This 11-inch Windows 8 slate gets Intel's latest mobile CPU.
Dell has a new version of its Venue 11 Pro 7000 tablet, making the switch from Intel's Atom line of low-power CPUs to the just-launched Core M.
The Core M CPU is part of Intel's next-gen Broadwell line, but separate from the familiar Core i3/i5/i7 chips found in many laptops and hybrids. Instead, Core M is supposed to offer mainstream performance in a low-power chip that can run for a long time, and efficiently enough to not need internal system fans.
Despite the switch, the external chassis of the new Venue 11 Pro is the same as the previous version, which received a favorable review in early 2014 . Of that model, with the lower-powered Atom CPU, we said: "In everyday use, the Venue 11 Pro works as well as any comparable product, and also has a few distinct advantages, including a solidly built chassis and an add-on keyboard that makes it feel much more like a laptop than the Surface does. Most importantly, it has a default full-HD 1,920x1,080-pixel display, which is something very rarely found in a screen this size."
Unlike many other Windows 8 tablets, the Venue 11 Pro offers a few configuration options, including 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 RAM, either 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of SSD storage, and Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. That's important, as Dell's Venue line is primarily aimed towards business users, and why a version with a TPM chip (often required by corporate IT departments) is also available.
In our brief hands-on time with the new Venue 11 Pro, it felt identical to the older version. Volume controls and micro-ports along the edges make it fairly self-contained as a standalone tablet, and the soft-touch finish on the back provides a little bit of grip, and resists fingerprints. The snap-on keyboard dock and covers for the previous version should work with this model as well.
Also getting a minor update is the 8-inch Venue tablet, the Venue 8 Pro 3000, with a current Bay Trail-generation Intel Atom CPU.
The new Core M version of the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 will be available on November 11, starting at $699. Dell products are typically available worldwide, but while the company did not immediately provide international price and release dates, the base model price translates to £437 and AU$800.