Because size matters

Damage:

R 4999

What you need to know:

  • OS – Windows 8.1
  • Works with a micro sim
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of storage
  • Can add a Micro SD card for extra storage
  • Quad-Core Atom processor

What we think you should know:

I would like to disclose that I like Dell products. My personal laptop at home is one, and can I add that I’ve had it since 2008 and it still works well. I mean that’s like 100 years old in laptop years and it should have died a long time ago. I was naturally quite excited when this little gem, the Venue 8 Pro, landed on my desk to play with.

First things first. The Dell Venue 8 Pro runs the full version of Windows 8.1, which is quite a new feat in the 8-inch tablet market. This Window’s 8 tablet is the first one that’s actually worth taking a second look at in the sea of iPads and Android tablets. It is comfortable to use in landscape or portrait mode depending on what tickles your fancy.

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From a woman’s perspective, this compact tablet is a nifty size and this is important because size matters. I can wrap my one small hand around it quite comfortably and have a good grip. The textured, rubberised back also aids a stable grip and prevents it slipping out of my hand. It sports a 1280×800 screen, which is fully HD and has a Quad-Core Intel Atom processor. It is fast enough to keep up with daily tasks and it has a battery life of around nine hours. We definitely give it the two thumbs up for that.

One of the first things I look for in any device is whether it has a headphone jack. And I am happy to report that the Venue 8 Pro has one. This is important to a music addict like me. This means I can keep listening to my playlists whenever I am using it.

I found the home screen easy to navigate and the Windows layout is familiar and it feels like it’s a natural extension of your laptop.

It has a dual camera as well as a web-cam. Let’s face it; a camera in every one of our devices is important these days. Tablets in general aren’t renowned for their great cameras and this one is no exception. It has a 5 MP camera and a 2 MP front camera. You can even take selfies with your tablet. They’ll be grainy, but you can still take one. The 1.2 MP HD webcam will ensure that you can have Skype calls with family and friends.

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Dell kept the bezel around the display to a minimum with the Venue 8 Pro, which means a larger screen in a smaller tablet – I definitely love that, it makes viewing images and videos better. The brightness of the screen is great and the colours are vivid. Although I got used to it quite quickly, I was a bit confused by the ‘home’ button, by this I mean I could not locate it. The first time I clicked on an app, it took me a while to figure out how to get back to the home screen. I won’t lie; I had a bit of a panic attack out of frustration for a few minutes. I was looking for a button on screen initially and then figured out that it is on the top edge. Another thing that bugged me was that it does not go into hibernation when it is idle for a while; rather the screen stays on, staring at me from my desk. You have to physically switch the screen off.

Let’s talk apps. When someone mentions any device that is not iOS or Android, I worry that I won’t be able to access my favourite apps. It’s a fact that when apps are developed, Windows is often forgotten. The offering in the Venue 8 Pro store is quite sizable with around 125 000 apps currently available to Windows 8 users. This sounds impressive, but in comparison with the Android or iOS that has over a million apps available to their consumers, Windows needs to up its game in this department.

It’s a great tablet overall and I wouldn’t mind making the handbag companion a permanent resident.  

So rad:

  • It fits into my day-to-day handbag
  • Long battery life
  • Dual camera and webcam
  • It’s aesthetically pleasing (it’s pretty)

Makes me sad:

  • Not all the popular apps are available on a Windows OS
  • The camera isn’t great, but this is a problem with tablets in general

 

 

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