great in the hand and the display is top notch. Will Lenovo best Dell? It’s hard to say but so far, we like what we see here.

The Dell Venue 8 Pro is now available direct from Dell (opens in new tab) for$299. A 64 GB version is also available for $50 more.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, 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 for some reason, watches. 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.

  • THIS....WILL...BE...MINE....
  • Who wants DELL when Godnovo is releasing their 8th world wonder Miix 2?
  • Because Dell, unlike "Godnovo", had the sensible decision to include support for an active digitizer, as opposed to a capacitive one.  I will never buy a tablet without support for an active digitizer.
  • But dat build quality though. :-o  And the start button at such an awkward placement. 
  • If it is built anything like my Latitude 10, then there should be no issues. Also, the start button is fine where it is, to me, out of the way.
  • Exactly.  I think people that poo-poo Dell do not buy Latitudes... they are buying cheap Inspirons and comparing them to more expensive Lenovos.  Dell can make excellent quality.
  • I feel that is a general problem with the PC industry. Everyone says Dell, HP, Acer, etc are all horrible and make cheap shit. And yes, they do make some cheap shit. But they also make some high quality expensive stuff. But when people compare them to the likes of Apple, they only focus on the cheapest mainstream options.
  • Well said Aaron. I agree completely.
  • From experience, you can buy a $300 HP or a $1500 HP and you will still get shitty costumer service. I hear Dell is even worse than HP.
  • Dell have nothing but stellar customer service in my experience bro...
  • Customer support ratings are overblown.  I don't think I have ever called a customer support tech for any of my Dells or HPs in the past.  That's probably the best customer support service you can buy.
  • No. They can't. Dell has never, ever made a good PC, not even by accident. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. I have had multiple Dells (both Latitudes) catch on in the computer itself and one in the power brick. They suck. That is all.
  • You're full of crap. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. You suck. That is all.
  • Huh.  I've been working with Dells almost exclusively since the 486 days and have found the Optiplex and Latitude lines to be absolutely bulletproof.   I've probably bought close to 1,000 Dell desktops and laptops over the years, both new and used, even off of eBay, and not one lemon in the batch.  They typically outlive their usefullness.  I can easily get 7 solid years of regular use in a business environment before they become too slow to use, compared to modern hardware. They did have a recall for Latitude AC adapters for that very reason, about 8 years ago.  Didn't you get yours swapped out at no cost like everyone else?
  • Fully agree! If you stick to Optiplex and Latitude, then Dell is as good as it gets. I hope this Venue 8 Pro holds up to that standard....and not their other crap.
  • This is months later than your post, but I still had to respond. Sorry about the poor experiences you've had, but mine are just the opposite. I've only bought Dell's higher end devices: the Latitude and the XPS and had very positive experiences. The best computer I've ever owned is my XPS One 27. I've never had the slightest problem with this device. My only experience with Dell customer service has been when they called me a couple of weeks after the computer arrived to see if I was happy with it. That was impressive. I was interested in the Venue 8 Pro when it was released but wanted to see and touch it before I ordered it. I played with one at the Microsoft Store near me and bought on the spot once I experienced the build quality and the performance.
  • Charms...???
  • What puts the Lenovo one ahead of dell for you? I did read there may possibly be LTE, which after the TMobile announcement of 200MB free data, might be a requirement for my future tablet.
  • I'm currently looking to buy an 8 inch tablet that supports a full windows 8 system, the Lenovo miix 2 is nice with more working hours and LTE SIM support, however with a daul core processor and no,support of a digitizer pen, it kills the functionality as I do intend to use this as a media and surfing tablet plus a memo pad I can write stuff on on the go
  • On the Lenovo site says the Miix 2 is a Quad-Core Atom and they do sell an optional stylus for it. Not sure if it's a digitizer pen though.
  • I refuse to purchase any tablet that isn't engineered by fake actor Ashton Kutcher.
  • Its not really that great for a tablet. It does not have GPS, NFC or any other sensors that I would expect as standard on a tablet. I don't care about a mobile antenna (LTE) but I do care about GPS and other sensors that are key to a tablet you want to use on the go. I think many OEMs are not realising the difference between a tablet and a netbook/notebook setup. The only OEM who gets it right so far is Nokia who have included all of these sensors in the Lumia 2520 tablet, though that one is only an RT one.  
  • The 2520 would be a kickass tablet if it had Bay Trail and ran full Windows 8.1
  • I wish Nokia would release an 8-inch, $350 tablet with NFC, GPS, and a digitizer.
