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The Dell Venue 8 Pro is full Windows 8.1 in a $299 package (hands-on)

Dell's Venue 8 Pro is a full Windows 8.1 tablet with an 8-inch screen.

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Dell returns to the small-tablet game and is coming in strong with its first Windows 8.1 8-inch tablet, the Venue 8 Pro. The tablet will be priced at $299 with 32GB of storage, with a 64GB version also available for a higher yet unannounced price.

The tablet houses a Bay Trail processor, includes a 1,280x800-pixel-resolution IPS screen, 2GB of RAM, a full-size SD card slot, and Micro-USB charging.

The 8 Pro is 0.35 inch thick and weighs 0.9 pound. There's a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera and a 5-megapixel back camera.

Windows 8.1 goes small. James Martin/CNET

Despite running Windows 8.1, the Venue 8 Pro looks and feels very much like an Android tablet. That impression, however, may be because of the rarity of small Windows tablets on the market thus far. The Windows button sits on the top edge of the tablet when held vertically. It's kind of an awkward place for it, and it took me a little time to get used to it being there.

The back texture is a grooved wave pattern that feels nice and seems to provide a just enough extra grip as to not be a wasted effort.

The Windows button is placed somewhat awkwardly on the top edge. James Martin/CNET

The 8 Pro seems like it could amount to a decent attack on small tabletdom; however, its price is getting up there for a small tablet, even one running Windows 8.1.

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