Handheld Devices

Look out Nexus 7, Dell's new 7 and 8-inch Android tablets pack a punch

After the flop that was the Streak, it looks like Dell is giving Android tablets another go. On Wednesday Dell announced the Venue 7 and the Venue 8, two new Android tablets powered by Intel's Clover Trail chipset. As if that wasn't enough to make you sit up and take notice, Dell's pricing the two tabs to be competitive with Google's own Nexus 7. Ladies and gentlemen, we may finally have a true competitor to the current Nexus monarchy.

There's not much difference between the two tablets outside of their screen size: The Venue 7 has a 7-inch, 1280 by 800 IPS display, while the Venue 8 has an 8-inch, IPS display at the same resolution. Both models come in 16GB and 32GB flavors and feature a microSD card slot for extra storage. The Venues ship with Android 4.2.2, but Dell promises both tablets will be updated to Android 4.3 in the coming months. The Wi-Fi-only 16GB Venue 7 will retail for $150, while the Wi-Fi-only 16GB Venue 8 will set you back an extra $30. 4G capable versions of the tablets will also be available and will be sold unlocked from Dell's online store--though pricing information for those models wasn't provided.

If the low-price point doesn't get you excited, then you might be interested to know that the Venue 7 and the Venue 8 will be among the first Android tablets running on Intel's saucy Clover Trail chips. Where Qualcomm pretty much has a monopoly on mobile chipsets here in the U.S. (sorry NVIDIA), benchmarks on the Clover Trail chips show them to be better at managing power consumption than Qualcomm's Snapdragon line. Dell claims that the Venues can playback 8 hours of video on a single charge and we'll definitely be putting that claim to the test when we get some in for review.

The Dell Venue 7 and 8 both go on sale starting October 18 from Dell's website. If Windows is your tablet OS of choice, Dell also announced a few new Windows machines that might be more up your alley. The Android tablet landscape has largely been stagnant these last few years so hopefully Dell's entry into the space helps breathe some new life into a market that seems to have been all but forgotten.


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