  • I agree 100%. I also don't care about LTE, but a 3G slot, GPS, NFC, etc etc are standard for a mobile computing device.   And I thought I'd never say this, but RT is actually looking better and better for me. Running Office, Putty and Flash on it, I just need a video out to plug into a projector, an RT version of Paint.NET and Balsamiq and I'm there! :)   (I assume Eclipse RT is quite a way off or I'd add that too :) )
  • What doesn't have GPS, the Dell?  You've been misinformed if you think that.  My 32Gb has many sensors (GPS, accelerometer, gyro) that are "standard" to a tablet.  It doesn't have a SIM so no 3g etc, nor does it have a barometer (afaik) or NFC but those aren't deal-breakers IMO.  
  • better hope it doesnt smell like cat piss.
  • Looks really awesome. Digging the size!
  • Took me a while to realize, but Daniel hands are huuuuge.  I almost thought he was holding a phone or something.
  • I love this size too. On an unrelated note, why don't people choose the setting on Metro to have more tiles. It's in the charms bar under Tiles. Then you have 4 rows instead of 3
  • I tried it and for some reason didn't like it.
  • Finally dell will come and save MS tablet sector with what the majority has been waiting for. Great job Dell. I'll be getting one just for shits and giggles to go along with my SP2.
  • I've been ignoring this tablet but the article picture made me go, "How You doin'?"  8 inch is the perfect size for a tablet.  Kind of like the paperweight Blackberry Playbook I have. ;)   EDIT:  Thanks for the unboxing Dan!
  • I was so ready to get this, but the screen resolution isn't high enough for me. I've taken a look at similar sized/resolution displays and I'd like something a little higher. Shame too because I really like everything else about this device.
  • What more could you possible expect for $300?
  • I would be perfectly happy to pay a bit more to get a version with a 1080p screen. I understand that was a compromise Dell had to make to reach that price point. I just wish there was a BTO option for 1080p like the Venue Pro 11 will have to upgrade to a full i-series processsor rather than Bay Trail (which the base model will include).
  • 1080p on tiny tablets is still pretty dang rare...
  • 1. 7-8 inch range should be considered the same segment. Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 7 are both competitors in this segment, and are both 1920*1200.
    2. Nokia 2520 is about 11", not 8".
    3. Both iOS and Android have high PPI small tablet. Windows deserves less, just like we have so many 1366*768 laptops. It's a shame that PC OEMs started copying Apple to make high-res laptops. Let's avoid the same mistake in tablet market. /sarcasm/
  • That's why I'm waiting. If the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX, and retina iPad mini can have 1080p or better screen resolutions at a similar size and price point, then I don't think it's unreasonable for us to get better resolution screens in Windows tablets of this size. Personally I'd be okay with the price being slightly higher than the competition since we're getting full Windows 8.1, a Bay Trail processor, and support for an active digitiser.
  • New iPad mini is $400 for 16GB or $500 for 32GB.  Nexus 7 is cheap though but that's because they are more or less not earning anything from them.
  • I think you are also forgetting the fact that you have a full blown x86 machine capable of both consuming AND creating content with the Dell Venue Pro  as opposed to the Apple and Android tablets that are running OS's designed for consumption only. What you dont have in resolution you more than make up for with versatility and power.
  • You don't really want 1080, you want somthing higher.  A 16:9 8 inch tablet wouldn't be all that useful, in my opinion anyway.
  • Nexus 7 and Kindle use Android with ARM architecture processors. They can't run office or any of your desktop apps. They are a lot cheaper by design. The Venue runs x86 architecture processors and runs all of your desktop apps along with tablet specific ones. A full x86 tablet requires a lot more hardware wise and lore expensive to make. I really don't see how you can possibly begin to compare a full Windows 8 tablet with a stripped down and gimped Android one. Having this class of computer in that price range is amazing.
  • Most laptops have a 768 res screen and that's acceptable, why do people feel the need to require 1080p on 5-8" devices!?
  • It's less than $300 and runs full fat Windows. You either need to lower your expectations or raise your budget.
  • Right. There's really no pleasing some people.
  • Amen
  • Totally agree!
  • I already have budget higher than $300, where is the 8" full HD Windows tablet I can buy? Why developing 1020/1520, when 520 is the best selling Windows Phone? Because there are different market segments. All small size Windows tablets have low resolution, there is no choice.
  • I'm with you, everything is great for me except the screen resolution. I know its fine for the price, but a 1080p screen offered for a bit more money would be necessary for me to bite.
  • I agree. I'd be willing to pay more for 1080p. When there are 7" 1080p tablets out there, I'm holding out for an 8" Windows tablet that is 1080p.
  • 1080p would suck cause it's 16:9 instead of 16:10 like this one.
  • 1728x1080 then, and use the saved pixels money for a front facing Windows button.
