Best tablet out there for $149!
This is a really great tablet. I got it for $149 so I didn't have my hopes too high with it being this cheap but it's an excellent tablet. I would say this is by far the best tablet for $149. The build quality seems to be really good, not cheap and creaky like the Hisense Sero 7 Pro from Walmart. The back is mildy grippy like the nexus 7. It's super light only weighing 314g! It has front and rear cameras that aren't that great but it's better than nothing. The tablet comes with android 4.2.2 and it's stock Android with only 2 Dell cloud apps that can be disabled anyways so it's nice and clean. Dell says it'll get 4.4 KitKit soon. This does have a GPS, and an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness. The micro sd slot works well, I have a 32GB card in it working great. The speaker is on the bottom side to when laying flat the sound isn't muffled, it gets really loud for a little speaker. The sound quality when you plug headphones in is excellent, blew me a way, the sound is full and rich if you're listening to a good source. The screen is very bright and sharp, good viewing angles because it's an IPS display. This plays a bunch of high end games without a hitch. Battery life seems to be pretty good, they claim up to 10 hours. Comes with a nice 10W power adapter and a micro usb cable.
I'm still liking this tablet overall but I noticed a thing after using it for awhile. The automatic brightness level at night or in a darker room is way too bright, it's very hard on the eyes and I have to manually turn the brightness down because it's so bright at night. I have contacted Dell about this and they have forwarded it to the department that handles the software on this tablet so hopefully it's adjusted in a future update.
I just got this tablet so I can't speak to longevity, etc., but as for first impressions, this is a really great tablet for the price. What I like:
-Build quality seems excellent - really solid feel.
-Micro SD slot for expansion is great.
-Pretty much stock Android (I have used the Samsung version in the past, I found it almost unworkable).
-Lots of RAM and a fairly fast processor means apps run quickly
On the negative side, it has cameras, though they are pretty low quality - good enough for Skype, etc., but won't beat your phone for pictures.
Overall, I would recommend. I will update after a while if anything goes wrong.
EDIT 11/7/2013: Just thought I would give an update about the Micro SD card reader, as I was a bit confused about it. On the Dell site, it says it is SDXC compatible, supporting up to 128GB (when they are available), but in other spots it says "a micro SD slot for up to 32GB of additional storage", which would imply it is not SDXC compatible. Well, tonight I put in a 64GB SDXC card, formatted to FAT32, and all 64GB were available. Copied files from my desktop onto the card, and the Venue was able to read them no problem. So that is a very nice feature if you have a lot of movies, music, etc you want to lug around with this tablet.
Great Value For The Price
Seven inches seems to be the "sweet spot" in size for a tablet that is convenient to carry around and yet large enough to actually use, so I ordered this one to see if it works for me. I find this tablet to be very well designed, with good screen viewing angles and adequate battery life, but to have limited internal speakers.
The tablet is very comfortable to hold and quite compact. The device is designed for portrait mode (the camera is at the top when held that way), although it works fine in landscape, which is my preferred mode. The top has the power button and jack for a standard headset. The left side has volume +/- and the MicroUSB port. The bottom has the speakers in the middle, and the Dell asset tag. The right side has a compartment that opens to reveal the MicroSD card slot and a slot for a MicroSIM card (which is filled in for my WiFi model). The rear is smooth but not slippery.
The device is quite snappy in use, and never got hot even when running benchmarks or movies. The interface is pretty basic, but easy to use, unlike other vendors who put too much stuff on top of Android. I was able to open a lot of programs and switch back and forth between them easily; multitasking is quite good. I was concerned about the Intel Atom based tablet being fast enough, but this one does well (benchmarks below). HTML 5 and YouTube movies worked well and looked fine, but it will not support flash (see below). The screen is not the highest resolution (that would be the Nexus 7 in the Android community), but it is very clear, and will support HD. It can be seen even in bright sunlight, although I think it is really best indoors - it was readable in sunlight but not absolutely bright. The device includes the Android browser and Chrome, plus a minimal suite of included software, mostly Google products such as Mail and Calendar. Overall, I am pleased with the user experience.
+ Capable of 4G operation when ordered that way. Mine is the WiFi only model.
+ Support for a Micro SD card. I didn't test this because in my particular use I don't need that much storage. The box and OnlineShopDealer page say it will support up to 64Gb, but the Dell web site says it will support 128Gb SDXC as well.
+ Very good screen angles, left, right, up, down. The resolution is not the highest, but it plays HD videos very well.
