Dell Venue 7 LTE Tablet Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/12/2014

Light-shunning LTE slate. Dell launches a balanced, 7-inch tablet that is based on a current Atom processor from the Merrifield generation and Google's Android 4.4 KitKat, dubbed Venue 7 LTE, on the market. Its brightness and speakers are the biggest points of criticism. However, it does a good job otherwise.

For the original German review, see here.

The American computer giant sticks to its Android line and again relies on processors from Intel for the Dell Venue 7. The Atom CPU is based on the new Merrifield platform. For the first time, the chip builder does not use its own graphics solution but integrates a unit that offers a considerable power boost from Imagination Technologies. Besides that, the system features 2 GB of working memory, 16 GB of flash storage, and the latest Google Android 4.4 KitKat. Thus, it provides a good configuration, and the LTE module is the cherry on the cake. The price will probably range around 200 Euros (~$267), but an exact price could not yet be called. It will first be announced directly before its market launch, so not earlier than September 2014.

Not even the value-for-money breaker Google's Nexus 7 can keep up with that, which costs 349 Euros (~$466) in the LTE version. Asus' Fonepad ME372CG for currently 180 Euros (~$240) is a bit more affordable, but it also relies on older software and hardware. Like Acer's Iconia B1-721 it only connects to the Internet via HSPA+. Other rivals that lack mobile Internet options would be Yarvik's Xenta 7ic and Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 7. Our report reveals how Dell's Venue 7 LTE fares compared with the competition.

Case

The back of Dell's Venus 7 is very slip-proof.
The back of Dell's Venus 7 is very slip-proof.

The casing of Dell's Venue 7 LTE has a thickness of just under nine millimeters and is roughly as heavy as the Nexus 7 with 295 grams. It is pleasant to hold, and the circular rubber-coating on the back gives it a very secure grip. Although the fingerprints on the back are not as obvious as on other materials, they are still visible.

The stiffness of the Venue 7 is very good. The device neither twisted to an undue extent nor did it produce noises during our tests. However, it proved to be quite pressure sensitive; when we pressed our finger firmly on the back, the screen displayed a marginal wave formation. The display bezel was even more pressure sensitive. Simply holding it with a firmer grip resulted in noticeable wave formation. This effect became more obvious the darker the surroundings were.

The casing makes an easy-to-remove impression. However, it is closed tightly. The gaps are relatively evenly spaced, and only minor irregularities were ascertained.

Connectivity

The connectivity of Dell's Venue 7 LTE is not exceptional but nevertheless quite decent considering its category. Though it does not sport an interface for external video output, the image can be transmitted via both Miracast and Wireless Display. The micro-USB 2.0 port is used for recharging the device and data sharing with a computer. Additionally, the port supports OTG so that peripherals like USB sticks or mice can be connected.

The microSD slot supports storage cards with a capacity up to of 64 GB (SDXC) and is easy to access. The slot for the micro-SIM card is located directly beside it. Both slots have a spring-loaded ejector which makes taking out the card easy.

Upper edge: audio, microphone, power
Upper edge: audio, microphone, power
Left: volume rocker, USB
Left: volume rocker, USB
Lower edge: speaker
Lower edge: speaker
Right: SIM, microSD (both under a flap)
Right: SIM, microSD (both under a flap)

Software

Dell's Venue 7 LTE is based on an unmodified version of Google's Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. The app CamCard is part of the included software and enables taking a picture of business cards and saving the data directly into the phone book. That also functioned quite well. The application only had minor problems with motive cards. However, the program recognizes markers for augmented reality. The app MaxxAudio provides a sound optimization tool.

Every owner of a Venue 7 LTE additionally receives 20 GB of Dropbox storage for one year. App2SD is not supported.

Home screen
Preloaded apps
Preloaded apps
Polaris Office 5 seems to need an update, but it functions smoothly.

Communication & GPS 

Dell's Venue 7 LTE features a cutting-edge Wi-Fi module that supports the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards. Thus, it transmits in both the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequency bands. The range of the components is, however, only middling. Only a distance of 20 meters away from the router caused comparatively high losses.

The tablet can also connect to mobile Internet via either HSPA+ or LTE. Unfortunately, no detailed technical specifications about the WWAN module were available at the time of writing. We will, however, submit these as soon as possible.

