on November 22, 2013
I ordered this from DELL and have had it approx. 2 weeks. I am more than pleased with the build quality of this device. The back has a nice rubberized texture which makes it quite easy to hold. The display is nice and bright (actually it is VERY bright) and the colors are OK but not as vibrant as my Samsung devices.
This tab is very fast and snappy which is due to the intel processor and 2 gigs of RAM. All apps open fast and run perfect. I haven't had any glitches with any apps that I've installed from the Play Store. Netflix & YouTube work perfect!
I was pleasantly surprised by the minimal amount of apps that was installed on the device. I was expecting a ton of bloatware as that is the norm for DELL on their desktops and laptops. There is only a couple of DELL cloud apps installed and you can easily disable these if you don't want to use them. In other words, this is as close as you will get to a "pure" Android OS without buying a Nexus 7. So, a big thumbs up for DELL on this point.
What you won't be pleased with is the cameras. But, who uses a tablet to take photos? Your phone will produce much better images. So, this is not a deal breaker for me and shouldn't be for anyone interested in buying this tablet.
The speaker is quite loud (much louder than any of my Samsung devices). Plug in some headphones and you will be impressed!
The micro usb port will work with an OTG cable. GPS works great. It does have an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness. This device does NOT support haptic feedback ... so if you are a gamer and need this feature, look elsewhere.
The only thing that I have to gripe about is Adobe Flash Player ... sideloaded it and can't get it to work in any of the browsers that support flash. Maybe it has something to do with Android 4.2.2? The only reason you would need "flash" is to watch Amazon Prime (since they refuse to give us Android users an app). If anyone has been able to install flash and get it to work, please share :o)
For $199 you won't find a better tablet that has 2 gigs of RAM, 2.0 GHZ intel processor and an almost pure Android system.
I will update this review if I have any major problems with the DELL Venue 8.
on December 9, 2013
I was looking for a simple, new tablet that I could use as a replacement for my older Kindle Fire. Was able to score a great deal after Thanksgiving for about $139.
I have had the chance to play with it for several days and have been suitablly impressed. I like the stripped down version of Android. When I booted it up, there was very little extra programs loaded on board this. Set up was straightforward and saw my wi-fi with no issues (although, did notice it would pick up my HD signal). Linked into Google Play with no issues, and began downloading apps without any issues.
Screen size is great for an 8 inch (noticeable improvement over a 7 in screen). However, did look a little off as it appears to have a slighlty stretched visual. Do agree that the micro-usb port on the upper left of the device and the headphone jack at the top appears to be in a strange location. However, once you rotate into a landscape format, its not as bad as people make it out to be (the old Kindle Fire had the ports on the bottom which would be on the right side when in landscape). Only used the back camera once and although not the best, its not intended to be stellar. The cameras will work as they need to when used for what they are supposed to be there (if you want quality pictures, get a camera).
I think its pretty thin enough so not sure what some reviews have meant by it being a bit blocky or bulky. It feels comfortable in my hands and doesnt feel heavy (again, I upgraded from a first gen Kindle Fire). The back is not completly smooth or hard and sits well. I waffled a bit on my upgrade, trying to figure out how much I wanted to spend or what I wanted. I think I scored a great tablet that will be plenty sufficient for what I was hoping for 9do admit the price was a good incentive).
Only negative thing noticed is the with the Kindle Fire app. Not sure if its the app or the interface with the tablet but the font size on the screen wont decrease to a point where I dont have to contunually scroll pages. However, not a detractor for the tablet.
//UPDATE 12 Dec
So had a few days to play with it. I ended up buying a good screen protector, anti-scratch and anti-finger print. Highly recommended, almost a no brainer. Have played a few game apps with it and havent really seen anything negative. The battery is holding up well. I dont play it all the time but its lasting several hours cumulative).
Netflix looks nice on the screen, and the boot up takes moments. All the other apps I have installed work very well.
Charge time takes a bit. I am not sure if that is just a tablet thing or solely with this one. Will provide more info in a further update.
Interestingly enough the settings section reminds me of an Apple product. When you jump into the settings feature, the info comes up on the left screen in a similar way to my wife's iPad. Simple adjustments, much simpler than my smart phone. You can adjust the settings fairly easy.
So, from what I have tried loading, the start times have been very good for me. If you want blistering fast, you will pay for it. You will get a good product with this for not spending more than you would be comfortable. Does not appear to be difficult to use and if you have a rudimentary knowledge of using a computer, this should be fairly straightforward to use. If you have a smart phone, its pretty easy. Again, my kudos to Dell to not putting bloatware on this (some other tablets, whicle great products, often come with more stuff loaded on it by the manufacture that often dont get use but you cant delete). Still happy with my purchase.
