One of the biggest Android tablet surprises of 2015 has been the Venue 8 7000 series, the super-thin tablet with a depth-sensing camera and a gorgeous display, which gets even better with Lollipop. Now the manufacturer's back with a second Android 5.0 slate, the 10.5-inch Venue 10 7000 series. Like its predecessor it eschews the traditional tablet form factor in favor of an unconventional handle/hinge design, while also running a high-end Intel processor with the chipmaker's RealSense 3D camera tech.
Sure, Dell's still terrible at naming most of its products, but we can't deny that the veteran PC maker is coming out with some interesting Android tablets this year. Head past the break for a closer look at Dell's latest 10-incher.
If you ignore the one big, obvious design change, the Venue 10 isn't so dissimilar from its 8-inch counterpart. Dell's 10-inch Android slate is thin, almost unnaturally light and framed in metal, with a sturdy yet attractive aesthetic. Bezels are minimal, and because the battery is located in the cylindrical handle at the tablet's base, there's no need to pack this in behind the screen. Holding onto the Venue 10 by this cylindrical bulge is easy too — it's more graspable than the average tablet border, and it also helps that the weightiest part of the device — that 7,000mAh battery — lives in there too.
Everything we liked about the Venue 8 7000 series has made it across to the larger model.
The Venue 10's front proudly displays its 2560x1600-resolution OLED display — a stunning screen with bright, bold colors and super-sharp pixel density. That's the same resolution as the Venue 8 spread across a larger area, and it looks just as good. Around the back you'll find a collection of Intel and Dell logos, topped off by the three-camera array used by Intel's RealSense camera. And the Venue 10 bundled gallery app comes with some familiar tricks, involving creating a faux-3D effect in photos, refocusing your images and measuring the distance between spots.
The tablet's internals are a known quantity too — it's running an Intel Atom Z3850 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of internal storage. With the latest Lollipop update update, the Venue 8 manages smooth, speedy performance throughout the Android UI, and given the hardware similarities we'd expect the same from the Venue 10. During our brief time with the tablet at Computex, that certainly seemed to be the case.
Speaking of software, the Venue 10 runs the same near-stock Android UI as its little brother. While there are some preloaded apps — to take advantage of the tab's Intel RealSense camera tricks, for instance — it's mostly the same as what you'd find on a Google slate like the Nexus 9.
Dell's Android tablet lineup was once limited to bland entry-level offerings — no more.
The Venue 10 really comes into its own when paired with the optional keyboard dock. The keyboard attaches to the tablet's cylindrical handle, effectively turning it into an Android-powered laptop. The resulting combination is a bit more cumbersome than a purpose-built notebook — for instance, opening the entire contraption once closed isn't as easy as we'd like — but it's a natural enough fit for busting out a few emails or blog posts on the go. There's a trackpad below the standard QWERTY layout, which works as you'd expect it to, and the keyboard, though small, matches the full width of the tablet. Overall, it's one of the better Android dockables we've seen of late.
Dell's Android tablet lineup was once limited to bland entry-level offerings — no more. The Venue 8 7000 series took a confident step beyond the interchangeable craplets of old, and the Venue 10 shows signs that the new Dell is here to stay. Now let's maybe think up some more exciting names for these things.