Dell Venue 10 7000: Good Tablet, Fantastic 2-In-1 Android Laptop

Great Tablet, Even Better 2-In-1

With its latest Venue 10 7000 series tablet, Dell is making its most compelling pitch yet to bring the Android operating system to the enterprise with this extremely well-designed tablet and 2-in-1 laptop.

The Dell Venue 10 7000 is the big brother to the Venue 8 -- with similar specs. But what sets the 10.5-inch Venue 10 7000 apart are its unique, barrel-edge design and an optional keyboard that can transform this good tablet into an excellent 2-in-1.

The tablet is available now with a starting price of $500; add $130 for the optional keyboard.

Standout Features

Standout features include the tablet's gorgeous OLED 10.5-inch display, which delivers vibrant colors and pitch-black blacks. The tablet also features Dell's first-ever barrel-edge design, which houses the tablet's front-firing stereo speakers. That cylindrical edge, similar to Lenovo's Yoga 2 tablet design, has the added benefit of making the tablet extremely easy to handle.

Just The Specs

The Venue 10 7000 features Intel's Atom quad-core Z3580 processor clocked at 2.3 GHz. The tablet also has 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, a micro-USB port and a MicroSD card slot supporting up to 512 GB of storage expansion.

The tablet sports an 8-megapixel Intel RealSense depth camera in the back that allows you to adjust the focus and calculate distance to images within pictures you have taken. On the front of the laptop is a 2-megapixel camera.

While the RealSense is a lot of fun, I was not impressed, as it had the typical picture quality of single-shot snaps.


The Dell Venue 10 7000 base model with 16 GB storage has a price tag of $500. A 32-GB version runs $550. Add the optional keyboard for $130, and you have a pricey, yet compelling Android-based 2-in-1 laptop that can give any similar-sized Chromebook a run for its money.

Business Productivity

To help strengthen the Venue 10's appeal to the enterprise, Dell has preconfigured the Lollipop OS with Android for Work. For those unfamiliar with Android for Work, Google recently released this containerization platform that lets IT administrators create separate profiles for corporate and personal use on Android smartphones and tablets. This Venue 10 runs Android version 5.0 that natively supports Android for Work.

Google has partnered with a number of enterprise mobility management providers, including BlackBerry, Citrix, IBM, MobileIron, SAP, Soti and VMware.

Killer Keyboard

Another boon for mobile productivity is the optional backlit keyboard ($130) that features a multi-touch track pad. This keyboard was rock-solid and the keys had a satisfying bounce when I typed.

I really liked the sturdy magnetic hinges. Unlike a lot of 2-in-1s, with the Dell Venue 10 7000 you can carry the Venue 10 in 2-in-1 mode without any fear that the keyboard or tablet will come apart from one another and go crashing to the ground.

With a keyboard snapped on, the Venue can be used in laptop, presentation or tent mode, or as a slate.

Room For Improvement

As nice as this tablet and 2-in-1 combo is, it's expensive. Pricing the 32 GB model out with the $130 keyboard will run you $680. Besides its steep price tag, I was not impressed with the battery performance that I observed, which was an average of 4 to 7 hours -- Dell rates it at 7 hours. And, as easy as it was touch typing with this sturdy keyboard, I found the multi-touch track pad sometimes hard to use.

Last, as a 2-in-1 laptop, Dell would be well-served by making a 4G version of this system. Anyone willing to spend a premium on a gorgeous Android 2-in-1 is likely willing to pay a little extra for a 4G option for true portability.

How It Stacks Up Against The Competition

One of most distinctive features on the Dell Venue 10 7000 is its barrel edge, which makes holding the tablet a breeze, whether you are reading in portrait mode or using the tablet's front-facing RealSense camera.

But if Dell's cylindrical chassis design looks familiar, it's because Dell is borrowing a design page from Lenovo and its Yoga 2-class tablets, introduced more than a year ago. The big difference between Lenovo and Dell is that Lenovo uses the barrel design to cram more battery power into the tablet, giving the 10.1-inch Android version of Yoga 2 an advertised 18-hour battery life, compared with 7 hours from Dell.

Yoga Vs. Venue: Continued

Whereas Dell can't hold a candle to Lenovo's battery life, Lenovo can't hold a candle to Dell's Venue 10 keyboard. The Yoga 2 keyboard, included in the base price ($250), feels borderline flimsy when compared with the Venue 10 7000 keyboard.

While Lenovo's Yoga 2 delivers a solid and affordable tablet with an OK keyboard cover, Dell brings to the table a well-designed keyboard and magnetic hinge technology.

Can Android Compete With Chrome OS

The fact that the Dell Venue 10 7000 runs the stock version of Android Lollipop is both a blessing and a curse. While Chromebook delivers an affordable no-nonsense laptop built for productivity, the Android OS is quite a different beast.

In some ways, I really like the fact that this Venue 10 7000 can run any game or entertainment app I can throw at it, along with Google Play's deep bench of productivity apps. It also becomes a much more useful tool for productivity and entertainment when offline when compared with Chromebooks.

On the flip side, Chromebooks are less Las Vegas glitz and distractions, and more office-park practical -- geared more toward productivity and the cloud. Unique to Chrome OS and Chromebooks is the ability to log in via any browser and have your entire cloud desktop ready to go. You can't do that with Android.

Pricey, But Packs A Solid Productivity Punch

The Dell Venue 10 7000 is a good tablet with a unique design. Pair this tablet with Dell's optional keyboard and what you get is a topnotch 2-in-1 Android-based laptop that can go toe to toe with any like-sized Chromebook on the market.