  • What is it with the windows button?  I have the sp2 and never use the button.  In fact with the old ipad the thing I hated most was the home button.  Always hitting it when I didn't want to.  Windows is much better able to work without the button.  I'm fine with it at the top.  Ordered my dell venue 8 pro within hour of availability and still not word on when it will ship.
  • Actually, I kinda agree. Before selling my Surface RT, one thing I noticed is when using it in portrait mode my hand would always accidentally catch the capacitive start button. And I always used the charms bar on that because since it's a tablet and all, my hands were already in the correct positions (holding it on the sides) to do that. I just needed to swipe a thumb from the side and hit start; no hand adjustments required.
  • I LOVE the position. With W8.1 there is no need for it really. Edit: And you won't have to worry about hitting it or your kids accidentally hitting it when playing.
  • You know when it was first announced, I was going to do the samething, but when it said the ship date would be the 25th of Nov I cancelled the order and checked back on Wednesday. To my pleasant surprise it said the ship date would be 11/6, so I went ahead with the order and put 2 day shipping and now I am expecting a delivery later on today, folio and all. I cant wait :)
  • No, 1920*1200 please.
  • 1920x1200 then... but they should at least include a Windows sticker.
  • "1728x1080 then, and use the saved pixels money for a front facing Windows button."   This comment just made my daysuck slightly less.
  • Nice review Daniel, as usual. I'll wait to see your reaction on the Lenovo, and then decide by myself, we have some time until christmas.
  • Like the portrait mode. My Surface 2 just can't do that.
  • Hows the Surface 2 coming along!? Hows that tegra 4 cpu?? Can you please explain why the Surface 2 just cant do portrait mode like this Dell? I am looking to pick up my first tablet this Christmas, and the 4 tablets im leaning towards include both of these devices, I would love to hear your thoughts, thank you in advance :)
  • Really? I checked the surface 2 and pro 2 and both could do portrait.. Maybe an update is needed?
  • All Surface can do portrait. It must be locked. Swipe charms > Settings > Screen > Lock/Unlock
  • I meant, can't do portrait well. It's just too wide (long) to look right in portrait mode. I'm ok with that because I use it with the keyboard mostly. I would only like portrait for reading magazines and books.
  • ^
    This. It was very awkward on my surface rt, and now my pro 2, for portrait. I mean I usually use landscape, but portrait stinks on 16:9.
  • I love 16:9 in portrait as I am able to see more content.
  • Yea people don't seem t o realize that portrait mode is great for news sites, tumblers, blogs. More reading, less scrolling
  • And comics. Comics are closer to HD than not.
  • Others have stated that the active stylus is not the best. Dont get it expecting it to be of wacom quality. ITs stil lgood for such a cheap tablet though.
  • I am hoping that they can find some way to improve the stylus. Unfortunately, it sounds as though it's border line unusable. I don't think people were expecting Wacom quality, but it was somewhat of a defining factor.
  • IF I were to get it it would be for quick notes at work. I am not i nschool anymore and as long as I can read the notes in one note it would be good for me.
  • I would love to hear how this compares to the Surface 2 performance wise. Can it play Windows Store games as well as the Surface 2, web browsing, app launching, etc. I like the look of this one a lot.
  • YES. Right here. I would love to see a video comparison of Surface 2, and this Dell (or Lenovo's offering)
  • I'm waiting on a 1080P version.
  • Thank god there's no capacitive button on the front. I don't need another device with constant accidental button presses.
  • Totally agree!
  • Too bad no GPS. Looks good though.
  • Looks good on paper but early reports shows the stylus is poor and miracast doesn't work reliably. People may want to hold off till those issues are resolved, if they can be.
  • Pretty cool. I'm interested to see how this compares to the Acer W4.
  • meh... Transformer Book T100 still on my Xmas shopping list.
  • Me too, 10in with similar screen quality, its a no-brainer. Plus gotta be able to read my comics on a big screen. Maybe time to upgrade my Kindle Fire HD 8.9in to Windows 8. Decisions, decisions.
  • Dell has a 10 inch version coming out later in the month with a 1920 x 1080p screen.
  • Daniel  - Amazon currently sells the 32GB version for $291 and the 64GB version for $327. 
  • If it had a keyboard option like the surface then i would probably move to it.  i just want to be more productive than a typical tablet offers
  • I am of the same openion.
    It got three out of five from me (size, price and full Windows 8.1), missing on keyboard and (performance), well I need to see it run programs I use to see how it performs.
  • There is a keyboard cover available, my friend has it on order alongside his Venue Pro 8... but it doesn't match the sleakness of the Surface ones.
  • Dell has always had issues with accessories for their products.  I have an XPS10 and if you don't like the case that they sell for it, you're SOL.  The keyboard dock is awesome, but too expensive (work bought it for me) and no longer sold or even findable on the Dell site, as of 2 weeks ago.
