Dell seems to be on a roll this last year with many new great Windows 10 devices, and that is continuing with the newly refreshed Venue 8 Pro 5000 series tablet. Dell had previously updated this tablet last fall, but with only minor changes.
The new 2016 edition, however, takes things in a new direction with more 'pro' specs making this tablet a more intriguing purchase.
Here's what's changed between the old and the new:
|Category||Venue 8 Pro (old)||Venue 8 Pro (new)|
|OS||Windows 8.1||Windows 10 Home or Pro 64-bit|
|Processor||1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3740||2.24 GHz Intel Atom Z8500|
|Display||HD (1280 x 800)||FHD (1920 x 1200)|
|Cameras||1.2MP, 5MP||2MP, 5MP|
|Ports||micro USB||Thunderbolt Type-C|
|Storage||32 or 64GB||64GB eMMC|
|SIM||No||Yes, micro SIM|
Dell has upped the specs of the Venue 8 to make it similar to the now shelved Lenovo ThinkPad 8. From the newer, faster processor to the jump to full HD for the display, everything about this tablet looks fantastic. The front-facing camera even gets a small boost from 1.2MP to 2MP for conference calls and like all Dell tablets, this does support their optional Active Pen for note-taking and drawing.
For those concerned about RAM Dell has answered by bumping it from just 2GB to a more palatable 4GB.
Dell is committed to the full-spec Thunderbolt ports on their new laptops and tablets, and this device is no different with a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port also on board. With this single port you can charge the tablet or use adapters for full video out, Ethernet and more without limitations.
Finally, we are very surprised to see the inclusion of a micro SIM and NFC with this tablet in addition to the regular micro SD slot. Those features make this tablet very tempting for those who need all the power of Windows 10 wherever, whenever.
Dell is selling the Venue 8 Pro 5000 for $641 but is on sale for $449. That price is certainly higher than the original Venue 8, but seeing all the improved specs and it is easy to see why. You could knock off $50 if you take the Windows 10 Home option bringing the price down to a friendlier $399. Dell's Active Pen will cost you can extra $40 and change during the configuration stage.
If you order now, shipping of the tablet is expected within 11 to 14 days. We ordered one up ourselves and will feature it on the site when it arrives.
Let us know what you think of this tablet in comments. Did Dell do right?
Thanks, @jason_wun, for the tip!
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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.