Dell's Bluetooth speaker
Dell's Bluetooth speaker

Bluetooth 4.0 is also installed and functions quite well. We only noticed a slightly mismatched lip-sync in the audio output when streaming HD content from the web over Dell's Bluetooth speaker. However, users who play videos locally will not have any problems even when other input devices are connected to Dell's Venue 7. Users who order Dell's Bluetooth speaker will be annoyed about the lack of NFC because the portable speaker supports quick and easy near-field coupling.

GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: outdoors

The signal of the GPS receiver in Dell's Venue 7 LTE is not particularly strong and cannot find satellites indoors. That happens quite fast outdoors. Compared with Garmin's Edge 500 GPS-enabled bike computer, the position data is not as accurate but still useful because the overall deviation is fairly low in total. It looks more severe on the enlarged sections than it actually is.

Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Dell Venue 7 LTE
Dell Venue 7 LTE
Dell Venue 7 LTE
Dell Venue 7 LTE
Dell Venue 7 LTE
Dell Venue 7 LTE

Cameras

The webcam of Dell's Venue 7 LTE has a resolution of 1280x720 pixels and is only intended for video conferencing. It fulfills its purpose, but the color reproduction and sharpness are unsatisfactory.

The rear-facing, primary camera does a much better job. Its lens achieves resolutions of up to 5 MP (2560x1920 MP, 4:3). The pictures are agreeably focused in the center in good light, but the sharpness decreases towards the edges. The colors look balanced but have a light bluish cast. There is no flash so that pictures quickly become noisy and blurry in poor ambient light.

The camera records videos with up to 1920x1080 pixels (Full HD, 1080p). They are not compelling though. The pictures are affected by a light-grayish cast, and they do not look really focused. The audio quality is also only middling.

Dell Venue 7 LTE: primary camera
Dell Venue 7 LTE: primary camera
Dell Venue 7 LTE: webcam
Dell Venue 7 LTE: webcam
Canon EOS 70D: reference
Canon EOS 70D: reference


Accessories

The accessories Dell includes for its Venue 7 LTE does not reveal any surprises. Besides a modular power supply with a power output of 10 watts (5 volts, 2 Ampere), the manufacturer includes a USB cable and quick-start guide for the tablet. 

Dell optionally offers a case (46 Euros, ~$61) and a Bluetooth speaker with integrated battery (83 Euros, ~$110). Third-party accessories can also be used without problems.

Dell also offers a modular car charger.
Dell also offers a modular car charger.
The Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard can be used with the Venue 7. It features the American keyboard layout.
The Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard can be used with the Venue 7. It features the American keyboard layout.
An adapter is compulsory for connecting the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse via USB.
An adapter is compulsory for connecting the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse via USB.

Warranty

Dell's Venue 7 LTE comes with a 12-month warranty. Warranty upgrades for up to three years can be purchased optionally. An additional 155 Euros (~$207) is charged when combined with ProSupport. Theft or damage protection is also available and costs up to 100 Euros (~$133). Private customers within the EU also have the advantage of the standard European two-year warranty.

Input Devices & Controls

The capacitive touchscreen in Dell's Venue 7 LTE supports up to five gestures at the same time. Its gliding properties are decent, but we detected a minor bump that was not noticed adversely in practical use though. The inputs were also implemented accurately, and it was rarely necessary to reenter them because they apparently were not accepted.

Dell uses Google's standard layout for the virtual keyboard. It is very clearly arranged and allows reaching all commonly used characters without problems.

The power button and volume rocker are metal and feature a short drop. Their pressure point is very clear.

Portrait mode
Portrait mode
Landscape mode
Landscape mode

Display

The screen in Dell's Venue 7 is based on IPS technology. It has a 7-inch size and a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. That corresponds to an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a pixel density of approx. 216 ppi. Thus, most content is displayed sufficiently sharp and only very small-scaled texts degenerate to clumps of pixels.

The screen's maximum brightness of 294 cd/m² is not exceptional, and the illumination of 79% is also rather weak. However, this imbalance is only visible in single-colored contents. Yarvik's Xenta has an even lower brightness (max. 188 cd/m², 81%), and Asus' Fonepad is only marginally brighter (345 cd/m², 70%). The Nexus 7 does a better job (max. 549 cd/m², 87%) here.

