Dell Venue 11 Pro review
Dell’s business-focused tablet, the Venue Pro 11, is deceptive. It isn’t as lithe as Nokia’s Lumia 2520, nor as stylish as Apple’s iPad Air, yet behind its mild-mannered exterior lies one of the most promising tablets we’ve seen. Boasting Windows 8.1, a Full HD display, generous connectivity and even a removable battery, the Venue 11 Pro is a serious contender. See also: what’s the best laptop you can buy in 2014?
It would be easy to overlook the Dell’s talents, though. The dowdy, 11mm-thick body is cast in a muted palette of black and grey, and it’s only once you cradle the tablet in your hands that the build quality becomes evident. At 760g, it’s no lightweight, but the plastic body feels reassuringly stout and well constructed.
The Venue 11 Pro is unmatched for practicality. There’s a mini-HDMI output; a 3.5mm headset jack; a full-sized USB 3 port; a volume rocker switch; and a Kensington lock slot.The rear panel pops off to allow access to the 32Wh battery, and in a welcome change from its predecessor, the Latitude 10, the Venue 11 Pro charges via micro-USB.
The centre of attention is the 10.8in, Full HD display. It’s as good as any tablet display we’ve seen. The panel boosts right up to a maximum brightness of 508cd/m2 – more than enough for outdoor use – and the contrast ratio of 1,058:1 is excellent. What’s more, Dell has calibrated the panel to provide an unusual level of colour accuracy. Every shade is deftly reproduced, and the panel covers almost the entire gamut of sRGB colour. With an average Delta E of 2.4, colour fidelity is bang on.
Dell has equipped the most affordable Venue 11 Pro with an Intel Bay Trail Atom CPU. The quad-core 1.46GHz Atom Z3770 is aided by 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 64GB eMMC (embedded multimedia card) drive, and this combination is surprisingly fleet of foot. Startup and application load times are swift, and the Samsung-made eMMC drive is much faster than others we’ve encountered. Sequential read and write speeds of 151MB/sec and 50MB/sec respectively in the AS SSD benchmark are respectable.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||298 x 177 x 11mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Atom Z3770|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Camera megapixel rating||8.0mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||10hr 25min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.38|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8.1 32-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|