Dell launched the Venue line of tablets last fall, including 7-inch and 8-inch Android-powered models, though they were saddled with an older version of the OS (Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean) and, in the case of the Venue 7, an older Intel Atom processor. Several months later, the Venue 7 and 8 families have been refreshed and are now available for sale on the Dell website.
The changes definitely appear to be for the better, as the Android-based Venues now feature the latest Intel dual-core Atom processors — the 1.6GHz Z3460 for the Venue 7 and the 2.1GHz Z3480 for the Venue 8. In addition, the tablets have gone from the outdated Jelly Bean flavor of Android to the latest version, 4.4 KitKat. While the Venue 7 retains its 1,280x800 display, the Venue 8 now graduates from that resolution to full HD (1,920x1,200).
Other improvements include a thinner, lighter chassis, but oddly the refreshed tablets now come with half the RAM of their predecessors. They continue to include 16GB of built-in storage, however, and the Venue 7 still comes in a red color option in addition to basic black.
Prices remain roughly the same as before, with the Venue 7's base price of $159.99 and the Venue 8's of $199.99. The red Venue 7 sets you back an additional $20, and Dell also offers the tablets bundled with cases and other accessories (e.g., Bluetooth speaker, stylus).
Dell hopes the upgrades will help the Venue compete against the bevy of Android tablets in the marketplace, including the saturation bombing approach of Samsung, the leader thanks to its offering more than 10 Android slates at the moment. While it's a Windows hybrid device, my ZDNet colleague James Kendrick gives thumbs up to the Venue 11 Pro. Will the new KitKat Venues fare as well?