248
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
266
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
294
cd/m²
293
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 294 cd/m²
Average: 265.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Center on Battery: 276 cd/m²
Black: 0.39 cd/m²
Contrast: 708:1

The black level of 0.39 cd/m² is within a decent range, and the contrast of 708:1 is also very good. Dell's Venue 7 still achieves the best rates in the comparison field here. The Nexus 7 (1.02 cd/m², 513:1) has to pay the price for its high brightness, and Asus' tablet (0.53 cd/m², 594:1) cannot quite compete here either.

The color accuracy is also good and does not show any major shortcomings. Both the mixed colors and the grayscale (both dE 5) do not exhibit any anomalies. Only a minor greenish cast can be measured, but it is not distracting in routine use.

Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)

The comparatively low brightness of the screen in Dell's Venue 7 struggles a bit in outdoor use. It is particularly difficult to recognize anything on the reflective screen in direct, bright sunlight. However, the good contrast ratio is noticed favorably under just light clouds. The brightness sensor functions very reliably and responds swiftly.

The Venue 7 in lightly overcast skies.
The Venue 7 in lightly overcast skies.
The reflections are kept within limits.
The reflections are kept within limits.

The viewing-angle stability of Dell's Venue 7 is really good. Opting for an IPS screen pays off here. A slight brightness loss is only noticed in very flat viewing angles. Apart from that, a minor IPS glow effect becomes visible at the screen's lower edge.

Viewing angles: Dell Venue 7 LTE
Viewing angles: Dell Venue 7 LTE

Performance

Dell's Venue 7 is powered by Intel's Atom Z3460 that is based on the latest Merrifield architecture. The dual-core processor clocks with a maximum of 1.6 GHz and is capable of Hyper-Threading, and thus it can process up to four threads simultaneously. 2 GB of working memory is also part of the bundle. A PowerVR G6400 is used for graphical computation. It clocks with 457 MHz. The version without LTE features the same configuration, but it only has a 1 GB RAM.

The SoC's pure processing power is not exactly tremendous but provides a decent system performance anyway. It cannot compete with swifter CPUs like the Snapdragon 800 or 801 though. That is primarily due to its much lower clock rate because its per-MHz performance is higher.

The graphics unit no longer comes from Intel itself, but now from Imagination Technologies. The PowerVR G6400 supplies an outstanding GPU performance and does not need to fear the competition. It is only defeated by current top GPUs like in the iPad Air (PowerVR G6430) or Galaxy S5 (Adreno 330 @ 578 MHz). The G6400 also supports OpenGL ES 3.1 which makes it quite future-proof. The poor scores in 3DMark are deceiving because they are only worse due to the CPU's slower performance.

AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
24471 Points ∼57%
Acer Iconia B1-721
12689 Points ∼30% -48%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG (4.0.4)
18062 Points ∼42% -26%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
34503 Points ∼80% +41%
Samsung Galaxy S5
37353 Points ∼87% +53%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
704 Points ∼20%
Acer Iconia B1-721
343 Points ∼10% -51%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
448 Points ∼13% -36%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
863 Points ∼25% +23%
Apple iPad Air
1479 Points ∼42% +110%
Samsung Galaxy S5
941 Points ∼27% +34%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
1174 Points ∼9%
Acer Iconia B1-721
646 Points ∼5% -45%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
1053 Points ∼8% -10%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
2622 Points ∼20% +123%
Apple iPad Air
2687 Points ∼21% +129%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2885 Points ∼22% +146%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
12268 Points ∼9%
Acer Iconia B1-721
2411 Points ∼2% -80%
Apple iPad Air
14858 Points ∼10% +21%
Samsung Galaxy S5
18367 Points ∼13% +50%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
15933 Points ∼6%
Acer Iconia B1-721
2109 Points ∼1% -87%
Apple iPad Air
18868 Points ∼7% +18%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19530 Points ∼7% +23%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
6797 Points ∼13%
Acer Iconia B1-721
4836 Points ∼9% -29%
Apple iPad Air
8520 Points ∼17% +25%
Samsung Galaxy S5
15198 Points ∼30% +124%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
23.6 fps ∼4%
Google Nexus 7 2013
16 fps ∼2% -32%
Acer Iconia B1-721
3 fps ∼0% -87%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
6.8 fps ∼1% -71%
Apple iPad Air
27 fps ∼4% +14%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.7 fps ∼4% +17%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
33.3 fps ∼56%
Google Nexus 7 2013
16 fps ∼27% -52%
Acer Iconia B1-721
6.2 fps ∼10% -81%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
12 fps ∼20% -64%
Apple iPad Air
21 fps ∼35% -37%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.8 fps ∼46% -17%