+ Battery life is about 8 hours of normal browsing at average screen brightness. I was able to browse for a couple of hours and then watch two full movies before it got below 30%. This was indoors; battery life will be different if the screen is turned all the way up, or automatically goes to maximum when used outside. Nevertheless I think for the size of the device it is good.
+ Performance is good, but not maximum. The device uses the Intel Atom (Z2560) chip running at 1.6 Ghz (the OnlineShopDealer site says 2 Ghz). I was interested to discover that it is actually a dual core chip running with hyper-threading, rather than actually having 4 physical cores. It rendered a Quadrant benchmark score of 6102. As a comparison, my Snapdragon powered HTC One (also 1.6 Ghz, but four physical cores) achieved 9120 on the same test. However it feels fine in use, and because of the 2Gb of RAM (many tablets still use 1GB), multitasking was great.
+ There is not a lot of "bloatware" on the tablet - it installed pretty "clean".
+ There is a low resolution front camera for use when video conferencing.
+ Charging is via a standard MicroUSB, which is good, because in the past Dell has opted for non-standard chargers.
- The tablet will not display flash content. This means that one cannot watch OnlineShopDealer streaming movies, or most web cam type shows. I was simply unable to get the Adobe flash player working on this model. It comes with Android 4.2.2, which does not include Flash. There is a work around that I have used before (download Flash from the Adobe website), but that did not work; I finally gave up on trying to get Flash to show up. I subsequently tried it on my HTC One, which is running 4.3, and it doesn't work there either, so I did not detract any stars. The tablet will display HTML5 just fine.
- The screen really picks up fingerprints. I didn't detract for this either, but it will get marked up!
- There is only a single speaker, at the bottom of the device, so there is no stereo output. Sound is not really that good unless one is using headphones; it is strong but not that clear.
- The device comes with Pocket Cloud software. In theory, this allows one to access the desktop from the tablet. The Companion software is available for PC or Mac. When I attempted to use it my antivirus warned that there was an attack on a security hole, so I uninstalled it and did not go any further. I'm not sure what the software was attempting, but I won't accept any security risk.
- The main camera is a bit small - only 3 megapixels. Considering that a tablet this small really is designed to carry around, I would have hoped for an 8 Megapixel at least.
- My device has a slight defect. When the screen is held landscape and tilted so that one is looking down at the device, there is a strip of orange showing for about 1/3 the length of the screen, across the bottom. It is obviously some kind of manufacturing problem. Since it does not show up when the tablet is viewed from any angle except a ridiculously steep angle (I'd never use it this way), I am not going to submit it for warranty. Yes, it is a defect, but it doesn't impact normal use.
Summary: A small, very affordable tablet that works well and is convenient to carry. Highly recommended.
UPDATED BENCHMARKS Dec 2013:
3d Mark Ice Storm:
Score 6739 | Graphics 6403 | Physics 8253 | Graphics 1 31.3 | Graphics 2 25.1
Ice Storm Extreme:
Score 3695 | Graphics 3192 | Physics 8244 | Graphics 1 - 18.1 | Graphics 2 - 26.2 | Physics 26.2
Ice Storm Unlimited:
Score 6112 | Graphics 5624 | Physics 8778 | Graphics 1 33.7 | Graphics 2 19.2 | Physics 27.9
Overall 18564 | Multitask 2776 | Dalvik 1274 | CPU Integer 1357 | CPU Floating point 1508 | RAM Operation 1120 | Ram Speed 1463 | 2D Graphics [800x1216] 1408 | 3d Graphics [800x1216] 5916 | Storage I/O 1127 | Database IO 615.
I am very pleased.
Overall good deal.
I admit I did not get my hopes up when I ordered it - $150 for 7" tablet? When the "big names" are selling at two to three times as much (or more)?
But I am quite happy with it.
* It is lightweight. A great size too - can hold it easily in one hand and navigate with the other.
* Screen is bright enough to see on a sunny day.
* Speed/Performance is very smooth. All my favorite Android apps run on it. (I was wondering about that since it's an Intel chip versus the ARM usually found on these devices.)
* Browsing the web is a breeze (home wifi).
Can easily zoom in out on the page areas for reading - double tap and/or pinching both work nicely.
* In general, a 7" screen is a bit small to watch movies. But the Venue plays them very well and sharp and crisp too.
* Downside is maybe battery life. But even that isn't too bad.