  • I actually cancelled my order for this to get a Miix2 instead, but the Dell is definitely the more aestetically pleasing tablet. Anyone tried using these Bay Trail tablets with W8.1 on Miracast yet?
  • What swayed you toward the Lenovo one? And yes please someone mention how well these work with miracast.
  • I originally wanted the Dell because of the stylus. The Lenovo is just a little thinner/lighter, should be a wee bit faster (dual channel RAM), has GPS if you plan on taking it around. I'm no IT expert, so someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I was hoping the Miix2 would work better with Miracast/WIDI, since it can support a higher resolution. I was hoping to use my big screen at home as a second screen.
  • Thanks for the info. That has me leaning toward Lenovo now.
  • I'm thinking about cancelling my order as well. I love the cover/stand on the Miix 2, and the stylus, even though capacitive, will probably work better than the synaptics on on the Dell. The Youtube demonstration I saw was horrible.
  • Where is the Miix available to order, not showing up for me.
  • I don't think it's available yet. On Lenovo's site, they currently have a blank page for the Miix2. If I recall correctly, the Miix2 was supposed to be available "later this month".
  • Ok, thanks. I guess we'll see all the other 8" tablets in November.
  • Im leaning towards the Miix2 now as well after seeing how bad the digitizer is on the dell. Also, the Dells MicroSD slot appears to have a bottleneck somewhere because card read speeds max out around 23MB/s which is a shame since high end cards are significantly faster then that now. Im hoping the Miix2 has a faster microsd reader or the 128GB version becomes available.
  • Ultimately, is it junky loose plastic or well put together?
  • I like it much better than the surface. I like the fact that it is 8" and will fit in my pocket. I currently have an iPad mini that i slip into my pocket and take everywhere, but I would gladly trade someone for the Dell Venue 8 Pro any day of the week. I am a Windows Phone/ Windows 8 dev and it would be awesome to be able to code on the go using a small tablet vs having to tote my laptop around. Feel free to send me one for Xmas :-)
  • Good first impression Daniel. If I can make a request though. I would love to see some comparisons of performance between these baytrail tablets, the tegra 4 surface 2, and the Qualcomm Nokia 2520.
  • only two words explains why this device is absolutely useless: RAM Resolution   Why manufacturers produce tablets with resolution, which is similar to lumia 920 on 4x smaller screen? Why them makes tablets with amount of RAM, which is good just only for smooth running of empty OS, not with another aplications together?  
  • Have you actually used a Windows tablet? Try it first before spouting BS.
  • The resolution on my 23" monitor is barely higher than this, and I have no problem with it. I think the reason they're staying with this resolution is the graphics processing on the bay trail will suffer, plus the desktop would be WAY too small.
  • I don't think there's a performance issue with the graphics processing. The resolution would have to be a lot higher than 1280x800 these days. Maybe 10 years ago? My opinion is that a 1080p display would present a challenge to meet their battery life goal.
  • For a 32 bit OS, it's essentially limited to 2 gigs, which is fine since the OS is only going to take about .5 gigs to run at 32 bit. I don't see how this is a problem since 8.1's memory managment is even better than 8, which was amazing. As for the resolution, its on par with everything else in its price range, even with all the other benefits of a fully powered intel machine.
  • Your certainly entitled to your opinion, but saying its "absolutely useless" based on those points seems a little overboard. First off, on RAM, exactly how much RAM do you think W8.1 uses? Hint: its no where close to 2GB. Now about the resolution. I still use a 15.6 inch laptop with almost the same resolution and if it works fine for me on that, I think it will work fine for me on 8inch. Maybe you require more, well fine. But seriously you people need to stop bashing products that make smart compromises to fit a budget. This is an 8inch full working windows PC that can run for 10hrs, fit in my pocket, run visual studio, and is just $300!
  • He does have a point about the ram though. They put the crappy atom in here that only supports single channel memory :/
  • Baytrail doesnt support 64bit yet, so more than 4gb is useless. 64bit is coming beginning of next year. The Dell Venue Pro 11 is on my Xmas list though.
  • Anyone know if these are available in Ireland, or even the UK? And will they actually cost the equivelant of $299 over here? If so, I'd be really tempted.
  • Aye mate, they'll be available soon in UK and Ireland.  No idea about the price, though.  Suspect it'll be the usual coversion rate, i.e. about £250.  Moan the Hoops!
