Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows Tablet Experience

    I have been using the DELL Venue 8 Pro tablet for some time, I wanted to write about my impressions. Just to begin, I’ll tell you why I needed it at all and why the Android tablet didn’t suit me. :) Too lazy to read a lot of letters, scroll a couple of pages down to the tablet with the TTX tablet. Although there will continue to be more letters than pictures - I will not upload photos of the box and all the buttons on the tablet in different angles. I’ll write more about the experience of use.

    Currently, I have three main mobile devices in my household: a Sony Xperia ZR phone, a Samsung Note 8.0 tablet, and an Asus U36SG laptop.

    Their tasks are as follows:
    The phone is always with you. Mail, Internet, books, all kinds of pedestrian navigation (city maps, public transport cards, ticket orders, etc.), various payment programs (banks, qiwi, Yandex, etc.), in an emergency - remote desktop management ( rpd, vnc, teamviewer), mp3 player, radio, alarm clock, calculator, evernote ... In general, the very thing that is called Personal digital assistant. Recently, it’s grown by a smart watch .

    Tablet - basically lives at home, takes it on trips for one or two days, and sometimes goes to work. When at home - the Internet on the couch, a reader for pdf, djvu and cbr / cbz, handwritten notes (why I like tablets with a pen), at work - just notes so that the paper does not translate. On the trip - the Internet and the reader, so that the phone saves battery or when you need a larger screen (pdf are the same, 8 "read them more comfortable than 4"). I don’t use it as a navigator, and in general he is on the sidelines after the phone.

    Notebook (i3 2310M 2100 Mhz / 8GB RAM / 13.3 "/ 256Gb SSD) - takes on trips of two days or more. Tasks - working with texts, initial processing of photos from the camera (lightroom) and their storage, importing tracks from a GPS logger, comfortable remote control, when bored - games (discrete video, albeit not very powerful, but the minimum settings for all the tanks there are enough).


    But sometimes you want to do some laptop tasks in tablet “mode.” For example, sort raw , fully view office documents or just play games (not shooting games, horse Well, civilization, heroes or quests work very well on the touch screen.) I want to do all this while lying on the couch, sitting on the bus, on the plane, in a hammock and standing ...
    On android, this is all, in principle, possible, but there are software limitations. Although Photo Mate R2 is very good as a looker for RAWs, it is fast and supports many formats (it works without problems with ORF). But this will not solve the issue with PC games or a full-fledged office. And the laptop will get in the way of the keyboard.
    I must say right away - GPS, 3G and other cameras are not interesting to me in a tablet. If it’s okay, but their presence / absence is not a factor when choosing. This is all I have on my phone.

    It would seem that the best option is to replace the bunch of tablet + laptop with something like ASUS T300 . But the toad strangled. She often intervenes and destroys her beautiful impulses.
    But is it not bold to pay so much for a laptop? You still did not take down skates. You still have a decent old one. Anyway, the tablet is heavier than a kilogram, you still buy a Compaq TC1100 .

    Although I liked the idea of ​​a powerful Trin tablet, and when there is a need to change a laptop, I will look in this direction. In the meantime, I began to look in the opposite direction - an inexpensive 8 "tablet with the ability to run regular Windows programs, with the ability to use a pen. And then tablets on a new atom loomed up on the horizon. I

    waited for the sale, looked at them and bought Dell - it just was the cheapest at that time - my copy cost about $ 210 with courier delivery. It remains only to buy a full-fledged stylus - the first revisions were fooled, and now, they say, the normal version has appeared. Of

    course, there are other manufacturers of the model on the this platform - Lenovo Miix2 , ASUS VivoTab Note 8 ,Toshiba Encore . They are all worthy options, especially Asus, but at the time of purchase Dell was much cheaper, the rest started from about $ 280 with delivery. Plus, Toshiba and Lenovo do not buy a stylus.

    Okay, with the introduction I finished, now about the tablet.

    About iron

    operating system Windows 8
    Processor / chipset Intel Atom Z3740 1800 MHz
    RAM 2 GB DDR3 1600 MHz
    Built-in memory 32 GB
    Memory card support microSDXC, up to 128 GB
    Screen 8 ", 1280x800, TFT IPS, glossy
    Wireless connectionWi-Fi 802.11n, Miracast, Bluetooth
    Camera Rear 5 million pixels., Front 1.2 million pixels.
    Battery capacity 4830 mAh (18 Wh)
    Dimensions (LxWxD) 216x130x9 mm
    Weight 395 g

    My kit was minimal - a tablet, charger, USB-cord, instructions and serial for MS Office 2013 Home & Student (English version). The office turned out to be a surprise, because the seller claimed that it would not be included (usually there).

    I usually use a tablet in landscape position, because the top face is the one on which the power button is. Also on it is a microUSB connector, volume control and a cover for the memory card compartment.

    There are two ports - microUSB and 3.5 "for headphones. MicroUSB is on the upper edge, headphones are on the left, next to the Win button. This button has a strange location, it always wants to feel its hand on the front right side of the center. As a result, I don’t use it, I prefer the screen.

    I will not launch any benchmarks, because they show little. Feels like - the system is fast enough, significantly faster than previous atoms. I did not notice any obvious brakes during use, but there is some sluggishness.

