Dell Doubles Down On Android And Windows Pro Tablets


 

Dell Venue 11 Pro
Dell Venue 11 Pro

 

 

 

At an event in New York Wednesday, Dell released an army of Android and Windows 8 tablets, hammering home the point that "end-user computing is important to Dell." Despite the call to consumers, the new Dell lineup will appeal to business-savvy users and solution providers looking for options other than Microsoft's Surface 2 Pro tablet family, which is not available to most Microsoft partners.

Dell released two Venue Android tablets: A 7-inch model running Intel's 1.6GHz Atom processor and a front-facing webcam that supports wireless broadband from AT&T and T-Mobile is priced at $150. A Dell 8-inch Venue Android tablet with an Atom 2GHz chip and front and back webcams is priced at $180. Both Venue Android tablets will ship with Jellybean 4.2.2, sport HD 1,280 x 800 resolution displays, and include Dell's PocketCloud online backup and desktop virtualization app.

Dell's 7-inch and 8-inch Venue tablets are the company's first Android tablets since its 7-inch and 5-inch Streak tablets were discontinued late in 2011. The two tablets were considered commercial failures for Dell.

 

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It's also worth pointing out what Dell did not announce Wednesday, namely a Dell tablet running the Windows 8.1 RT operating system. Last month Dell dumped its XPS 10 tablet running the Windows 8 RT OS. "At this time we are not going to be making any announcements about a Windows 8.1 RT device," said Bill Gorden, Dell's general manager of consumer products, small screen devices.

The Round Rock, Texas-based company has shunned RT, instead focusing on Microsoft Windows 8.1 for its Pro line of tablets, which start out at $300 for an 8-inch Venue 8 Pro and up to $500 for a full-size 11-inch Venue 11 Pro. Both model ships with Office 2013, with the Venue 11 Pro supporting Dell's own type covers and a docking station.

Pricing and availability of the docking station and two covers were not available. Dell said two type covers will be available; one with tactile keys and the other a battery type cover that will double the tablet's battery life.

"We call the Venue 11 Pro a three-in-one," Gorden said. "It can be a laptop, a desktop and a tablet."

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