Dell’s Venue 8 is a well-built budget tablet for first time buyers and the design is very basic.
The eight-inch device is powered by Intel’s dual core Atom Z2580 2 GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The storage capacity can be expanded up to 64GB using a microSD slot.
The IPS LCD display has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels with a screen density of 213 pixels per inch, which is pretty average.
The advantage of this device is that it runs on stock Android 4.2.2 operating system. The OS is largely untouched.
Dell is making its second foray into the tablet space with Venue. It launched Dell Streak 5 and 7 inches two years back.
The curved edges of the device are made for holding it comfortably and not to slip from the hands. The soft-touch rubberised-like coating adds to it. It weighs 372 grams.
The device is solid and sturdy. The volume rocker and the micro USB port are on the left side of the device while the microSD slot is on the right. The headphone jack, microphone and power on/off button sit on the top and the speaker is located at the bottom.
The glossy screen is a fingerprint magnet and the viewing angles are average.
Dell’s stuck to Intel Atom to cut costs and at the same time provide a fast and fluid experience. The device is good for casual users for standard apps, email surfing and watching videos. With integrated HD graphics, the device was OK to play games like Need for Speed 3 and Asphalt 8: Airborne, despite occasional lags.
The outward-facing speakers are pretty loud but lose details and prone to distortion when turned up to the maximum.
Dell has added two custom apps PocketCloud for remote connection to a PC and PocketCloud Explorer for grabbing and sharing files from the same. It does not have bloatware of apps like others do. It is good and end users can download whatever they wanted from the app store.
The biggest drawback of the device is the camera specs. It is awful. The 5MP camera does not have autofocus and LED flash and it is very basic with no value-added features and settings. The photos taken in bright lighting conditions are OK but indoors it loses colours and details. Night shot is ruled out due to lack of LED flash. The front-facing 2MP is average and only good for video chatting.
There is no way to view the photos when taken and the only way is to exit the app and go to the gallery to view it.
The video recording is at 720p and the quality is average and nothing to blow you away.
Regarding connectivity, it has WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0.
The 4100mAh battery gives just around seven hours of battery life with videos, music and surfing with WiFi on and brightness set to 75 per cent, which is average. But with auto brightness and occasional surfing, the device lasts almost a day. It is priced at Dh799.
• Stock Android experience
• Budget tablet
• Simple design
• Loud speaker
• PocketCloud app
• Outdated operating system
• Bad camera specs
• Fingerprint magnet
• Snapped photo preview not available
• Battery life