  • haha. No doubt it will be €399 and £250 or something stupid like that. Hail Hail :)
  • Love the size. Was considering a new Surface, but I think this will get the job done just as well. Pick up a kickstand/case & BT keyboard & I'll be good
  • Craptacular display?? Haha was the acer w3 display that awesome. That it warranted a new word to be fabricated just to describe the sheer awesomness /s. lol
  • Cant wait to see a showdown between this and the Miix2. Curious to see if Lenovo ships the Miix2 with the Z3770. I really want to see what you can do on these tablets.  I am hoping to run some indie games and be able to plug in a Xbox controller via a OTG USB cord.     
  • Or even better, a PS3 controller through Bluetooth.
  • From what I'm reading online all the new 8" tablets have the same  Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core Bay Trail.
  • The Dell has the Z3740D, Acer has the Z3740, the Encore has Z3770. The official Lenovo press release does not list the processor but I read somewhere that it should offer the Z3740 or Z3770 as option.
  • Yeah I'm seeing conflicted types as well. I can"t find it on a Toshiba site or the Lenovo site but I'll keep looking. Thanks.
  • The question is, can you close apps in landscape mode.  Mine won't, not sure if it's a hardware defect, or all of them work that way?
  • My Venue 8 Pro is out for delivery... estimated delivery is 8pm - weird. My stylus and case is now delayed for 2 weeks.  i'll likely cancel the case and wait patiently fpr the stylus. i've already puchased a Windows 8 Pro upgrade and i'm hoping to upgrade the OS without limitations - are there limits to the OS shipped on these new 8" tablets?
  • For the $299 price, you get can't get no better than this(full windows). About to get me one.
  • Anyone know when they'll release Venue 11 pro?
  • So far Dell has only said November as the release timeframe. So any time in the next 30 days starting tomorrow.
  • With 4 similar spec'd tablets to pick from it's the finer points that will decide for me. Of course you have the Dell Venue 8 Pro, the Lenovo MiiX2, the Toshiba Encore, and lastely the Acer Iconia W4 which is the newer model up from the disastrous W3 attempt. Some have options like 4G and GPS while other include HDMI and the likes. I think they all support miracast because they are all using the Baytrail quad core. I haven't decided which  one I will get yet but I don't think I will be getting the Dell.
  • Which ones have 4G? My hope is to get a windows 8 tablet that can use TMobile for their free 200MB plan.
  • None of the 8" tablets have more than 2GB of RAM.
  • i'm sure Aaron ment mobile wireless in reference to 4G.
  • I'm not sure any of them have their LTE version out yet. It's possible Dell does. From what I've read Acer and Toshiba are planning on releasing cellular versions as well as Dell.
  • Umm, you didn't demo portrait mode :S
  • Does it (or will it) support Miracast?  If so, could you post a demo? Thanks
  • Add a bluetooth keyboard to the demo, and you use the bevice as a full desktop.  The obvious advantage is that you simply pick up you 8" tablet, without unplugging anything, and walk away.
  • Miracast is supported in Windows 8.1.
  • Doesn't answer his question. Windows 8.1 also supports NFC and 4K resolutions. Doesn't mean all hardware will.
  • Tablets with Bay Trail will support 8-megapixel and 13-megapixel front and rear cameras, and also support voice commands to play back songs, get directions and to post updates on social networks. The tablets will support displays up to 2560 x 1600 pixels and have wireless display features to stream images directly to TV sets. The wireless multimedia streaming feature supports Miracast and Intel's Wi-Di networks.
  • Well there you go then, that answeres the question. So all baytrail tablets will support miracast. Assuming you copy pasted that from an authoritative source.
  • Yes there are dozens of sites showing that Bay Trail supports Miracast. But here is a c/p direct from Dell. Wireless display technology: Stream HD videos, photos or presentations from your Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet to your compatible TV through Miracast wireless technology.* Miracast’s secure, direct connection eliminates the need to connect to a local WiFi signal. * Requires a compatible media adapter (sold separately) and an HDMI-enabled display
  • Supporting it on paper is a far cry from it actually working well.
  • This sold me on it:    
  • Nice Halo 1 on an 8 inch tablet!
  • I've been using the Venue 8 Pro for the last few days, and I think it's the best Windows tablet I've played with so far.  Super light and speedy (3DMark Ice Storm Extreme score is around 8300, Ice Storm Ultimate around 15300).  I haven't gotten the stylus yet and the reviews on that are pretty mixed at this point, but I imagine that a software patch should fix things up.   Steam runs great, Civ 5 runs super smooth even with better graphics enabled.  Bluestacks-not so much, the formatting is pretty off.  Strangely, so is Halo from the Microsoft store.  Again, software fixes are surely coming.   Hands down the best all around tablet I've used.  It might not be super pretty but it turns heads, I've had two or three people come up and ask about it.  Best $300 I've spent on tech yet.
  • Holy shit, if it runs Civ 5 well I think my friend will definitely get one. A game like that might also work well over miracast. Oh the possibilities...