Just to see how it would do ... I used it at full screen brightness, playing HD video not stop streamed off the network -- and it lasted over 6 hours. (about 4 hours or so to recharge it from 0)
Great tablet - (I wanted it mine for .cbr files as well as other multimedia demands)
I've been slow to pick up a new tablet after purchasing one a few years back, finding that initial exposure disappointing. A couple of months ago I did get a new one for my wife, and after playing with hers for a little while I decided I needed one of my own.
I'm really, really glad I got this model. I like it enough that I'm going to purchase another as a gift for family. With the holidays fast approaching, it would be a good addition for application use. My mother wants something that streams for shopping and watching videos and for applications like the bible online, and she also wants games. This handles all those well, plus it is easy to use even if a person isn't so computer savvy. The device is durable, lightweight, and you can see it well on bright days.I always hated not being able to do that - what's the point otherwise? It loads fast, processes well, and has all the user-friendly features I would want. You can easily access the menus, change settings, place applications or widgets where you want. The picture quality is great, coming in above my expectations, and the sound is nice. Accessing files from the SD card is easy, with everything loading fairly quickly. When you look at the price, it well surpasses others in the range too.
And battery life - that's been good.
Battery life has always been a sticking point with others, because they die so easily. This one, with features you can tinker with to save more energy, lasts a good deal longer than I expected. If I play games it burns it faster, but when I'm reading in the day or travelling and wanting to use it, it holds up well. The device charges decently fast too, which is pretty nice.
One thing I really wanted for myself was something that could easily read .cbr files (comic books) and .pdf files so I could carry them on the go. I have a Kindle but Kindles have an issue with that; they put borders around comics if you convert them yourself, making it tiny. Even when you add applications, they have yet to handle it well. This does a great job with them. I use Comicrack since I've used them for a long time and Foxit PDF for my PDF files; there are other programs but these do a great job.
Very pleased with this item!
Nice basic tablet; things to consider
I'm really pleased with this tablet. It's thin, light, and not clunky at all--operation is very smooth. The screen has pretty good touch recognition (more on this later), and the screen is bright and clear. The WiFi connectivity is quite good (While this will vary based on your WiFi, of course, I do have a tablet that can't pick up a signal where this one can, so I'm referring to the tablet's ability itself).
The rest of my review may sound negative, but it's not--it's really just the things I noticed that I thought might help you with making a purchasing decision.
THE PHYSICAL TABLET
It's a nice size, although I'd recommend possibly going up to the 8 if you don't mind a larger size. I can see doing that if you're all thumbs. What I've found is that it can be a challenge for me to touch exactly the right thing, especially with long fingernails. I tried a few different stylus styles, and the one that has worked for me is a wide rubber tip stylus (which mimics a fingertip). It especially comes in handy for Internet surfing or when you need to click/select something very small. But if you're a bit clumsy with small screens, that might be something to keep in mind--especially if you plan to do any sort of word processing (without a keyboard) or e-mail. Certainly it's easier to use than a smartphone, though. And while I've seen it elsewhere mentioned as being pocket sized, you'd have to have rather large pockets to accommodate the dimensions (It doesn't fit any pockets I have).
The speaker is located on the bottom (when held the tall way). It probably would have been better for it to be on the top/side, since if it's propped up on something, the sound gets a bit muffled.
If a camera feature is important to you, then the one in this tablet may not be sufficient--it's really just passable.
USING, CHARGING, CONVENIENCE, ETC.
Turning the tablet on is a bit of a learning curve. I have to hold the button down for several seconds until the DELL logo shows up. Additionally, the screen blacks out pretty quickly, and this button has to be pressed to bring it back. When you use the tablet, you must drag the "locked" area to another one on the screen--I turned this feature off after figuring it out.
Perhaps I'm one of the few people in the world who didn't have one, but you have to have a Google account to get the most out of the tablet, such as being able to use Google Play and download apps. The process is easy, but I recommend trying to sign up from a desktop computer. When I tried to sign up on the tablet, anything--even highly obscure--I input for a new username said it was unavailable. I switched to a desktop, put in one of the same terms, and registered that way. It doesn't take too long to get an account.
The battery life isn't all that long--you'll likely need to plug it in once a day if you plan to use the tablet daily. However, it's convenient and this comes with an adapter for a wall outlet (unlike some tablets!).
My main surprise with this tablet was that it didn't come with a print manual! While a lot of what's on it is intuitive to figure out, and the best way to learn might be by exploring it, I'm the type of person who likes to have a manual due to being intimidated by unfamiliar technology.