//UPDATE 13 Jan
Still enjoy my Venue 8. Only thing I noted is that although the battery life works pretty well on it (if you play certain app games that are graphic intensive, will burn the battery quicker), it does take a while to charge. I have not tested the charge rate but it does take a while to charge it back up after using it. However, even though this is a little irritating (especially compared to an iPad), its not much of an issue when you compare the price. If you want an Apple-like recharge rate, get an Apple product. If you want a decent quality, decent priced tablet, than this is very suitable.
on November 24, 2013
This is my second tablet, the first was an android 4.0 cheapie off ebay with 512k ram and a 1 ghz processor and a seriously poor screen but what do you want for seventy bucks? That tablet is stuck in a boot loop (common problem with some units) and it's not worth the repair to reload the OS from scratch, it's a future project to try to get a generic android os like uberoid installed on it. I can't find out if the venue has a hardware factory restore mode outside the OS, but for the price I'd think it should.
What's in the box?
2Amp power adapter (usb non hard wired micro usb cable)
Plug it in
Turn it on, asks for language, time zone and google account information.
Immediately updates the firmware to latest, restarts and downloads updates. (It saw my wifi immediately, I didn't have to do anything at all because I have no security on my access point.)
Automatically connects to google and downloads all your apps and calendars, contacts etc. Anything not compatible with android 4.2 is not downloaded or installed.
Micro usb for data and power adapter, OTG capable
headphone plug, also works for external amplified speakers etc.
micro SD aka transflash card slot
power (hold down several seconds for hard reset, no reset hole)
I loved this thing from the moment I turned it on. The decent amount of ram and fast cpu makes it positively zippy. The decent quality screen (I understand there are better) really makes it wonderful to use. So far I've watched movies, played a lot of candy crush, did my banking, used the online gateway for Neverwinter and the mobile utility for RIFT, used a kitchen measure conversion utility from the android play store and played a dungeon crawl android game. This tablet handled it all speedily. I did find a game that ran awful slow, probably needs an update for the newer OS. From what I've read Dell has promised that we'll get the newest android KitKat when it is released for everyone other than the test sites, lol. When I ordered this the beginning of November they were saying early december delivery date but I had it in less than two weeks, was I happy! Someone made a comment about flash player, I couldn't get it installed either. But that is really minor, most web pages run great even without flash support. Maybe kitkat will resolve the flash player issue. Battery life is what dell claims, around four hours of continuous use, about two full length movies and maybe a little more. When the screen is off, the standby mode is really efficient, I left it in standby all night a couple of times and the battery was only down a little the next morning when I turned it on; really impressive!
Dell offers extras that you don't need like stylus, etc. The difference between 16 and 32 gb onboard storage was $20.00 so I ordered the bigger storage. Micro SD cards are currently available up to 32 gb and the micro usb slot is OTG (on the go), so with a cable you can plug in any usb drive/zip drive or an external self powered OTG compatible hard drive even. You can buy a usb thumb drive/zip drive on ebay with a regular male usb connector on one side and a micro usb male connector on the other, so you don't even need an otg cable with those. I would really prefer a separate AC plug instead of charging from the usb but few are doing that, my old chinese tablet did but that's apparently not the usual. There are cables on ebay that split with a male and female to let you charge and use the data connection simultaneously. The cables are a few dollars, I think dell should have included one of those in the box myself. Cases are under ten bucks on ebay and you'll probably want a screen protector to protect from scratches and little peanut butter fingers.
The only big thing that aggravated me when I ordered this was the complete lack of the LTE (3g cellular network) modem option. It's mentioned in one place, but never made available during the ordering process. I found some pictures of the internals online, the motherboard has the circuit traces for the sim card slot but there is no hardware for the card to slide into at least on the android 3830 version motherboard. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the battery plugs into the motherboard, it's not hardwired like my cheapie that you'd have to unsolder to change the battery out. Any tech savy type could disassemble this in their sleep, so maybe after the warranty is out i'll see about a new motherboard with the sim card slot. It's really not that big of a deal, most carriers have those wifi hot spot things that act as an access point for several devices. Virgin mobile has one for $70.00 for the device and enough data to do a lot of small things is about $25.00 a month, that might be where I end up going in the future.
