Updated Dell Venue tablets with Android 4.4 KitKat now available

Updated Dell Venue tablets with Android 4.4 KitKat now available

Summary: The refreshed 7-inch and 8-inch tablet lineup features Intel's new Atom processors and starts at $159.99.

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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.

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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 In addition, the tablets have gone from the outdated Jelly Bean flavor of Android to the latest version, 4.4 KitKat.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?

Topics: Mobility, Android, Dell, Tablets

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3 comments
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  • Too little, too late...

    All the analysts are claiming that phablets (large-display smartphones) are completely eating into 7" tablet sales. Dell jumped on the 7" tablet bandwagon just as everyone else is starting to get off.
    ConstableOdo
  • Too little, too late...

    All the analysts are claiming that phablets (large-display smartphones) are completely eating into 7" tablet sales. Dell jumped on the 7" tablet bandwagon just as everyone else is starting to get off.
    ConstableOdo
  • Dell needs a better reliability history in their mobile space

    My Dell Venue 8 Pro's motherboard/battery has fried twice in the last five months. Worse yet, because the flash ram is burnt on the motherboard, I need to re-install all my Windows programs every time I have to send it in to get it fixed; they don't even try to transfer the data/applications.

    For me, it's pretty clear Dell tablets, at least the small ones, break down quite often, and after the one year warranty, your, well, on your own.
    pkatz