Dell launches new Android, Windows-powered Venue tablets, XPS ultrabooks

Dell launches new Android, Windows-powered Venue tablets, XPS ultrabooks

Summary: The computing giant fights to compete in the dwindling PC market by dishing out a range of new Android and Windows-powered tablets and notebooks.

TOPICS: Mobility, Dell
(Image: Shara Tibken/CNET)

NEW YORK — Dell announced on Wednesday new additions to its notebook and tablet offering, as the company continues to fight against the declining PC market. 

The star of the show was Dell's newest XPS 15, with a quad-core processor. It also comes with a quad HD+ display — a resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 — which has five times more pixels than a high-definition display, according to Dell executives. It's 18 millimeters in thickness and under 4.5 pounds.

Sam Burd, Dell's vice president of personal computer group, said at the event: "The most powerful XPS laptop we have ever shipped."

Burd also noted the "strong" partnership the company has seen with Intel, which powers all of Dell's latest devices. With that, Dell confirmed it will not refresh its current range of Windows RT products, which run rival ARM-based chips. 

"We're expanding our tablet range on the full Windows product," Hand confirmed.

The Round Rock, Texas-based company also announced XPS 11, 12, and 13 ultrabooks. 

The 13-inch XPS 13 ultrabook includes a high definition touch display, and lands with a Intel Core (fourth-generation) processor. The XPS 11 and XPS 12 are "two-in-one" devices, in 11-inch and 12-inch versions respectively, and converge the traditional laptop and the tablet space with snap-in keyboards.

The two new ultrabooks also come with dual USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port on the side, and a full-sized SD card slot. 

Dell's new Venue 7 and Venue 8 are 7-inch and 8-inch tablets, respectively, designed to target the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) market. The Venue 7 runs Android Jelly Bean, comes with and comes with 2GB processing power, a high-definition display and 4G LTE connectivity; while the Venue 8 lands with Windows 8.1 and full-stylus capability. 

"We want to make it really affordable. It's not just about value, but also longevity that comes from the device," according to Neil Hand, Dell's vice president of tablet and performance PC group, who spoke at the event.

Dell's own Pocket Cloud is bundled in with the new products. It allows users to access data in the cloud, and versions that allow applications to be run on the fly, such as Photoshop on an Android tablet, Dell executives said.

Meanwhile, the Windows-powered Venue Pro 11 comes in a similar frame to Microsoft's own branded tablet, and includes a snap-in keyboard dock to transform the device into a laptop factor. The device lands with a Intel Bay Trail processor, and a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display.

With a 10-inch display, it also has a detachable battery allowing enterprise users to snap in a new power source at will. The part-tablet, part-laptop boasts up to 17 hours of battery life, according to executives.

There's another version of the tablet for businesses, as well as government agencies or financial and healthcare industries. But Dell says the features are just as applicable to the ordinary business user.

The smaller 8-inch Venue 8 Pro tablet comes with Windows 8.1, 2GB of RAM, a full-size SD card slot for additional storage, and micro-USB charging. It's one-third of an inch thick, and weighs less than one pound.

Correction at 5:40 p.m. ET: with adjusted Venue Pro 11 display resolution.

Topics: Mobility, Dell

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  • Got to wonder...

    I've got to wonder how long Dell will be around as a separate company. There are still too many Windows device makers--without even considering that Microsoft is now making its own tablets.

    There has to be more consolidation so that the remaining companies are not eating each other.

    These new Dell products could be the greatest things since sliced bread, but that doesn't really change anything.

    It's going to be Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and then who? And who wants to compete with Microsoft making Windows Pro-type tablets?
    • I'd buy the Dell.

      They have a Bay-Trail offering, while offering pen-input and Dell build-quality (Generally very good).

      Businesses will most likely go for the Dell as well, as its a well-known business brand.

      However, the Surface Pro seems to fit the note-taking crowd, such as teachers and college students.

      Additionally, it's already established its own niche.
      • Me too.

        Take my money. I want the Venue 8!!!! Now!
      • Dell is not an automatic vendor for business purchases

        I find better prices with HP, good support, great reliability. Lenovo is an alternative vendor we have used and liked for selected special product designs. Dell is often our last choice.
    • Nope

      They are way waaaay to late to this party. Dell = Blackberry.
      • And getting even later

        They need to figure out the clam shell is dead. You need to be able to use them as a tablet also. There are lots of options I personally like the slider but all they have are spinners and back flips and rips. None with any of the great screens they are now showing off. I would buy any hybrid design if it had one of these screens.
      • No, It is not

        Can't compare Dell with Blackberry.
        Dell is not putting a propitiatory operating system on the market, like BB did.
        Anytime you go that direction (with an OS closed to the world), you risk killing your own business, sooner or later.
        That has been happening to software and hardware companies since the early 1980s, and most likely will continue to happen.
        Dell is being wise using Android and Windows operating systems, targeting a very wide range of the audience.
        Eventually, Apple will begin to feel the heat, and may not be able to continue to charge its outrageous prices for its tablets.
        Just my 2-cents.
      • And fools rush in

        Being late can be a good thing. MS was a little late but with Windows 8.1 they might have the best platform available. Sure the store is new and needs to grow, but there's more to a great computing experience than cheesy modern apps. Backwards compatibility is necessary for a lot of users and businesses.