After a 9" tablet I was afraid smaller would be annoying but so far 8" is fine, I don't think I'd like the 7" version. This is a great product and you can't do any better on ebay for the same specs. Dell is also providing support in the way of auto updates over the internet instead of download. For the price recommend this to anyone. I looked at the pro but I had to ask myself why you'd want to run a resource hog like windows 8 on so little hardware resources...why? Android is so much more stable and better support and more free apps in my book. Love this thing!
on March 15, 2015
I bought this Dell Venue 8, 16 GB Tablet (Android) Directly from Amazon 5 months ago. I don't like to write reviews before I have time to really test a product out. After five months of having this tablet, I can sincerely say this was a great deal! I purchased a few other brands of Android tablets at the local Electronics Chain store before getting my hand on this tablet. After comparing several models, and brands, this tablet, it had a clearer screen, and overall seemed to be built really sturdy. I'm not saying this is the very best android tablet out there, but for the price that you'll pay for others, compared to what you'll pay for this one. This is an awesome deal. Whenever I purchase an item, I compare every single detail. On tablets I compared the RAM Speed, the CPU Clock Speed, the screen pixels and more. This tablet best out the rest as for best bang for your buck.
And don't worry that is ships with 4.2 Jelly Bean, and not the latest 4.4 Kit Kat, as soon as you boot up this tablet for the first time, simply go in to settings and then upgrade to 4.4 for free. You can upgrade quickly and without buying anything. It's completely automatic (see screenshot). I wish the manufacturer websites would tell you that but they don't. I had to find that out on my own.
Another little handy perk about this tablet, it didn't ship with a bunch of unwanted demo apps that couldn't be removed. There are some tablet brands out there that ship with pre-installed demo applications that cannot be uninstalled. That was very upsetting to me, therefore I was very happy when I found out this Dell tablet did not ship with these types of non-removable demo applications. Based on this purchase, I would definitely buy another one of these tablets as technology evolves.
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on March 22, 2014
I use to be a Dell laptop guy. I wouldn't buy anything else. Dell has fallen off, to put it mildly. The last laptop we purchased was an Asus. I have owned and extensively used half a dozen different tablets from the Nook HD, to the Transformer Infinity, Toshiba Thrive, and several high end Chinese tablets by Hyundai.
I am an AMD cpu guy. I have extensive knowledge of the Intel Atom series of cpus in "executive" laptops. They suck. It's underpowered for real world use. It does deliver battery life, which is it's big selling point, but at the expense of horrible performance.
I have 3 small children. A 10yo boy. A 8yo boy. A 6yo girl. All 3 received this tablet for Christmas in 2013. I opened each up and configured them for our wifi and set up restrictions on the Google Play store, prior to gift wrapping them. Every tablet was flawless and extremely responsive. Like, I use a lot of gear and have owned every Samsung S-series phone and I was completely take back by the performance of this Venue tablet. It is that fast and that responsive and the screen is that good. Now factor in the cost.... The cost makes it a no brainer. Buy it.
3 months later, and I haven't had to factory reset or perform any maintence at all on any of the tablets. The charging ports are all still working fine and none of them have cracked or chipped screens. My children don't baby them and they install a few hundred apps each on their tablets and it's all that spam loaded kid stuff... and the tablets are just as fast and responsive as when I set them up 3 months ago. That's the really impressive part. Tablets tend to slow down alot when they get bloated.
I think the atom series of cpus has finally found the right niche. I will look to dell tablets for my next purchase and I will look to intel's atom cpu to power it.
I will be buying this series of tablets again and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this table to friends and family.
on December 9, 2013
Update (Jul 14, 2014): Dell just pushed out another update, still 4.4.2 (KitKat), no changes are obvious.
Update (May 16, 2014): Dell just pushed out the 4.4.2 (KitKat) update for this device yesterday.
Update (Jan 11, 2014): Dell just pushed out the 4.3 update for this device!
We also got the 16GB version of this tablet as an eReader for one of my kids and I can say this review also applies to it.
I've had this tablet for over a week now. EDIT: Now over a month.
I was looking for a good tablet that is easy to carry around with me with decent resolution (it has a 1280x800 screen) to watch videos on. The screen looks great. The only way to notice any lack of resolution or brightness is to compare it side-by-side with a better tablet, otherwise the 720p is great on this 8" screen. I use it mostly for Web browsing and games. WiFi seems good enough to get a signal throughout my house and it keeps a rock solid connection.
- Almost a pure version of Android 4.2.2. Update for 4.3 now available. Update for 4.4.2 now available.