I've tried to be honest about things, to the point where it possibly sounds like I don't like the tablet. I really do like it! These are just things I know I would have wanted to know before getting one, and thought would be things you might want to consider. I'm really happy with the tablet and its processing speed and other basics.
Easy to use
I've had PC's for almost 20 years. But, I was born when Truman was president so my addiction to being on-line is minimal. My requirements for speed and data storage are easily met by this device. This is my first tablet. I bought it to use when I travel and to read Kindle books. I'm now using it all over the house. In my shop to look up some parts and plans. In the "throne room" to read the morning newspapers. And ... it also works great for Kindle books.
Lean Mean Tablet Machine
I have owned 6 of the Dell Venue 7 16GB tablets for work for a few weeks, and they are great. I use them to train employees and do fieldwork. Here is my impression of this tablet, short and sweet:
- Pure Android, pure bliss. No proprietary Apple, Microsoft or OnlineShopDealer nonsense. I can download apps and executable files without going through an "app store."
- If the apps/programs you want are standard, you will definitely find them in the Google Play store. Google's suite of products is arguably the best among the competitors.
- Runs browsers and web content like a PC, but with the touchscreen ease of a smartphone. I was surprised how smooth this is. The same content will load in the browser or in an app with equal speed and display. The default browser that comes with the tablet is Google Chrome, an excellent browser.
- Multi-tasking does not seem to slow down this tablet, such as streaming music simultaneously to doing work on the web/apps.
- The tablet is fully integrated with Google, so if you choose to sign in with your Google account, all of your data syncs.
- BUT!!!!!!!!! If you choose not to sign in with Google (or don't want a Google account), everything still works wonderfully. I love that the option exists to sync or not to sync, depending on personal preference. The consumer is not pressured into a cloud storage program, or into yet another software subscription, or into jailbreaking the device to keep one's sanity.
- YOU CAN ADD STORAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! The SD card reader will take additional storage up to 128GB!
- The power supply is delivered by Micro USB connection, which is very convenient since almost all of the good devices use this now. In a pinch, I can charge it with my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy) cord, or vice versa.
- It is so light and thin, but it doesn't seem fragile. I dropped it while doing fieldwork out on a boat onto a hard aluminum surface, and it didn't get a scratch.
- The audio sounds surprisingly full, not tinny and hard to hear as with many smaller devices. Earbuds get excellent sound quality as well from the audio jack.
- The security, wifi, accessibility, and preference settings are easy to understand. You can set more than one user account.
- The battery lasts all day. I haven't tested it specifically for battery life, but I did use it recently on and off all day (probably 6 hours active) using various programs/camera, and it was only drawn down to 64% battery.
- The 7" screen is large enough to effectively use the touch keyboard to take notes, send emails, review documents, etc. for those interested in workplace applications. I am toying with the idea of a plugin/Bluetooth keyboard but it doesn't seem necessary.
-$149? I can buy 2-3 of these for the same price as an iPad Mini!
- The cameras aren't spectacular, but what do you expect from an amazing tablet priced at $149 MSRP? Don't you have a smartphone with a gazillion megapixel camera anyway??? The rear camera takes totally acceptable quality photos with good colors and light detection, but the front camera is basically just OK -- sufficient for Skype and FaceTime (or the odd selfie) but does not have very high resolution or intense colors.
- With the incredible price point and rock solid features, I will be buying about a dozen more of these for our office in the next year.
P. S. The Dell Venue 8" has almost the exact same features, and while I would prefer the larger size screen for personal use, the smaller 7" screen is ideal because it's a little lighter and takes up less space for travel/work.
Nailed it, Dell.
I was wary and very particular about the specs I was looking for in a tablet. I spent more than three weeks searching for a tablet with decent processing speed and video capabilities, and eventually came across this. The mixed reviews set alarms off at first, but couldn't find anything with a 2 GB processor and 2 GB of RAM for a better price. So I went out on a limb and bought this tablet with a 32 GB hard drive, and prayed it would show up unharmed and functioning.
Once I got the tablet I was presently surprised at how fast it powered on and I saw what other reviewers had already talked about. Little bloatware, speedy and great HD picture. I am a gamer to the core, and this tablet plays every game I have installed flawlessly. I haven't found a single issue with ANYTHING. It is faster and easier to use than my laptop, so I end up spending more time on my tablet, instead. XD Here is a detailed breakdown of the Pros and Con's.