        Dell is still huge in the enterprise, we run a number of high end servers by Dell and continue to invest in their quality offerings.
    • Huge in enterprise

      Dell is huge in the enterprise. Their business line of computers have a high reputation for reliability. They do play in the consumer market as well but when you think of Dell you really need to think in terms of corporations.

      And corporation tend to be conservative with technology. They value stability not rapid change. The only time things move quickly is if it becomes evident that there is a significant ROI.
      • Dell is big in SLED too

        That would be State/Local government and EDucation.

        I would love to see the Android 8" tab with the quad-core atom, which aparently they avoided. It would run Android better, and I could put my preferred Linux on it or dual-boot Linux and Android. No way am I buying the Windows one to put Linux on it.

        Almost a design win for me. Missed it by -that- much.
    • Dell is running neck-and-neck with HP and Lenovo

      A lot of other Windows OEMs will flounder before any of these three will disappear as independent companies.

      In tablets, it is currently Apple/Samsung/Amazon fighting for first place, and then, Microsoft as a distant fourth. Most of the rest of the tablet vendors are fighting for the scraps and won't be around two years from now.

      In Smartphones, it is Apple/Samsung fighting for first place, and Nokia just squeaking by BlackBerry. Once again, the rest of the Android pack is pulling up the rear.

      By OS, it is another story, Windows still has a ~90% market share, MacOSX comes in second at ~8%, and the UNIX/Linux share of the personal computing market comes in at ~2%

      By tablet OS, I think Android beats out iOS with Windows RT a very, very distant third.

      By Smartphone OS, Android dominates with Apple coming in a very respectable second, and Windows Phone 8 coming in a distant third place.

      Like Apple, Microsoft cannot compete in the commodity Marketplace. Expect Microsoft to sell Surface devices as the reference standard - competing directly with the iPad (at iPad-like price-points) and head-to-head with the MacBook Air at similar price-points.

      I am sure Microsoft would like to tempt ARM OEMs to drop Android for Windows RT but that might be a pipedream. Traditional Windows OEMs will compete with the MacBook Air and the Surface Pro with high-end ultrabooks and they will sell consumer-grade Windows 8.x tablets at commodity price-points.

      This has all happened before and it is unusual for more than three vendors to compete for the mass market. There will certainly be a purge of smaller Android and Windows OEMs over the next 2-3 years.
      M Wagner
    • Dell will be around...

      I don't know how much longer Dell will work as a consumer products company, but they will be around in the Enterprise sphere for quite a while. They have acquired quite a few SaaS companies over the last few years and have invested heavily in things like Virtual management, network management, data security, cloud computing, network storage...
    • You are clueless

      For the last 36 months or more Dell has been buying up Enterprise products. Equallogic, Compellant, Wyse, SonicWall, Force 10 Networking, Quest, Appsure, Secureworks.

      They are slowly but surely getting out of the PC market as it dies a horrible death. Their new products lines are Enterprise/Data Center and they are agnostic when it comes to operating systems as this blog posts shows us.
      • The PC Market Will Never Die

        because as i mentioned run desktop pc's you fools. So narrow minded in your own little microcosm of a world
        • More importantly, tablets depend upon the cloud and those ...

          ... cloud services are driven by Windows servers. The front may be dominated by Android and iOS but the back end will be dominated by Windows and (to a lesser extent), Linux/
          M Wagner
    • not wondering

      I think its naive to think that the only people who buy computers are individuals...go into the city...look at all the buildings....they're not running laptops on their desks! Dell, HP, Lenovo hell even Compaq could still be selling desktops to businesses. Im staring at a Lenovo that is only 18cm long and 6cm high which is swamped by 2x50cm screens. There will ALWAYS be space for the desktop PC mate
    • but

      no one is BUYING the Windows-made tablets ...

      Also, how is consolidation NOT companies not eating each other?

      Dell is safe as a diversified IT company.
      • Well, not exactly NO ONE!

        Microsoft had $853 million in revenues on the Surface RT before it lowered the price on the device. And, they did not kill off the Surface RT. Instead they upgraded it to the Surface 2.
        M Wagner
    • Hopefully The Price

      If Dell can price them accordingly they'll be OK. I'd like to see them 'innovate' now that there are no shareholders to appease.
      roger andre
    • I disagree

      Diversity is what sets apart the PC industry from the current mobile giants. Not everyone wants to walk around using the same device as Tom, Dick and Harry. Be unique, be yourself and choose the best PC for you!