- Google Play access
- Allowed to install from 'Unknown Sources' (so I can get my Amazon Appstore Apps)
- Touch interface is very responsive
- Front and rear cameras (good enough quality for video chatting)
- Can use MicroSD up to 128GB
- Standard mini USB connection for charging that most Android devices have
- Cameras (2MP & 5MP) are sub-par in picture quality
- The Intel CPU seems slower than the CPU in my 'Note 2' (this is very apparent when 'Generating [a] world' in Minecraft, 'Building terrain' takes almost twice as long)
- No NFC (I am used to sharing between devices with NFC)
- No IR Blaster (not a big deal)
- No Magnetic Sensor (so No Compass, I like to use Google Sky Map but I can't on this device)
- The Android OS is...
| - MISSING Multiple User profiles (I wanted to set up a profile for my toddler). UPDATE: with the 4.3 update it now has Multiple User capability!
| - MISSING Photo Sphere (not a big deal for me)
- Battery drains a little quicker than I'd like
- Only 1 speaker on the bottom (in Portrait rotation)
- Average quality speaker for a mid-range tablet
I've seen other people describe the touch interface 'freezing' for a few seconds, the only time I've noticed anything like that on this device is when part of my other hand was already touching an edge of the screen, it cleared up when I moved that hand away.
on December 7, 2013
I have the 32gb venue 8. This is without a doubt the best performing tablet at a price point well below competition. HD screen resolution is very good. The 8" tablet to me is the perfect size, I played with a lot of 7" and 10" tablets and the 8 just felt the all around best. This tablet is not really on peoples radar which is unfortunate because the specs and quality are superb. The only thing I would like to see is a better resolution camera (it is only 5M) as well as a camera flash. Currently cases are hard to find. Targus is supposed to make one similar to the one available for the venue 8 pro. BTW I opted for the 8 over the pro, because well hey, android is just a better platform for most anything one uses a tablet for. If you have to run Microsoft office, sure opt for the pro but it will be slightly slower and use more of the internal memory due to the OS, I have windows 8.1 on my laptop but I definitely would not want on my tablet. Overall this tablet is a major score, and at $199 for the 32gb, plus an microSD slot for an additional 32gb, the competition does not come close to this value.
on December 7, 2013
I received this tablet a few days ago and was eager to test the new Intel 2.0 Ghz Dual Core Chip. The processor, combined with the 2 Gigs of RAM, provides exceptional speed and performance. I downloaded several benchmark apps (Antutu and 3DMark), and was surprised that this tablet tests out higher than almost any Android tablet on the market now, regardless of price (higher than the new 2013 Google Nexus 7, the Nexus 10, Galaxy Note 2, and much higher than the quad-core Asus TF300 I bought it to replace). It tests almost as highly as my Galaxy S-4 phone, which I love. This is incredible for a sub-$200 tablet. I ran a few high resource utilization programs (FlipBoard and Stumbleupon), and it ran both smoothly with great graphics and no lagging.
Set up was easy. It immediately found my N Network as well as all my neighbors', meaning that the built in Wi-Fi adapter has good range. As soon as I logged into Google, it automatically downloaded 77 apps that I use in just a few moments. The GPS locator works well. The screen display is clear and sharp and the touch controls work well. It doesn't have a retina display, but it's not a $400 tablet.
I admit to being a Dell fan because I have always had good luck with their products and customer support, so I may be a little biased. But I don't think you will find a comparable tablet for less than $200 anywhere.
on March 13, 2014
Performs well (good response, for example). OS just updated to Android 4.3.
However battery life is very poor (compared to the other Android tablets/phones I have (Galaxy Note 10, Nexus 4). Needs recharging almost every day even if it is not used. Only WiFi is on, the other services (like Bluetooth, for example, and I don't see GPS; so nothing to turn off there) are off; even then the battery drains rapidly. The main consumers of the battery are: Android system 34%, WiFi 31% and Tablet idle 22%. Comparitively, my Galaxy Note 10 can go a couple of weeks (or more ?) without recharging (if not used).
on December 7, 2013
(4/25/14 Update: I have gotten used to the misplacement of speakers and buttons. And more importantly this remains the most comfortable tablet to hold that I have encountered. And the specs for the price cannot be beat. Still looking for the perfect tablet, but sticking with the Dell Venue 8 for now.)
The Dell Venue 8 has almost everything I want in a tablet. It's cheap, fast. light, and equipped with the features I really need (micro SD, cameras, Android 4.2, GPS, and bluetooth, to name a few). And the 8" screen size is big enough without adding extra weight. My only complaint is the placement of the volume rocker, power button, power port, mic, and speaker. Placement is great if you are using the tablet in portrait. But to hold the tablet on the sides in landscape, you have to hold it 1) with your hands covering the power button and mic on the right side and speaker on the left, or 2) with the volume rocker and power port right in the way on the bottom left. Of course, I use landscape 99% of the time, so I have to change the way I hold the tablet to use features. It's not a deal breaker, just a little inconvenient. Othherwise this tablet would qualify as a five star value.