Dell Venue 8 Pro: Initial Impressions
Now that I can quickly remember which is the Windows button and which is the Power button, I’ve been having a lot of fun testing out a Dell Venue 8 Pro. I come to it from an iPad mini, which is comparable in size, so it’s taken some getting used to.
Here are four things I’ve been impressed by so far.
1. The weather app is awesome.
Yes, this is a small thing, but I’ve found the iOS weather apps (whether native or third-party) to be wanting. The pre-installed weather app in the Venue Pro, however, is really fun:
You can even CHECK THE RADAR. Whoa.
I don’t find myself needing to double-check weather.com. This app offers anything I’d want to know, including warnings and watches issued by the National Weather Service.
2. You can view two open apps at once, side-by-side.
I know, I know. That should be a given for a tablet in 2015. But it’s not available on iPads, so it’s been cool to be able to, say, scroll through a Facebook newsfeed while checking out links in a separate pane:
This is also useful if I want to read a book in Kindle and have a Web browser open. Yes, it’s the first time in many years that I’ve used Internet Explorer (!), but as browsers go, it works fine:
You can resize each of the two apps/panes so that the screen looks how you want it.
3. Speaking of Kindle, that app plays nicely with Windows.
This is a minor thing, too, but the Kindle iOS app does not allow you to purchase Kindle books from within the app. Here you can:
4. It’s a tablet. It’s a computer.
You get the convenience of an app-filled tablet, combined with the power of a full-on computer using Windows 8. Much as I like the iOS version of Accordance, you get to use its full desktop version here on the Venue 8:
When you use the desktop side of the tablet, having a stylus to get at the smaller touch points on the screen is essential.
I’ll post more later. For now, while it hasn’t replaced my iPad mini for daily use, I’m really enjoying the Venue 8 Pro.