Dell Venue 8 7000 review

Dude, don't dismiss this ultra-thin Android tablet just because it's a Dell

Dell Venue 8 7000 review
Dell Venue 8 7000 review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Dell stuck with its PC-chip-making buddy Intel, even though most other manufacturers favor Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Next to the design, it's this thin tablet's biggest surprise.

It turns out that the Intel Atom Z3580 system-on-a-chip and the Dell Venue 8 7000's ultra-thin form factor have a lot to do with one another. Intel managed to fit its latest 64-bit processor, with a competitive 2.3GHz clock speed, onto a 22-nanometer, quad-core CPU vs normal size of 28nm.

Dell Venue 8 7000 review

Dell stuck with 'Intel Inside'

It's almost appropriately codenamed Moorefield - it does more with less space - because it is smaller and easier to cool than Intel's competitors. It does this while besting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 801 processors found in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S and Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, respectively.

Intel is a few points ahead of these tablets with an averaged Geekbench 3 multi-core speed of 2,913 points. It didn't have trouble with 3D games, yet I saw slowdown during app switching opening and other simple tasks. I didn't experience crashing or freezing that some users have reported, but did notice that the tablet can get hot when running a high-end game.


Finished ahead of Snapdragon tablet processors, but behind Nvidia and Apple chips

Of course, there are new and better processors out there that date this Intel chip even before you set out to buy the Dell Venue 8 7000. Apple's custom A8 processor powers the iPad Air 2 through almost anything, with a dominate multi-core score of 4,507 points. Also ahead of Intel is the Nvidia K1 processor, which scores 3,492 on the Nexus 9 and 3,266 on the Nvidia Shield Tablet.

Further out, the Snapdragon 805 upgrade is already being circulated in phones such as the Nexus 6 and it's only a matter of time before that chip or the even more feature-packed Qualcomm 810 processor now in the LG G Flex 2 makes its way into tablets. Nvidia's X1 and Apple's A9 are likely to appear in devices before this year is out, too.

Also at the heart of the Dell Venue 8 7000 is an Imagination PowerVR G6430 graphics chip, which is the same GPU that's used in the first iPad Air, not the iPad Air 2. The 2GB of RAM keeps things smooth enough, but other tablets are already more future-proof with 3GB RAM.

Dell Venue 8 7000 review

I swear I only have a few dozen apps and, like, zero pictures!

The problem with any Google-involved tablet is that a lot of Android apps don't fully utilize the four cores of a 64-bit, quad-core processor like this, so you may not be missing out of too much, at least right now, by skipping out on the faster Nvidia K1.

More urgent, the Dell Venue 8 7000 includes a mere 16GB of internal storage, but really only 9.24GB of total space is user-accessible. There are no upgraded models with more space available, though Dell made sure to squeeze a microSD card slot into its ultra-thin tablet frame. It supports up to 512GB of extra storage space, which is fantastic, but the awfully limited local space of less than 10GB is something you need to know upfront.

Matt Swider