Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 review

A powerful, small tablet that wants to play in the big leagues

Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 review

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We Liked

The Venue 11 Pro 7000 offers a lot of power in a compact and portable form factor. The 10.8-inch IPS screen with full HD resolution is quite good, and on maximum brightness it is even usable outdoors.

Dell offers a number of different optional accessories that extends the utility of the tablet. Two separate keyboard docks, a desktop dock, and special cases for healthcare and a retail case to swipe credit cards show that Dell is targeting enterprise and vertical markets.

In daily use, the Venue 11 Pro could become a relatively affordable tablet that replaces a laptop, tablet, and desktop and allows enterprises to focus on the task at hand rather than having to manage files, synchronize documents, and track changes to files if they were to use different computing devices.

We disliked

While the Venue 11 Pro delivers great performance in both tablet and laptop mode, usage as a tablet, especially when the Pro 11 is held in portrait orientation is a little awkward. Because of the 16:9 aspect ratio, portrait orientation made the tablet a little too long to be comfortable. In this view, reading letter-sized PDFs, magazines, and digital books left black letterboxing at the top and bottom of the screen.

Additionally, the 10.8-inch display feels a lot more cramped than the 12.2-inch 3:2 aspect ratio of the newer Surface Pro 3. Personally, I wish Dell had gone with a larger screen and with either the Surface pro 3's 3:2 or the iPad Air's 4:3 aspect ratio, which feels more comfortable to ink on.

With the 16:9 aspect ratio in portrait, I felt like I was quickly running out of line space and had to shift to a new line every time I inked with a Stylus whereas the 4:3 and 3:2 ratios feel more akin to writing on letter paper.

Final verdict

At the $700 (£437 and AU$800) entry price, the Venue Pro 7000 offers a nice balance of performance and portability in a travel-friendly size. However, unless you find yourself accessing CPU and GPU taxing apps, you might find more value in an Atom-based convertible. Going with Atom will lower your cost and give you better battery life.

For those who need power and performance, the confines of a 10.8-inch display may be too rigid to maximize productivity. Opening more than a few tabs or windows on the small display will trigger claustrophobia. If you need to be more productive, there are bigger convertible options, like the Surface Pro 3, to choose from that may fit that need better.