Dell Venue 8 Review

Updated October 31, 2014
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Dell Venue 8 Review
Bottom Line

If you are looking for a low-cost tablet with good performance and a great, high-definition display, the 8-inch Dell Venue 8 hits all the checkboxes. There's plenty of pop here for typical tablet uses and users, but with just 1 GB of memory, you'll want to keep an eye on how many tasks are running to keep the stock KitKat OS purring along.

ProsHigh-def touch screen, Good performance, Good battery life, Runs the stock Android OSConsLimited memory, Android had fewer tablet apps that Apple

Breaking it down

Performance

"Punches above its weight class." That's what HotHardware.com says in naming the Dell Venue 8 an Editors' Choice. Keep in mind, however, that doesn't mean that this $200 tablet is a performance powerhouse. There are other tablets -- including some even-cheaper tablets, such as the like-sized but lower-resolution Asus MeMO Pad 8 (Est. $150) -- that bring more horsepower to the battle. However, for most users, and most uses, there's enough under the hood -- a 2.1 GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z3480 processor, 1 GB of memory and 16 GB of storage -- to make life with the Dell Venue 8 a pleasurable experience.

Features

Hey, good looking. The biggest plus with the Dell Venue 8 is its full HD, 1,920- by 1,080-pixel touch screen. It's an IPS panel, and that translates to exceptional image quality. "Everything we looked at -- high-res pictures, videos, games, 3D graphics -- looked well-detailed and accurately colored, with little or no banding or pixelization," says William Harrel at ComputerShopper.com. It's the highest-resolution screen on a tablet in this price category, save for the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 (Est. $180 and up), but that tablet brings with it a heavily modified operating system that relies on Amazon for its content. Another notable feature on the Dell Venue is the microSD memory card slot so that you can store as many movie, music and other media files as you can download without running out of space on the device.

Ease of use

Pure Android. Android is a highly customizable, open operating system. That's true for users, and for manufacturers -- most of which can't help but layer on their own user interface to allow for "features" that can't be found on other tablets. The best of these customizations don't get in the way too much; others are so annoying that the first thing experienced users do is "root" their device -- deleting the modified OS. No such issues with the Venue 8, however. Dell runs the stock Android KitKat OS, and reviewers say hurray for the freedom from unwanted software and enhancements such as animations that interfere with stability and ease of use. Reviewers note that like all low-cost tablets, the limited memory can cause some stability issues if you are running multiple apps and tasks at the same time. But keep those reigned in, and the user experience using the Dell Venue 8 should be satisfactory.

Buy from Amazon

Our Sources

1. Laptop Magazine

Dell Venue 8 (2014) Review, Cherlynn Low, Aug. 14, 2014

Laptop Magazine names the 2014 version of the Dell Venue 8 as an Editors' Choice. "For just $200, the Dell Venue 8 offers a full HD screen and improved performance, all in a sturdy design, says Cherlynn Low.

2. HotHardware.com

Dell Venue 8 (2014) Review, Ray Willington, Sept. 28, 2014

HotHardware.com, an enthusiast site with some of the more detailed reviews available, also names the Dell Venue 8 an Editors' Choice. Ray Willington notes that, like all tablets in this price class, it can seem "a touch under-powered" at times, but that's offset by good build quality, long battery life, and, of course, that excellent HD display.

3. Computer Shopper

Dell Venue 8 3000 Series Review and Ratings, William Harrel, Sept. 29, 2014

William Harrel doesn't grant the Dell Venue 8 3000 series (which is what Dell calls this slate on its own web site) an Editor's Choice award, but he does rate it at 4 stars gives it a Good for Families designation. "With a superior screen and a light, attractive chassis, Dell's Atom-refreshed 8-inch tablet delivers fine value and performance for the price." he says.

4. Green Bot

Dell Venue 7 and 8 review: Average Android tablets at a below average price, Blake Stimac, Aug. 6, 2014

Green Bot is a sister site of PC World. Here, Blake Stimac reports on the Dell Venue 8 and its sibling, the Dell Venue 7. He prefers the Dell Venue 8, but adds that either will give you good bang for your buck considering how poorly other tablets in this price category perform. He adds that bot the Venue 7 and 8 "provide a reasonable and affordable tablet experience."

5. CNET

Dell Venue 7 review, Xiomara Blanco, Aug. 6, 2014

Despite this review's title, Xiomara Blanco reviews both the Dell Venue 7 and the Dell Venue 8 here. Her preference is for the smaller Dell Venue 7 based on available competition, but some of that competition has changed since the review was published. Regardless, she says both tablets are "refreshingly bloatware-free and start at affordable sub-$200 prices."

6. ConsumerReports.org

Dell Venue 8 (Wi-Fi, 16GB) (2nd gen), Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

The 2014 version of the Dell Venue 8 is included in the latest batch of tablet testing by ConsumerReports.org. Discussion is brief, but covers the high points. Ratings are provided.

7. Amazon.com

Dell Venue 8 16GB Android Tablet (NEWEST VERSION), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2014

The current version of the Dell Venue 8 hasn't attracted a lot of user feedback. We did see a handful of mostly positive reviews at Amazon.com, however, and the tablet earns a 4 star rating there.