Dell joins the cheap Windows tablet scrum, launches the Venue 8 Pro 3000 series

Dell Venue 8 Pro 3000 series
Credit: Michael Brown

Dell is late to the cheap Windows tablet scene, and the $200 starting price for its Venue 8 Pro 3000 series is much higher than that of some competitors, but Dell’s offering boasts some superior specs.

For starters, the Venue 8 Pro has an 8-inch IPS display with 1280x800 resolution, and it packs 32GB of storage. Toshiba’s Encore Mini, for example, is street-priced at just $100, but it has a TN panel that’s limited to 1024x600 resolution and it comes with only 16GB of memory.

Beyond that, the differences between the Dell and other cheap Windows tablets are few. The Venue 8 Pro uses the same processor as the Encore Mini—a Bay Trail-class Intel Atom Z3735G—and it offers the same skimpy 1GB of memory.

Dell Venue Pro 8 3000 series Michael Brown

IPS panels like the one on Dell's Venue Pro 8 provide a much better off-axis viewing experience.

You can expand either tablet’s storage capacity by inserting a MicroSD memory card, but the Dell can handle cards with a maximum of only 32GB. Wi-Fi connectivity is limited to 802.11b/g/n, but you do get Miracast support for screencasting to a larger display, and there’s support for Bluetooth 4.0. A micro USB port is provided for data transfer and charging the onboard 16Whr battery.

The Venue 8 Pro has a 1.2MP camera in front, a 5MP camera in back, and a single microphone and speaker. There’s also a headphone/microphone combo jack. The 14-ounce tablet is available in black with the spindle-pattern finish Dell introduced last year, or with a smooth high-gloss white finish. It's available for sale now.

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