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Dell Venue 8 Pro: Initial Impressions

February 13, 2015
Image via Dell

Image via Dell

 

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:

 

Hour-by-hour, how are my Chicago friends feeling? (COLD)

Hour-by-hour, how are my Chicago friends feeling? (COLD)

 

You can even CHECK THE RADAR. Whoa.

 

Including time-specific animation

Including time-specific animation

 

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:

 

2 Screens 2

 

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:

 

2 Screens 1

 

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:

 

Kindle App

 

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:

 

Accordance

 

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.

 


 

Thanks to the fine folks at Dell for loaning me a Venue 8 Pro 5000 Series Tablet to test for the review. Check out the Dell tablet page here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2015 12:37 pm

    And it’s great this time a year when we all wear jackets to slip it into the inside coat pocket and take it with you. Like you, I prefer Accordance on a Windows tablet over the iOS version, as good as it is. I am running the Accordance Library off a microSD card (executable file is still on the main drive) and have very few issues with speed.

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  1. A Review of the Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet | Words on the Word

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