  • I find it hard to believe that civ 5 runs well... Its still a newish game and atom isn't a miracle. Starcraft 2 doesn't even run well on 2ghz sandy bridge, and atom is nowhere near that, and civ 5 is nearly was intense at least
  • Are you calling him a liar? I think a gun fight is about to break out.
  • Someone just posted a video of how smoothly Halo:CE runs on it, it's linked above but here you go:
  • That was SurfaceGeeks.  Pretty cool podcast.
  • Check out these videos on how Atom Bay Trail performs
  • Sorry, the 3DMark scores I gave were off: in the Extreme test it averaged 8754, in Ultimate it averaged 15448.  By comparision the iPad 4 gets 6723 / 10618, the new Nexus 7 gets 6990 / 10631, and the Surface 2 gets 9193 / 13575.  Not bad when compared to super-fast devices.  Real world performance is always different, but it does honestly feel every bit as capable as every one of these devices, and it's running full Windows 8.1.
  • yes. Bay Trail runs Civ 5 pretty much very well. Check this video:
  • A bit torn. Miix 8 looks better if it doesn't use a 3740D and single channel ram. But it does have an active digitizer...
  • The size is attractive and the packaging/ form factor looks great, too.  This will be a contender. Though I might opt for a Gen 1 Surface for the price difference even if it is RT (these will be holiday gifts as I'm likely going Surface 2 Pro).  Getting rid of the last of my families fruit dependencies at last (hope trade in is still available then)!
  • Even if it were only $200, I still wouldn't recommend an original surface over these. Not because of win rt, but because tegra 3 performance was so bad. I wouldn't be surprised at all if surface 1 is left behind with the next windows update. So even if its for your ancient grandma who doesn't care about performance, I would be worried about lack of future support.
  • I really, really like mine so far.  The pen is pretty crappy though.  There is a slight delay before it recognizes that you're touching the glass.  There is also another slightly longer delay when you remove the pen from the glass.  This results in there being "tails" when you're trying to write.   I was really hoping this would be good for taking notes but at this point it's definitely not.  I'll hang on to the pen and hope Dell/Synaptics can do something about it.
  • battery 18whr, that is small, Nokia 1520 has 12.6whr.  i bit they can make a 6" device now with windows 8
  • Tempted! Tempted! Tempted! But how can I justify another gadget in the house?
  • 8” IPS HD touch display (1280x800) Stopped reading there. Piece of crap.
  • All of the 8" windows tablets are shipping with that panel (or at least that resolution). If you want higher for <$300, go look at the Nexus 7, at least until windows catches up.
  • Is there a way to conver the Device into a 64 bit version? Also I was informed for those who might be wondering that you can get a microusb adapter to USB so you can use external storage. It should work.
  • Need lte
  • Wow, at that price running full Windows 8.1....great deal. I really hope this helps take off Windows tablet devices.
  • 64gb mid Nov. No lte yet..... I'll wait
  • <p>I hate to break it to you guys, but if you&#39;re in this for the digitizer (like I am), then prepare to be supremely disappointed. In short, <a href=" sucks</a>. There are more than 60 pages on that thread, about half dedicated to the stylus, and there seems to be little doubt that far from Wacom, its not even N-Trig quality. Aside from the digitizer, its probably the best tablet out there, which is unfortunate since my primary reason to jump is *was the digitizer.</p> <p>In summary, if youre looking for an awesome Win8.1 8 inch tablet, this is the one you want. For $299, its a great deal. If youre even thinking about using this to take notes, prepare to return it.</p>
  • Sorry about the formatting. Still, the stylus sucks!
  • thanks for the info. I too am looking to buy this because of the stylus. looks like i will have to wait for the miix 2.  
  • Anyone else feel they should merge Windows and WP, at least (for now) on a UI level?   I love the Windows 8.1 gestures on such a small device but in portrait mode it just looks weird. The startscreen should optimized for vertical scrolling just like WP. In turn WP should have a landscape mode that has horizontal scrolling just like W8.1.   It's these little kind of things that makes a product fun to use and an ecosystem stand out. I myself own a Surface and the startscreen just isnt a nice experience in portrait mode. Which is so silly because the tile interface started out with vertical scrolling so MS does know how to make the potrait experience for on a Windows device...
  • I'm waiting for the 8" Surface.
  • Does anyone know if this can join company domain or not?
  • This is a full Windows tablet not an RT version.
  • This version on the Dell Venue 8 Pro comes with Windows 8.1 (home version), however, you need Windows 8.1 Professional/Enterprise or whatever it is called to be able to join a domain.
  • Daniel, How is performance compared to surface2 , specifically browser performance?