Legend

 
Dell Venue 7 Intel Atom Z3460, PowerVR G6400, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 7 2013 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
 
Acer Iconia B1-721 MediaTek MT8312, ARM Mali-400 MP, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Fonepad ME372CG Intel Atom Z2560, PowerVR SGX544MP2, 16 GB SSD
 
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB SSD
 
Apple iPad Air Apple A7, PowerVR G6430, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash

Internet browsing with Dell's Venue 7 is smooth. The preloaded Google Chrome Browser (version 36) ensures a swift performance that clearly outperforms some rivals. Only the Kindle Fire HDX 7 defeated the review sample.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
811 Points ∼13%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Android JB 4.2.2)
574 Points ∼9% -29%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
601 Points ∼10% -26%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
611 Points ∼10% -25%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
975 Points ∼16% +20%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5114 Points ∼21%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Android JB 4.2.2)
1477 Points ∼6% -71%
Sunspider - --- (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
866 ms * ∼22%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Android JB 4.2.2)
1390.4 ms * ∼35% -61%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
1078.1 ms * ∼27% -24%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1104.6 ms * ∼27% -28%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
563.9 ms * ∼14% +35%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
390 Points ∼27%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Android JB 4.2.2)
152 Points ∼11% -61%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
237 Points ∼17% -39%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
307 Points ∼21% -21%

* ... smaller is better

The user has 10 of the 16 GB eMMC flash storage available for free use. Multimedia data can additionally be saved on a microSD card should that not be enough. A maximum of 64 GB (SDXC) can be inserted.

The storage device's speed is also compelling. The Venue 7 is extremely fast particularly in sequential writing of data. It only exhibits average qualities in reading and writing small data blocks.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
140.99 MB/s ∼84%
Yarvik Xenta 7ic
Mali-400 MP4, RK3066, 8 GB SSD
16.71 MB/s ∼10% -88%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
50.02 MB/s ∼30% -65%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
59.73 MB/s ∼36% -58%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash
85.41 MB/s ∼51% -39%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
133.56 MB/s ∼80% -5%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
20.7 MB/s ∼36%
Yarvik Xenta 7ic
Mali-400 MP4, RK3066, 8 GB SSD
30.66 MB/s ∼53% +48%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
10.75 MB/s ∼19% -48%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
13.97 MB/s ∼24% -33%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash
14.22 MB/s ∼25% -31%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
22.1 MB/s ∼38% +7%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
10.66 MB/s ∼51%
Yarvik Xenta 7ic
Mali-400 MP4, RK3066, 8 GB SSD
13.56 MB/s ∼65% +27%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
10.6 MB/s ∼51% -1%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
11.99 MB/s ∼57% +12%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash
13.9 MB/s ∼66% +30%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
16.52 MB/s ∼79% +55%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
0.86 MB/s ∼29%
Yarvik Xenta 7ic
Mali-400 MP4, RK3066, 8 GB SSD
0.43 MB/s ∼15% -50%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
0.57 MB/s ∼20% -34%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
0.82 MB/s ∼28% -5%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash
0.89 MB/s ∼30% +3%
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB SSD
1.33 MB/s ∼46% +55%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - Memory Tests (sort by value)
Dell Venue 7
PowerVR G6400, Z3460, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5282 Points ∼92%
Asus Fonepad ME372CG
SGX544MP2, Z2560, 16 GB SSD
3698 Points ∼64% -30%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
2949 Points ∼51% -44%
Acer Iconia B1-721
Mali-400 MP, MT8312, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1659 Points ∼29% -69%

Games

The speedy PowerVR G6400 graphics unit is also very suitable for gaming. Because it supports OpenGL ES 3.1 and DirectX 10, even future titles will still look really good on Dell's Venue 7. Current 3D games like Asphalt 8 are no problem for the tablet either. We only noticed minor stuttering using ultra details (maximum) in The Descent that already relies on OpenGL ES 3.0.

