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Featured Review: Dell Venue 10 7000 Series

July 3, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

For most of us, when we think of an Android Tablet, Dell probably doesn’t come to mind. Not because they haven’t done Android tablets in the past, but because they weren’t that appealing, nor were they that good. Some of the older Venue 8 and 10 models gave users a pretty bad user experience. But that has changed. We reviewed the Dell Venue 8 7000 earlier this year and were quite impressed with the device. We had a few issues, but nothing to serious, with the device. Now Dell has brought out it’s 10-inch brother of that tablet, and it’s even better. No we’re not kidding.

The model that Dell has supplied us with has 32GB of storage and has the Bluetooth keyboard as well. Together, this combination usually costs around $680. So it’s not a cheap tablet at all, unfortunately. Is it worth the extra cash? We’ll have to find out in our full review, right now!

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Specs

  • 10.5-inch 2560×1600 OLED Display; 288 Pixels per inch
  • Intel Aton Z3580, Quad-core Clocked at 2.3GHz
  • PowerVR G6430 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32GB of storage
  • MicroSD Card slot supporting up to 512GB theoretically (obviously microSD cards are only available up to 200GB right now)
  • 8MP camera on the back with 2 720p cameras for Intel’s RealSense 3D Technology; 2MP Front-facing camera
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 7000mAh battery, non-removable
  • Dimensions: 243.4 x 195.4 x 6.2 mm

Hardware

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Unlike the Dell Venue 8, the Venue 10 does not have super slim bezels. They are still pretty slim though, and Dell has added a hinge at the bottom, that connects to the keyboard. They have the speaker housed in that hinge. Similar to Lenovo’s Yoga tablets that run Android. They are dual speakers and wrap around the hinge. The speakers are actually very good. I’d have no problem in saying that these speakers are the best on any Android-powered tablet today. Dell has stuck with the three cameras on the back, for depth information and such. It is a fairly lightweight tablet and is easy to hold thanks to that hinge.

The keyboard dock that came with our review unit is quite nice as well. With the hinge there, you can easily dock the tablet into the keyboard any way you want. Whether you want to use it as a stand or just simply a laptop that runs Android. And it folds down quite nicely, like a regular laptop would, and it’s still pretty light. Which shouldn’t be discounted as we’ve seen a number of tablets with keyboard docks that are quite heavy.

Display

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Here we have a 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 OLED display. It’s beautiful. It’s the same display from the Dell Venue 8, just a bit larger, and that one was amazing as well. I’ve watched plenty of movies and YouTube videos on this display, and I’m confident in saying it’s one of the best for media consumption. The only one that might be better is Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S, but it’s a toss up, in my opinion. The display doesn’t appear to use a ton of power either, which is always a nice thing.

Performance

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Inside, we have an Intel Atom Z3580 processor. Which had me a bit skeptical for a minute. The reason being is that every Intel-powered Android tablet I had used in the past (aside from the recent Dell Venue 8) was pretty bad and very laggy. But I’m happy to say that there is no lag here with the Dell Venue 10 7000 running on the Intel Atom Z3580. It’s paired with 2GB of RAM as well, so not the industry standard 3GB, and it still runs very well.

I actually took the Dell Venue 10 on a recent trip to Beijing and played all kinds of games on my flight there, and it worked beautifully. No issues with the GPU and the battery life was quite good as well – we’ll talk more on the battery in a bit. So pretty excited to see what Intel has up their sleeves for Mobile next, seeing as it looks like they finally got a processor that works well – at least with Android – this time around.

Keyboard Dock

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One of the things I really like about this keyboard dock is the fact that it doesn’t need to be charged separately. With many keyboard docks out there you need to charge the keyboard and your tablet. But this dock charges from the tablet. So simply plug in the Dell Venue 10 7000 to charge and they both charge simultaneously. Pretty neat, right? This is a chiclet-style keyboard, which is one of my favorites, and there is also a trackpad. The keys on the keyboard are spaced almost perfectly. With the function keys – that would normally be at the top on a Windows keyboard – have been remapped. So you have back, volume controls, previous, play/pause, next, app drawer, overflow menu, search, brightness controls for both the keyboard backlight and the tablet’s display, as well as lock, print screen and delete.

Yes the keyboard is backlit and it looks amazing. Unlike other laptops, though, there’s only one setting for the keyboard backlight. Either on or off. You can’t make it brighter or dim them at all. Not a big deal, but still worth mentioning. Dell also put some time into the trackpad. With all kinds of gestures. For example you can swipe with two fingers to scroll through web pages, swipe left or right to switch pages in the launcher and such, as well as pinch to zoom on apps like Google Maps. And there are others as well. All in all, I was quite impressed with the keyboard dock for the Dell Venue 10 7000, and how well it worked.

Battery Life

Like I mentioned above, I did take this with me to Beijing this week, and played lots of games on my flight there – which is about 13-14 hours long – and the battery still didn’t drop below 50%. So it’s pretty impressive. This can definitely last you a full day, and then some. However, as with any device, that all depends on what you’re doing with the Dell Venue 10, as well as your settings, like brightness, etc. But for most people, it should get you through a full 24 hours.

Software

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For the most part, we are looking at Stock Android 5.0.2 Lollipop on the Dell Venue 10 7000. There are a few things that Dell has added in, but for the most part it’s just stock Lollipop. One of the things that Dell has added is Maxx Audio. So you can now switch the audio to better suit what you are using the tablet for. Whether that’s for a movie, music, gaming, or podcasts. You can also choose to turn it off altogether. You can also disable it, however, you cannot uninstall it. Dell has also changed up the camera so that it’s not the stock Android camera that you see in the Play Store, although you can download it and use it just fine. You’ll just lose the features from having three cameras on the back.

As far as bloat goes, there’s a few apps that were pre-installed here. Namely CamCard, Dell Cast, Dell Live Wallpapers, Evernote, Fruit Ninja Free, My Dell, and Polaris Office 5. All of which can be disabled if you so choose.

Overall, the software on the Dell Venue 10 7000 is actually pretty good. It’s nice and smooth, and I didn’t notice any lag at all while using it for the past week or two. Even when playing games and having loads of apps open. Which is always a great thing. The last thing you want on a tablet you spent over $600 on is lag.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a tablet that can replace your laptop, then Dell has just created it with the Venue 10 7000. Obviously, that depends on what you need from your laptop though. This tablet from Dell is a real winner in our book, and it’ll be difficult to recommend anything over the Dell Venue 10 7000 in the 10-inch range and the Dell Venue 8 7000 in the 8-inch range. Sure it’s a bit expensive compared to the Nexus 9, or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, but it’s worth it. Dell has really stepped up their game recently in terms of hardware. We’ve been impressed with their Chromebooks and now their newer Venue tablets. We’re definitely excited to see what comes out of Dell in the near future!