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Dell Venue 7 first impressions: a powerful 7-inch Android tab on a budget

|January 21 2014 |Android, tablet, Intel, Dell

“ Dell has hit the nail on its head it by offering a powerful and feature-rich Android tablet at a reasonable price”

Dell has announced its re-entry into the mobile devices market in India with the launch of not just one but two Android-based tablets, under the Dell Venue brand. The Venue brand isn't new and the company had launched several mobile devices under this brand earlier too. Apart from reviving the Venue brand, Dell has also dedicated it to tablet-based devices. In addition, Dell will also be making available two Windows-based Venue Pro tablets to Indian users in the coming days.

Dell’s Venue 7, which was launched yesterday, is the company’s first budget Android tablet. Priced at Rs 10,999, it offers a powerful set of hardware specifications. We got to experience the device during the launch event that took place in Delhi, and here is what we have to say about the Dell Venue 7 Android tablet.

Dressed in matte black, the Dell Venue 7 looks good while the rubberised coating all over the device helps in fighting against scratches and offers good grip. The front features a flush finish and no hardware keys are present... instead the keys have been made a part of the user interface itself, making them easier to use as they change positions based on orientation. On the flip side, software-based implementation of the keys means some screen real estate is lost.

The device employs a slim bezel design that allows for single-handed usage, further aided by its 252g of overall weight. For construction, Dell has made use of polycarbonate plastic, but the product doesn't feel flimsy in any way. It feels durable and sturdy while holding.

The designers have chosen to place the power/standby key on the top of the device. While using the slate in portrait mode, this placement is a tad cumbersome, but things get a little better in the landscape mode.

The volume rocker along with the USB slot that also doubles up as the charging port have been placed on the left side of the device. The right houses the memory card expansion slot. The audio/headset connector is located on top for easy access and at the bottom, there's a mono speaker.

The 7-inch IPS, LCD display features a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, and multi-point capacitive touch input system with support for up to ten fingers. Overall, the display seems to be doing justice to the Android user interface and media playback, but we would offer a full verdict on its performance later when we get the chance to do a detailed review.

Dell has made use of the Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core processor to power the Venue 7. Along with it, there is a healthy 2GB of RAM which should come in handy while multitasking. Despite its budget label, the tablet gets 16GB internal storage along with an option to increase it by another 64GB with the help of a microSD card.

For imagery, the Venue 7 makes use of a 3-megapixel, fixed focus camera at the back along with a VGA front-facing shooter for video conferencing.

The Google Android operating system has been used with none or very little customisation. In addition, Dell has preloaded a number of applications on the device, like the Dell Pocket cloud app to add utility for users.

The Dell Venue 7 comes in a Wi-Fi only version as of now, but going forward company will also be making the 3G version available in the market. Overall, the Venue 7 is a feature-rich budget Android tablet coming from a global brand like Dell. In a market where Indian brands are selling devices at similar price points, the Dell Venue 7 stands out as one of the more compelling options.

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