Dell Venue 8 7000 takes on iPad Mini

Dell Venue 8 7000 takes on iPad Mini

ARE we still buying tablets anymore? With smartphones getting bigger in size each year, the need for another large screen device has since diminished.

And unlike smartphones, people don't upgrade their tablets as fast. An iPad purchased over three years ago still holds well today.

But if you fancy getting a new tablet this year, there are now compelling choices.

It used to be that the iPad dominates the charts, but today, big companies such as Samsung, Sony, HTC and Dell are pushing out high-quality versions of their own.

In the Android space, I've always recommended the Nexus 7 as the best Android tablet to go for, due to its affordability over quality ratio.

But there's a new bad boy in town, and this one's made to take on the iPad Mini.

The Dell Venue 8 7000 might sound like a mouthful, but what Dell has accomplished with its latest tablet is remarkable.

It's probably the most beautifully-designed Android tablet I've seen since, well, probably never (Sorry Samsung, but your plastic tabs aren't my cup of tea).

It could be the first to ever match the beautiful aesthetics of the iPad without trying to carbon copy Cupertino's design.

Measuring at just 6 millimetres in thickness, the Dell 8 7000 is the thinnest tablet around, and it's even a hair thinner than the iPad Air 2.

The all-metal construction of the Venue 8 7000 gives it a premium finish. Its back is matte aluminium with a gunmetal finish, while the front is a glass slab that runs up to the edges.

Its almost bezel-less except for the 'chin' below which houses the front facing camera and speaker.

This is an 8.4-inch OLED display tablet with a high resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 and 359ppi.

The Venue 8 7000 sits nicely between the 9.7-inch iPad Air and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini, though you get a little bit more screen real estate in the iPad Mini size.

The bezel-less display also means its comfortable to hold, and the tablet only weighs 306 grammes.

But design alone isn't going to help justify your purchase of this tablet.

As a premium device, you'd expect great performance, and the Venue 8 7000 is not a compromise.

This tablet runs on a powerful 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor and 2GB of RAM. It's a screamer. With specs like this, expect constantly speedy performance and very minimal lag.

All the latest network technologies are built into this device, including dual-band 802:11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS and NFC.

The camera on this device has a pretty neat trick called depth-sensing, which allows you to adjust images to give them a sense of depth. It's a nice option to have for those who do enjoy taking photos with their tablets.

Although the Venue 8 7000 comes with just 16GB of internal storage, you can expand the amount up to a whopping 512GB with a MicroSD card slot, something you can never do on an iPad.

The only gripe I have with the Venue is that it ships with an old version of Android operating system (OS)- 4.4 KitKat - but expect Dell to bring Android 5.0 Lollipop as an over-the-air update in the near future.

Also, I would prefer Dell give this tablet a better name. Regardless, this is an excellent tablet for those looking to buy one right now (unless you really want a new iPad).

Android tablets have gotten better over the recent times since the Nexus 7 and Android's Jellybean OS. There is no short of 'tablet' apps available in the Google Play Store, and Android is much easier to use than it was before while still letting users customise to their hearts' content.

Back when I reviewed and praised the Nexus 7 two years ago, it wasn't exactly the premium Android tablet I was looking for, but Dell has finally filled that gap with the Venue 8 7000.

More importantly, Dell's new tablet is finally giving Apple's iPad Mini a run for its money.

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