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Dell Venue 10 7000 review:

A high-end tablet-hybrid with a versatile design

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MSRP: $499.00
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The Good The Dell Venue 10 7000 is a sleek tablet-hybrid with a sturdy Bluetooth keyboard. Performance is swift and smooth, and it runs on the Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system. It also features a stunningly sharp screen and nifty depth-sensing cameras.

The Bad It's a bit heavy and expensive. The small keyboard can feel cramped to type on.

The Bottom Line The refined build quality and slick performance of the Dell Venue 10 7000 make it one of the finest Android tablet-hybrids around.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.7 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0

Review Sections

The Dell Venue 10 7000 truly feels like a tablet-laptop hybrid. As a standalone tablet, its stylish build is elevated by an ergonomic quirk -- a chunky rounded spine that makes holding it in one hand naturally comfortable -- and when attached to the keyboard, it feels like a small and sturdy laptop.

The design is not without its faults; it's rather heavy, and the small Bluetooth keyboard can feel cramped. However, it's slim pickings out there for a solidly constructed tablet-hybrid. Add to that its smooth performance and the latest version of Android, you might begin to understand why it's so expensive.

The 10-inch Dell tablet starts at $499 (AU$381 or £779, converted) for the 16GB model and the price jumps to $629 (AU$824 or £403, converted) if you want the keyboard. If you want more internal memory, the 32GB only comes with the keyboard for a lofty $679 (AU$890 or £435 converted.) Australian availability has yet to be announced and it should be released in the UK soon.

Editors' note: The Dell Venue 10 7000 shares similar features to the Dell Venue 8 7000 . Parts of their reviews are similar.


Design

The Dell Venue 10 7000 looks less like the smaller Venue 8 7000 and more like a Lenovo Yoga tablet. As a standalone tablet, it features a rounded spine that makes it ergonomic to hold in one hand. The smooth finish of the aluminum spine also feels cool and comfy when you're gripping it.

When attached to its Bluetooth keyboard, the Dell Venue 10 7000 transforms into a netbook-like laptop. Bluetooth keyboard accessories are common, however the one that comes with the Venue 10 7000 is engineered specifically for that model. There's a concave edge at the top of the keyboard where the rounded spine of the tablet perfectly fits. Hinges on the left and right side lock into the tablet in a cog-like connection and the attachment feels solidly secure.

Looks like a laptop, acts like a tablet. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Dell Venue 10 7000's Bluetooth keyboard pairs quickly once set up and consistently stays connected. It isn't as spacious as a regular keyboard, so typing on it feels a bit cramped. It takes awhile to get used to, especially since the trackpad is so close to the keys. I often found myself accidentally grazing it while typing.

Thanks to the sturdy hinges, adjusting the viewing angle of the tablet is fluidly easy. The Venue 10 7000 can completely close like a laptop and tilt back to a maximum of about 125 degrees. To detach the keyboard, you simply tilt the tablet all the way back until it pops out of the hinges.

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Meet the hinges. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

Subtly blending into the stylish design of the Venue 10 7000 are the two front-facing speakers. They wrap around the spine so audio isn't blocked at any angle when connected to the keyboard. The construction of the tablet feels very solid, and its slimness gives it an on-trend high-end aesthetic.

The downside to the tablet's build is its heavy nature. Since it's wrapped in aluminum, when connected to the keyboard it weighs up to 2.4 pounds (1.08kg), considerably heavier than other high-end tablets.

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The power button and volume rocker are flush to the tablet's edge. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

Though its eccentric look isn't exactly unique -- Lenovo's Yoga tablet line has featured rounded spines for years -- Dell raises the bar with a model that's simultaneously solid, sleek and simple. The hinge-happy Bluetooth keyboard additionally adds a refined Android experience that's apt for work or play.

Features

The Dell Venue 10 7000 runs on the latest version of Google's Android operating system, Lollipop 5.0. The tablet does come with some preloaded software, however there's no custom overlay; it's a mostly pure version of the OS, giving it a refreshingly clean Android user experience.

The Venue 10 7000 features Dell's RealSense technology, which is also found in the Venue 8 7000. The three cameras on the back of the tablet conjunctively work to provide depth information, which, after taking the image, allows you to adjust the focal point. You can also measure an item in the photo, as well as calculate square footage.

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Three cameras for 3D effects Xiomara Blanco/CNET

To access the RealSense camera, you simply open the native camera app and select the arrow that sits next to the big, round shutter button. This expands a list of camera options in addition to depth-sensing, including video, panorama and burst. Once you take a photo, it's saved in the Dell Gallery where all of the editing possibilities are unleashed.

Choosing your focal point after the fact is a fun way to get creative with your photographs and it also works as a perk for quick shooters. Instead of worrying about focusing correctly, you can simply snap a photo and tinker with the details later. Just make sure to use a steady hand in order to ensure that the only blurriness visible is the blurriness you fine-tune yourself using the Dell Gallery photo-editing app.

The built-in gallery app organizes all of your photos. Screenshot by Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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