  • I hope you guys review the Dell Venue Pro 11 when available.  For those saying that the Surface Pro 2 is not "lap-able" or does not work as an Ultrabook, the Dell Venue Pro 11 does the Surface Pro 2 one better and has an optional removalable battery.  Hopefully the screen is just as nice as is better or on par with the Surface Pro 2 in other respects  
  • I'm so jealous of you and Paul, my 64gb Dell hasn't even shipped yet!  >.<b I already have my 64gb micro card and OTG adapters ready to go. 
  • Mine is still sitting "In Production" since 10/18 with an estimated delivery date of 11/4 and its coming from China. I highly doubt it will get here on time :(
  • I find it funny that we're not expecting a great camera on a device this size, when the Lumias are smaller with a great camera, and on the other end, the surface has a better camera too. Just sayin'!
  • I just think an 8 inch screen is to small for windows 8 desktop. Probably get asus t100 (when will wpcentral review it?) or dell venue 11 since I've heard some issues with t100 on reviews.
  • Do any of these small tabs come with HDMI out?
  • Toshiba Encore and Acer W4. I really wish Dell and Lenovo would've included it on theirs
  • Great review, between this and Lenovo mixx. Want small and pen. Why no Windows button, maybe because the same device runs Android ??
  • So, is this going to be my $300 Heroes of Might and Magic 3 machine?!?! I think so.
  • I'm afraid the lack of a windows home button on the front bezel is a deal breaker for me. I'll be looking at the Lenovo.
  • I can't find it anywhere! Can someone please tell me which Intel HD Graphics model is onboard?
  • Does the tablet itself have a Wacom digitizer built into the screen (just like the Surface Pro 2)? Would the pen that comes with the Surface Pro 2 also work on this tablet as well as it does on the SP2 (using the pen on the SP2 in One Note was absolutely superb!)
  • It has an active digitizer as far as I know, but I really doubt it's anywhere near Wacom quality.
  • Nice tablet.  Thanks for the review.  I've always liked Dell products.  
  • Looks like a nice device for my tight budget. Would like to see how it performs with movies, multitasking, etc. Guess I'll have to buy one to see! :)
  • 10/25/2013 11:40:53PM briz: "does the dell venue pro 8 work with any wireless carrier?"
    10/25/2013 11:45:09PM briz: "Does this tablet at the $299 price point include the stylus pen?"
    10/25/2013 11:45:20PM briz: "how much extra is it if not included?"
    10/25/2013 11:45:34PM briz: "what about the cost of the keyboard?"
    10/25/2013 11:45:50PM briz: "Does this tablet support GPS?"
    10/25/2013 11:46:17PM Agent (Venice N): "That's a lot.. :)"
    10/25/2013 11:46:43PM briz: "yes I'm sorry"
    10/25/2013 11:47:38PM Agent (Venice N): "For the first question, actually we do not have a this tablet with a mobile broadband feature yet, this can only be connected to a wifi network, but most likely for the ones that will be released, it should work with any wireless carrier"
    10/25/2013 11:49:29PM Agent (Venice N): "$299.99 does not include a stylus pen yet but you can add one for an additional $34.99"
    10/25/2013 11:50:06PM Agent (Venice N): "Keyboard is $59.99 :)"
    10/25/2013 11:51:28PM Agent (Venice N): "The case is $39.99 but you can get the package with the case + stylus for $369.99"
    10/25/2013 11:52:00PM Agent (Venice N): "If you really want the mobile broad option, we would need to wait for the other models to be released.. :)"
    10/25/2013 11:52:28PM briz: "ok and what about the GPS support?"
    10/25/2013 11:52:42PM briz: "or NFC?"
    10/25/2013 11:55:31PM Agent (Venice N): "It supports GPS, still checking for NFC"
    10/25/2013 11:57:00PM Agent (Venice N): "$369.99 is a package with the cover and pen, and you're correct, an additional $50 for the 64GB version"
    10/25/2013 11:57:35PM Agent (Venice N): "also, it has an NFC feature as well.. :)"
    10/26/2013 12:02:31AM briz: "can you tell me the exact total? and last can you tell me if any other colors are available like red?"
    10/26/2013 12:17:22AM Agent (Venice N): "here is the prichave here.. Subtotal # $472.18
    Taxtotal # $29.95
    Shippingcharges # $0.00
    TotalPrice # $502.13"
    10/26/2013 12:24:37AM briz: "I'm sorry, but I have another question"
    10/26/2013 12:24:50AM briz: "how does the keyboard have power?"
    10/26/2013 12:31:17AM Agent (Venice N): "this is connected via bluetooth and is powered by a AAA battery"
    10/26/2013 12:33:55AM briz: "ok last question. Around when will the broadband feature come around and could it be that it never becomes available?"
