Review Price to be confirmed
Dell Venue Pro 11 Hands-on
The Dell Venue Pro 11 is Dell’s latest ‘full size’ Windows 8 tablet, the bigger brother of the Dell Venue Pro 8.
What is the Dell Venue Pro 11?
As well as a decent-size screen surface to work on, Dell offers two different keyboard modules to turn the tablet into a decent Ultrabook replacement.
Dell Venue Pro 11 – DesignThe Dell Venue Pro 11 is a tablet with an 10.8-inch screen, making this a semi-portable device. You wouldn’t want to use it one-handed for too long.
It’s also pretty obsessed with practicality. On the body you get a full-size USB port and two video outputs – a microHDMI port and a DisplayPort socket. Dell says this’ll let you attach two external displays to the Venue Pro 11 at the same time. There’s also a microUSB port.
Much more unusual for a tablet such as this, the rear can be removed to give you access to the battery. Hardly any tablets let you do this. The Dell Venue Pro 11 we looked at didn’t have any fancy extras, but Dell says you’ll also be able to add a fingerprint sensor and smartcard reader to the tablet if you like (before buying, naturally).
Dell Venue Pro 11 - KeyboardsWhat’s of more interest to most people is the duo of keyboard modules you can buy for the Venue Pro 11. They’re a clear reaction to the cases Microsoft ships with its Surface tablets.
The first is a keyboard with ‘standard’ moving keys, a battery that boosts stamina up to 17/18 hours (a claimed 80 per cent increase) and a strong hinge that turns the Venue Pro 11 into a laptop-like device. It’s arguably much more elegant than the ‘kickstand and cover’ solution of the Microsoft Surface.
This is the super-skinny keyboard module
The second keyboard is a near-flat pad of keys, similar to the super-slim Touch Keyboard cover of the Surface. However, there is a tiny bit of travel to the keys in this case – 0.2mm – for more satisfying typing.
What these keyboard lack, though, is a backlight, seen in the new second-generation Microsoft Surface keyboards.
Dell Venue Pro 11 – ScreenThe Dell Venue Pro 11’s 10.8-inch screen is a 1080p resolution IPS-based display. However, the demo unit we got to have a feel of wasn’t working, so we didn’t get to test how it looks in person.
We expect it’ll offer a great viewing angle and decent image quality – like most tablet IPS screens do these days.
Dell Venue Pro 11 – SpecsThe Dell Venue Pro 11 will come in a variety of spec configs. The lowest-end most will use an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor – a fairly low-end chip. However, you’ll also be able to get the tablet with an Intel Haswell-generation processor, right up to the top-end Intel Core i7 CPU.
RAM maxes-out at 8GB, and internal storage goes up to 256GB, all provided by an SSD.
A Core i5 or i7 processor matched with one of Dell’s keyboard cases will turn the Dell Venue Pro 11 into a pretty convincing ultraportable laptop-replacer.
First impressionsThe Dell Venue Pro 11 is not a thing of beauty, but when matched with one of Dell’s solid new keyboard cases it seems a solid alternative to an Asus Transformer or tiny laptop. However, what we’re yet to see is whether the 8.1 update makes tablets feel better to use than Windows 8 tablets currently do.
Next, read our round-up of the best Windows 8 laptops, tablets, convertibles and PCs
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