Dell shows off new Venue tablet range at Computex

Dell's freshened up its Venue tablets, putting Intel's Merrifield chips inside and offering call capabilities in some countries.

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Dell's new Venue 8 Android tablet has a 1080p screen. Nic Healey/CNET

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Dell's product launch at Computex 2014 seems to have a clear message: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

This has meant a strong line in refreshed models and additions to existing product lines. For the Venue 7 and Venue 8 line of Android tablets this has meant the familiar mantra of "thinner, lighter, faster".

Both products now run Android KitKat, while the processor is now the latest Intel Atom -- the Z3460 in the 7 and the Z3480 in the 8. Both of these are from Intel's Merrifield line, which the company has been pushing as perfect for smartphones and tablets, although the line has since been "bested" by the quad-core Moorefield.

Sam Burd, vice president of Dell's personal computing product group, hyped up what he described as the "front of screen performance" of both the Venue models. The Venue 8 now has a full HD 1080p screen, compared to last year's 1,280x800-pixel effort.

"This screen resolution -- at this price point -- is unprecedented," Burd boasted. Indeed, it's little more than half the price of Google's superb Nexus 7 tablet.

The Venue 7 will be available in the US from $160 (£95, AU$170) and the Dell 8 from $200 (£120, AU$220), both from July 1. Dell did not reveal Australian pricing for the new Venue tablets, nor a release date, and UK details were not announced either.

Burd also noted that Dell would be adding voice-calling capabilities into both models, but only for select countries, and he wasn't forthcoming about which countries this would include.

 

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