Pros - Fast, Good Video Quality, Sound is crisp for only having one speaker and is louder than you would expect, charges relatively quickly, size makes for easy navigation and use of virtual controls when playing highly demanding games such as MOBAs, full 3D FPSs, and RTSs, and has a nice feel when holding it. Also, doesn't feel flimsy.
Cons - It *DOES* have only one speaker, so sound quality could be much better, but plug in some headphones and you won't notice a difference. Also, related to sound, I like to watch Netflix at night while I'm in bed with my one year old and fiance', and the sound can't be adjusted by percentages. Meaning that there are "steps" in which it automatically is set to. So when you push the volume button up one "step" it is a pretty big difference in how loud it is. There is no slider to adjust volume, so it is either too loud or too quiet for my liking. But this is a very miniscule inconvenience, because I can use headphones. Other than that, the only other problem I have with the dell venue 7 is that the charger port has gotten a little loose and the charger moves around a bit when plugged in. Although this doesn't stop the tablet for on charging,so its really just st a pet peeve of mine. XD
Side notes - I have had this tablet for a couple months now for your knowledge. My baby girl and fiance' love to use the tablet as well for reading and learning apps. The app store is in no shortage of these and it is a good feeling to know that my 15 month old is having fun while learning. Also, I am currently ordering a Bluetooth keyboard/case combo and Bluetooth mouse, so I will update when they arrive to discuss how well they work. All in all, I am very pleased with this product, and will be getting another for my soon to be wife. Hope this is useful to everyone! Dell NAILED it!
Buy this tablet, it's worth the money. Powerful, good screen, decent battery life.
This is a great tablet for the money. It is sturdy, lightweight, and easy to use.
The tablet has a good weight for its size. It featues a 7 inch screen, the back of the devise smooth matte black with the Dell logo on it.
The power button is on the top right, Volume rocker buttons are on the left along with the micro USB port (used for charging with the included charger or for connecting to your computer) The right has an expansion slot for a micro SD card.
It runs Android 4.2.2. If you are at all familiar with Android this will be a snap. I have a Samsung Galaxy and they are pretty much identical in the way they operate. Only difference is the slight additions that Samsung adds to their phone operating system user interface. The system is pretty clear of bloatware, so there are very few apps that usually come preloaded on your phones.
Setup is easy. Answer a few questions and you are off and running. If you have a google account (gmail, google plus) you enter that and you can begin downloading apps you've previously downloaded on our phone or purchased.
The system runs very smooth and fast. It boots in under 30 seconds. Switching screens, loading apps, and opening menus is blazingly fast. It is really really fast.
The screen is very bright and can be viewed at some intense angles and it looks very good.
The front facing camera is decent, though not excellent. It comes in at about 3 megapixels, pretty good for taking photos. They are a bit grainy, though passable. Definable will not replace your regular camera. The rear facing camera is not good at all, you will not be taking very good selfies with this. It is passable, though, for doing things like Skype or participating in a Google hangout or video conference it will do a good job because you usually don't want to broadcast on too high a resolution anyway.
Most any google apps will run on this. I've seen no problems or incompatible apps. I've used Netflix, Hula, Pandora, and others. They load fast and multimedia looks good.
This does not run flash! So if you want to view sits like OnlineShopDealer streaming movies you will have a hard time. I am looking for a workaround, but as of writing this have not found one.
The sound quality is very good. the speakers are on the bottom and they sound pretty good. There is a headphone/data port on the top. So you can listen to music with headphones or use an input device such as a credit card reader like I have with the Square Register app or with headphone/microphone devices.
Battery life is good. If you are using it hard, you'll have to charge it every evening, though if you use it here and there, you can get a few days out of it.
It also has Bluetooth connectivity and it has worked well connecting to my various devices. Wireless is fast and easy to set up
The only weird thing is the micro USB cord seems to be upside down. That is though the plug fits in snugly to the device, it seems contrary to what you expect. I'm always trying to put the USB connector in upside down. Just kind of funny and does not diminish the device.
Overall a sturdy capable tablet. Runs very fast, good battery life, clear screen, and good sound. Will run most any app you'd care to run. If you are familiar with Android, you'll have no problems using this and it'll seem like old hat. Very easy to learn, setup, and use.
I highly recommend!!
UPDATE!!:: As of December 19th, 2013 there is an OS upgrade. This now runs Android 4.3. If you have this already and it is NOT running 4.3, go to Settings/About Tablet/system updates