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Dell unveils its all-new Venue tablets, plus major updates to its XPS Ultrabook line

Michael Brown | Oct. 3, 2013
New products will run Windows 8.1 and Android; Windows RT gets the cold shoulder.

Dell teased its Intel Bay Trail-powered 8-inch Venue Pro tablet at the Intel Developer Forum last month. On Wednesday, the company introduced several 11-inch versions of the Venue Pro. But don't think Dell is buying into the notion of a post-PC marketplace: It also introduced three new Ultrabooks bearing its XPS brand, including an 11.6-inch, 2-in-1 convertible, and a 15.6-inch model tricked out with discrete graphics and an eye-popping display with a resolution of 3200 by 1800 pixels.

Dell vice president Neil Hand showed me those products at a briefing during IDF last month, along with several other Venue (minus the "Pro") tablets that will run the Android operating system (TechHive editor Armando Rodriguez has the scoop on those devices).

One operating system Dell has lost all interest in is Windows RT, and Hand is apparently unconcerned that consumers will associate the Venue and Venue Pro brands with Dell's unsuccessful smartphone effort (Dell exited the U.S. smartphone market in early 2013). Hey, why waste a perfectly good brand name?

Venue 8 Pro
Dell Venue Pro 8

Hand briefly showed the Venue 8 Pro during one of the IDF keynotes, but he revealed few details about the tablet at that time. Today, the company announced that the Venue 8 Pro will feature an 8-inch IPS display with ten touch points and a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. It's powered by Intel's quad-core Atom Z3740D processor (Bay Trail family) and 2GB of single-channel DDR3/1600 memory. It has 32GB of flash storage, which can be expanded up to 96GB via a MicroSD card reader (a model with 64GB of storage that can be expanded to 128GB will also be available).

The Venue 8 Pro has a 5-megapixel camera in the back, and a 1.2-megapixel camera in front. The 0.35-inch-thick, 0.87-pound tablet is powered by an 18Whr (4830mAh), 2-cell battery. Battery charging and wired data transfers are accomplished via a Micro-USB 2.0 port. A dual-band (2.4GHz/5GHz) Qualcomm Wi-Fi adapter delivers two-stream 802.11n wireless networking. Bluetooth 4.0. mobile broadband support, in the form of either HSPA+ or LTE, will be offered as options. Dell expects the Venue 8 Pro to be available on October 18 and has priced the base model at $300.

Venue 11 Pro
Dell Venue Pro keyboard case

The larger Venue 11 Pro must have an 11-inch touchscreen, right? Wrong! It's only 10.8 inches, but it delivers a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, provides ten touch points, and can drive an external monitor via a mini-HDMI port or with Intel's wireless display technology.


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