    Battery life is difficult to measure, but it feels like it lives at about Galaxy Note 8.0 level - around 6-8 hours. Maybe it will last longer, but I still play periodically, and this battery is planting much faster than just viewing pages in a browser.
    During games or watching movies, the tablet heats up significantly. I would not call it hot, but rather “very warm”. Holding is not painful, but a little annoying.

    Hardware shortcomings:
    1. The biggest drawback is microUSB.
      • Firstly, an adapter is needed to connect peripherals.
      • Secondly, he lacks the power to feed something more serious than a flash drive or keyboard. If you want to connect an external hard drive, 3G-modem or some other useful thing in the household, they need to provide additional power. So the external screw can only be hooked near the outlet.
      • Thirdly, the tablet is charged through the same connector. And it will not work, for example, to simultaneously use a flash drive and charge the tablet.

    2. There is no way to connect an external monitor with a cable, only Miracast. Although of all such tablets only Toshiba installed microHDMI, ASUS and Lenovo also cost microUSB and headphone output.
    3. Absolutely not amenable to upgrade. The processor, memory, “hard drive” - everything is soldered on the motherboard and is replaced by one piece.
    4. There is only one speaker, it is on its side and when holding the tablet in landscape mode it is blocked by hand.
    5. Does not charge from a 5V / 1A charger, give it 2A. So you have to look for a new external battery. Although the Internet hints that you can play with a similar cable: galaxy-tab-3-black-100-cm-241044 - there, the data contacts are closed by a switch.

    About the software part

    The tablet came preloaded with Windows 8.1, so there was no need to mess with the update.
    I will not describe the OS itself, who cares - they looked a long time ago. :)
    I liked working with the touchscreen, gestures from the edge of the screen are convenient. Now I’m even trying to use them on an Android tablet (and on Windows, I constantly feel for the Home button).
    Splitting the screen for different programs can be useful, done better than a similar mode for the Samsung.
    The on-screen keyboard is not bad, although there are strange interface solutions.
    In desktop mode with a touchscreen, it is also quite possible to live, especially since I once had a tablet on the seven. But here it is still more convenient with a hardware keyboard and mouse, since they are connected without problems via bluetooth.
    The right games work fine. The truth is limited to BG2: EE and Heartstone. BG2 works fine with a touchscreen, there are only some inconveniences with scrolling. And Heartstone seems to be written specifically for touch screens. I wonder why there is no version for android.

    Disk space

    Default Drive Breakdown:
    Initially, about 11 gigabytes of free space. About five more can be freed up by abandoning the recovery partition, I haven’t done this yet, but I’ll take care of it soon after I backup it to external media. For the programs used, 10-15 gigabytes will be enough for me, and the data can be stored on a memory card.

    Useful links for creating an image and cleaning the disk:
    http: //

    The tablets of the first lots (I have one) had a problem with the light sensor, with the automatic brightness control turned on, it constantly kept the display at a minimum. So at the first opportunity, you need to update the BIOS and put an update for the sensor. Well, or just turn off the automation.

    USB host that connects to it

    $ _12
    Mouse, keyboard - wireless, with a single adapter - working
    Logitech Dual Action gamepad - working
    Flash drive (USB3.0) - working
    USB sound + USB hub - working (and the aforementioned flash drive in this hub too)
    USB card reader - working
    GPS logger - works.
    The USB modem - the 3G-wifi router MTSovsky - does not work, even with additional power; the
    USB modem - 3G, the Messenger (some kind of Alcatel) - works with additional power.
    The USB-HDD - seagate 500Gb in the Zalman VE200 container - works, but I had to take the shortest (15cm) cable from the power supply to the splitter.
    USB-DVD - LiteOn - does not work, even with additional power (did not check with a short cord)


    Since the tablet does not have a physical port for connecting a monitor, it is proposed to connect external displays via Miracast. I decided to look if this is suitable as a replacement for HDMI - I bought the Tronsmart miracast adapter (though not the cheapest, but, according to reviews on the network, decent enough). I will not consider broadcasting video / pictures / sound - this is a topic for an overview of the adapter , I will only talk about using its HDMI.

    EZCast program interface:

    Connection options:
    1) Just click on the upper left button in the program interface. Then the tablet screen is cloned to the monitor. You can click a second time and get an extended desktop. Simple and fast, but sound is not sent in this mode.
    2) Switch the adapter to EZMirror mode (middle lower button), say “add a wireless screen” in the tablet’s control panel, select the adapter in the device list and enter the pin code (by the way, pairing with android works using the same method). In this mode, sound is broadcast.
    Here is a description with pictures just on the example of Dell Venue 8 Pro: -pro-win-8-1-tablet /

    In general - it works, but as a replacement, HDMI is not good.
    Firstly, the signal stability is far from absolute. During network activity it falls off and you have to restart the program.
    Secondly, the processor load is about thirty percent.
    And thirdly - lag. Small but nasty. With the mouse noticeably interferes with work.

    Although the option to display photos, videos and any presentations is not bad.


    The goal - to get a compact and inexpensive tablet on x86 - has been achieved.
    To whom, in the presence of such tablets, devices on Windows RT will now be interesting - I do not know.
    Of course, there are flaws, but well, nobody's perfect. :)


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