In its first major product release since the announcement that it was being taken private, computer maker Dell has unveiled a new tablet product line, as well as new XPS laptops.
The Venue tablets come in both Windows 8.1 and Android versions, with 8-inch and 11-inch models for Windows, and 7-inch and 8-inch Androids. The Windows 8-based Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro offer full compatibility with Microsoft Office and Windows applications, as well as optional security and enterprise management features that appeal to businesses.
The 8 Pro tablet has an HD IPS display and advanced connectivity options. The 11 Pro is a hybrid Ultrabook with a detachable keyboard, a removable/replaceable battery , and an optional Desktop Dock so it can be used as a desktop machine. The 8 Pro and 11 Pro feature the Intel Atom quad-core Bay Trail processors, and the Android-based Venue 7 and Venue 8 use the Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail processor .
"Can Run Windows"
Analyst Avi Greengart, of industry research firm Current Analysis, tells us that the top-end Venue 11 Pro, priced at $499, is "roughly the same price as the new Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, but the Pro can run Windows legacy software ." The Surface 2 uses the Windows RT operating system, which is not compatible with legacy Windows software. In fact, Dell is among those computer makers that is letting go of the RT tablet platform, which has been a poor seller.
Greengart also pointed out that the new lineup of Dell products is "a huge win for Intel" because Dell is using that company's processors across the Windows and Android products. He described the Android-based Venue 7 as "well-priced" at $150, with a "decent screen and a fast processor," although he said it was "a bit thick and heavy."
The new laptops include the XPS 15, the XPS 11, and a refresh of the XPS 13 Ultrabook. The 11 is a hybrid that can operate as a tablet or a laptop via a 360 degree rotating hinge design and it features a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 display. (continued...)