    10/26/2013 12:34:26AM Agent (Venice N): "I'm afraid we do not have any updates on when that would be released"
    10/26/2013 12:34:59AM briz: "but one will come be released?"
    10/26/2013 12:35:21AM Agent (Venice N): "Yes because that feature was announced on the press release
  • Why would someone need full windows 8.1 on a 8 inch tablet without USB and hdmi ports? This is an honest question.
  • In my case, remote access for work which requires a specific Java version not available on RT, and full Office suite.
  • Now 64GB only 327$ on amazon
  • Waiting for them to show up at Costco. They are supposed to be there the month of November.
  • Do you have an exact date Jazmac? I placed an order with Dell on 10/18 when it came out and it is still sitting "In Production" with a estimated delivery date of 11/4. I highly doubt that I will get it by 11/4 since it is coming out of China. I'm really tempted to just cancel and order through Amazon to get a better deal or pick one up locally. Unfortunately, the local Walmarts are only carrying the 32GB and I would like to have the 64GB version.
  • Overpriced.   
  • For $299 a full Windows 8.1 device. Are your poor or just unrealistic?
  • Im gonna go with unrealistic
  • Not so poor. Probably he have no money right now as he just bought a GREAT iPad 2 or a dazzling iPad mini 2 for the fantastic price of 400$. That's an incredible value! :-P
  • Love the size , price and full Windows 8 that's amazing
  • Just hearing the name takes me back to the days of my Dell Venue Pro Phone on WP7. That portrait slide up Qwerty was like a red Corvette. Everytime I whipped it out everyone on the train was checking me out.  Maybe if this takes off they'll resurrect it for WP8.
  • I'm gonna convince the future me to buy this. but I'm curious about the keyboard, the cover and the stylus performance, is the keyboard just wireless or that we can snap it on the keyboard like the iconia w3?
  • the sad thing is i would buy this next to my surface 2. 
  • Confused... this or Lenovo miix2?    Also...someone mentioned this is quad and miix2 is dual core? Is that far, Dell Venue 8 Pro is looking like a winner..
  • On the Lenovo site says the Miix 2 is a Quad-Core Atom and they do sell an optional stylus for it. Not sure if it's a digitizer pen though. Plus the Lenovo has cell network support. It's 3G only but it's better than nothing.
  • I don't see why would anyone need a full Windows 8 in an 8" Daniel kept repeating in the video, it is good for watching videos and some other minor stuff while sitting on a couch!! I don't understand, why this could not have been Windows RT which would have still functioned for watching movies and browsing internet!
  • The fact this is 32 bit is a real stinker.  Intel really needs to get its act together and move away from it ASAP.  They say 64 bit versions will be available Q1 of next year but I'm not holding my breath.  
  • Wow, This dell makes a promising entry as a full windows 8.1 tablet. Ain't got no time for win 8 RT.
  • Can I plug this into my T V to watch Netflix??
  • Not Black Friday yet, but I just picked up the Dell Venue 8 Pro at WalMart for $229.00. Ordered online, paid through PayPal, and got a text not much later telling me that my purchase was ready to pick up. Thought that was a pretty good buy.
  • Has anyone tried connecting a windows phone device to this tablet? I have a Lumia 920 and i am connecting it using a micro usb otg adapter but the dell doesn't seem to recognize the phone.
  • "we’re not expecting too much for such a small device anyway"  - why not? There are way smaller devices making way better cameras. Anyway, I have been very leary of Windows 8 products and have stayed away in favor of Apple and Android devices. However, this device has me hooked. It's by far the best Windows 8 tablet on the market, in terms of feel and build. I ordered mine on Amazon for $268.
  • I picked up a Dell Venue 8 Pro at the MS sale. I really like it!!  It makes a great reader. I actually like that they took the Home button off the bezel.  I also have an ASUS Vivo Tab RT and it has the Home button on the long ways bezel. I found myself hitting the "button" accidently all the time.  Using my right thumb to open the right charms slider is really simpler for me. It has a great screen and is really snappy compared to the Asus. This is especially good for IE 11 which seems to do a full page load every time you hit the back button (I hope MS fixes this). Complex websites take a while to finish loading on the Asus. It's also nice to have the full Windows if you need it.  There's a couple programs Win 7 programs I run and being able to use them in a pinch is convenient.  I wouldn't do Excel or PowerPoint on it all day but you can use them if you need to. I ordered the keyboard yesterday and the Dell web site says they are now shipping in 5-7 business days. Hopefully I'll get it in a couple weeks. I'm still not sure how the case and keyboard with the magnets all work so I'll see when it gets here.  I'll post comments when I get it.
  • Why does the device in this review not have the full size USB port? The listing on Amazon shows it has a USB port.