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Dell adds Core M to the Venue 11 Pro tablet

This 11-inch Windows 8 slate gets Intel's latest mobile CPU.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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