The good touchscreen and the impeccably functioning accelerometer successfully round off the gaming fun.

FIFA 14
FIFA 14
Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Details should be reduced for The Descent.
Details should be reduced for The Descent.

Emissions

Temperature

Dell's Venue 7 LTE already gets lukewarm when idling and reaches a temperature of up to 36.5 °C. The temperatures only increase marginally under load though, and climb to a maximum of 40.3 °C. Neither rate is critical.

The contenders are roughly on par. Only the Nexus 7 is considerably warmer and reaches top rates of up to 45.8 °C in the comparison field.

Max. Load
 36.1 °C40.3 °C35.5 °C 
 32.7 °C33.2 °C32.8 °C 
 31.4 °C30.8 °C31.3 °C 
Maximum: 40.3 °C
Average: 33.8 °C
30.9 °C39.7 °C32.5 °C
30.7 °C31.3 °C31.7 °C
30.4 °C31.0 °C30.4 °C
Maximum: 39.7 °C
Average: 32.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  39.2 °C | Room Temperature 23.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The position of the speaker in Dell's Venue 7 is unfavorable and is quickly covered by a hand when held in landscape mode. The speaker's sound quality is only middling. It is permanently accompanied by light static noise, and the tones are also slightly distorted. Besides that, a cracking noise is heard occasionally. Users who turn up the volume will notice that the speaker's quality is on a consistently low level. The right settings in the MaxxAudio tool reduce these effects a bit, but they cannot prevent them.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Just the idle power consumption of Dell's Venue 7 LTE is quite high and ranges between 1.9 and 4.0 watts. Other tablets like Asus' Fonepad (0.7 - 1.9 watts) consume considerably less power.

However, the consumption does not climb much higher and reaches a maximum of 6.8 watts under permanent load. That is a very decent rate considering the strong GPU. The power supply's output of 10 watts is sufficient for that, and it is both TÜV (German Association for Technical Inspection) and GS (quality seal from TÜV) certified.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 1.9 / 3.8 / 4.0 Watt
Load 5.4 / 6.8 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The strong 4550 mAh in Dell's Venue 7 LTE enables very decent runtimes. Both the minimum and maximum rates are within a good range. Almost five hours of full load should be a particularly important criterion for enthusiastic players.

The tablet also scores particularly well in the standardized tests using a screen brightness of 150 cd/m². The Venue 7 manages to play a Full HD video for over nine hours. It is only defeated by the Kindle Fire HDX (10:53 h) in the Android division. Long Internet browsing sessions are also possible. None of the rivals in the comparison field achieve such a good time. Dell's Venue 7 LTE thus underlines its portability ambitions.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 52min
WiFi Surfing
8h 30min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 14min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 52min

Verdict

In review: Dell Venue 7 LTE. Review sample courtesy of Dell Germany
In review: Dell Venue 7 LTE. Review sample courtesy of Dell Germany

Dell has managed to create a good 7-inch tablet with its Venue 7 LTE. The device is particularly compelling in terms of battery runtimes and data connections. The combination of Google's Android 4.4 KitKat, ac Wi-Fi, and LTE are otherwise only found in more expensive products. The expandable storage of 16 GB is also well sized.

There are two sides to the screen. It could certainly be a bit brighter and have a more homogeneous illumination. Then again, the black level and contrast ratio are good. The color accuracy is also above average. Nevertheless, the screen in the Nexus 7 is a notch better and above all brighter.

Although the performance of the Merrifield Atom is only middling, the graphics power is impressive. Even if no top rates were achieved in the benchmarks, the available performance is very balanced and compelling. The speaker belongs to the weaker ones of its kind and was not convincing. We would recommend using headphones or an external speaker.

