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Dell launches four new tablets -- all on Intel chips

Matt Hamblen | Oct. 3, 2013
No plans for future Windows RT tablet running on ARM

8-in. Dell Venue 8
The Dell Venue 8 tablet is powered by Intel's Atom Z2760 Clover Trail processors. The tablet will sell for 179.99

Dell introduced four new low-cost tablets on Wednesday that run on Intel processors, shutting out ARM-based processors from its launch, even for Dell's Android machines. Two of the four tablets run on Android -- the 7-in. Dell Venue 7 and the 8-in. Dell Venue 8. Both use Intel's Atom Z2760 Clover Train processors, a chip designed to conserve battery power.

The Dell Venue 8 tablet is powered by Intel's Atom Z2760 Clover Train processors. The tablet will sell for 179.99

Intel developed the chip in part to compete against battery-conserving ARM-based processors built by Qualcomm and Nvidia, which have been suppliers for nearly all the Android-based tablets that have shipped.

The Venue 7 will cost $149.99, making it one of the lowest priced tablets on the market, while the Venue 8 will cost $179.99.

The other two new Dell tablets run on Windows 8.1 and the Intel Atom quad-core processor code-named Bay Trail. They are the 8-in. Venue 8 Pro, which will sell for $299.99 and the 11-in. Venue 11 Pro, selling for $499.99.

At an event in New York City, Dell officials said they are not planning to provide refreshed models of Windows RT-based tablets. Dell discounted the price of its first-generation Dell XPS 10, amid reports of slack sales. The tablet ran on the ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon S 4 and Windows RT, which was widely criticized for not running legacy Windows applications as Windows 8 did.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, called Dell's tablet prices "very aggressive" and pronounced the company's exclusive use of Intel processors "a major coup for Intel."

With the affordable pricing, Dell is "doing the right thing by trying to re-invigorate sales," Gold said. "New, innovative devices is what it will take to get the market moving. So I applaud them from taking the risk with the Venue Tabs ...They are trying to move out in front of the competition -- mainly HP and Lenovo."

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, noted that Dell built one of the first 7-in. tablets that didn't sell well. "Since then, they've been quiet for the last few years, hand-wringing about their next steps in client devices while watching Apple and Samsung walk away with the business."

The new devices show that "Dell is back and aggressive as ever," he said. "I'm impressed with the value their Android tablets bring."

Moorhead said the Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet and a new Dell XPS 11 2-in-1 ultrabook, also announced Wednesday, are impressive for bringing a "giant leap" in display resolution. The Venue 11 Pro has HD resolution, while the XPS has Quad HD resolution, at 2560 x 1440 pixels.


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