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New Dell Venue tablets rock Android or full Windows

Dell's back in the ol' tablet game, throwing its hat in the ring with a range of new Venue tablets with Android, and Venue Pro tablets with Windows.

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Dell's back in the ol' tablet game, throwing its hat in the ring with a range of new Venue tablets with Android, and Venue Pro tablets with Windows.

There are two of each: the Venue 7 and 8 have screens of that many inches, and run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, upgrading to 4.4 KitKat at some unspecified point in the future. The Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro (also the screen size) both run full Windows 8.1.

Let's start with the Windows slates. The Venue 11 Pro (pictured above) is similar to Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, in that you can use it as a normal tablet, as a laptop with an attached keyboard dock, or as a desktop in a USB dock hooked up to a monitor (the docks are sold separately).

It sports a 10.8-inch screen with an admirable 1,920x1,200 resolution and you can spec it with either a Core i processor or a Bay Trail CPU. You'll probably be wanting one of the Core i options, as the Bay Trail can't run full-fat desktop apps. That's in spite of a meaty 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. You can use a stylus with it, and there's an 8-megapixel camera on the back. It is available on 7 November, and starts at £419 in the UK.

The Venue 8 Pro, meanwhile, comes in 32GB and 64GB versions and is only available with the quad-core Intel Atom mobile chip. The 8-inch screen drops down to a still respectable 1,280x800-pixel resolution, and there's 2GB of RAM. It's pretty skinny at 8.9mm thick and weighs a meagre 400g. If you must take a photo with it, there's an 8-megapixel snapper on the back and a 1.2-megapixel effort on the front for video calls. It also comes with Office 2013 Home & Student. It'll start at $299 (£185) in the US and will be available in the UK direct from Dell on 19 November.

On to Android. The 7-inch Venue 7, with 16GB of storage, will cost $149 (£90), whereas the 8-inch Venue 8 starts at $189 (£115) with the same amount of space. They'll come in red or black and pack a 2GHz Clover Trail processor, with 1,280x800-pixel-resolution screens and microSD slots. They'll also come in Wi-Fi-only and 4G options. There are currently no plans to bring the Android Venue tablets to the UK.

You can read more about the new Dell tablets in full hands-on first takes from CNET.com:

Does Dell's comprehensive customisability appeal for a tablet, or would you rather have fewer options to puzzle over? Pick and choose in the comments, or on our multiple-choice Facebook page.

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The Venue 11 Pro can clip into this slim keyboard to make it a proper Windows laptop.
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Here's the Venue 8 Pro, which has a lower spec as well as a smaller screen.
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It's a barely visible 8.9mm thick.
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The Venue 8's 1,280x800-pixel screen is nothing to write home about.
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It too is admirably slim, and has expandable storage.

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