Dell's Venue 7 LTE will regrettably only be available by September 2014 in Europe at the earliest. Until then, potential buyers will have to be satisfied with the Wi-Fi version, which provides a good value-for-money ratio with 139 Euros, ~$185 (plus 15 Euros shipping, ~$20).

static version load dynamic

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In review: Dell Venue 7 LTE. Review sample courtesy of Dell Germany
In review: Dell Venue 7 LTE. Review sample courtesy of Dell Germany

Specifications

Dell Venue 7

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB, LPDDR3-1066
:: Graphics adapter
PowerVR G6400, Core: 457 MHz
:: Display
7.0 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, capacitive 5 point touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB , 10.34 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combo headphone and microphone jack, Card Reader: microSD max. 64 GB (SDXC, SDHC), Sensors: accelerometer and ambient light sensor, Miracast, Wireless Display, OTG
:: Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth, HSPA+, LTE
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9 x 192 x 118
:: Weight
0.295 kg Power Supply: 0.075 kg
:: Battery
17.29 Wh , 3.8 Volt, 4550 mAh
:: Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1 MP; primary camera: 5 MP, Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, modular power supply, USB cable, CamCard, Diagnose tool, Dropbox (20 GB for one year), MaxxAudio, PocketCloud, Polaris Office 5, 12 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Dell's Venue 7 LTE has a 7-inch touchscreen.
Dell's Venue 7 LTE has a 7-inch touchscreen.
Its resolution of 1280x800 pixels is sufficiently high.
Its resolution of 1280x800 pixels is sufficiently high.
The back offers a very good grip.
The back offers a very good grip.
The primary camera has a resolution of 5 MP.
The primary camera has a resolution of 5 MP.
The SIM and microSD slots are easy to reach.
The SIM and microSD slots are easy to reach.
The display bezel is quite pressure sensitive.
The display bezel is quite pressure sensitive.
The modular power supply has an output of 10 watts.
The modular power supply has an output of 10 watts.
Dell's Bluetooth speaker lasts for as long as 10 hours and offers decent sound for its size.
Dell's Bluetooth speaker lasts for as long as 10 hours and offers decent sound for its size.
Wireless keyboards can also be used.
Wireless keyboards can also be used.
The Venue 7 with plenty of optional accessories.
The Venue 7 with plenty of optional accessories.
One year of 20 GB Dropbox storage is included.
One year of 20 GB Dropbox storage is included.
Over 10 GB of unused internal storage is available.
Over 10 GB of unused internal storage is available.
Google Android 4.4.2 is preloaded.
Google Android 4.4.2 is preloaded.
Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
Basemark X 1.1 - High Quality
Basemark X 1.1 - High Quality
GFXBench 3.0
GFXBench 3.0
Anomaly 2 Benchmark - High Quality
Anomaly 2 Benchmark - High Quality
3DMark
3DMark
Vellamo 3
Vellamo 3
Basemark OS II
Basemark OS II
AnTuTu v4
AnTuTu v4
The MaxxAudio software primarily improves the quality of external speakers.
The MaxxAudio software primarily improves the quality of external speakers.
Browsermark 2.1
Browsermark 2.1
The touchscreen detects up to five gestures simultaneously.
The touchscreen detects up to five gestures simultaneously.
Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
WebXPRT 2013
WebXPRT 2013

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Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+High graphics power
+Expandable storage
+High-speed LTE
+ac-WiFi
+20 GB Dropbox storage (one year)
 

Cons

-Pressure sensitive display bezel
-Few sensors
-No App2SD support
-Weak speakers

Shortcut

What we like

Long battery runtimes and a decent performance. Besides that, cutting-edge communication modules are installed.

What we'd like to see

A slightly higher brightness and more homogeneous illumination would have certainly contributed to the otherwise great screen.

What surprises us

Since the tablet is advertised with MaxxAudio Technology that actually promises a fantastic sound experience, the inferior speaker surprised us.

The competition

Rivals are: Google Nexus 7, Acer Iconia B1-721, Asus Fonepad ME372CG, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Yarvik Xenta 7ic.

Rating

Dell Venue 7
08/05/2014 v4
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
75%
Keyboard
72 / 80 → 90%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
49 / 70 → 70%
Weight
86 / 88 → 96%
Battery
92%
Display
82%
Games Performance
60 / 80 → 75%
Application Performance
39 / 70 → 56%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
44 / 91 → 48%
Camera
57 / 85 → 67%
Average
71%
83%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Venue 7 LTE Tablet Review
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2014-08-12 (Update: 2014-08-12)