It’s awesome the Dell Venue Pro 8, runs the full version of Windows 8.1, comes with Student Office and an 11 hour battery life.  There was a deal through Microsoft but I missed it so I bought it from the Microsoft Store for $299, and that is a STEAL!

Pros:

  • Size, fits in your hand nicely
  • Weight: Light
  • Camera: 5 Megapixels
  • Comes with Office Home and Student version, that you have to load from the internet
  • Screen Resolution: Sharp as a tack
  • Runs Visual Studio
  • Runs Office and Office is supplied
  • 2 Gigs of memory works well for the 32 bit O/S Windows 8.1 Home version

Cons:

  • Drive: 32 Gigs, although there is a 64 available from Dell, I overcome this by add a 64 Gig SD drive, $39.99 from Fry’s
  • Screen Resolution: 1280 by whatever, makes the “Desktop” kind of hard to read, but the sharpness of the screen overcomes many ills
  • Micro USB only mechanical output: Overcame this problem by buying at the Microsoft Store a MicrosUSB to VGA adapter, $34.99.  Got a convertor from MicroUSB to regular USB for $4.99 from Fry’s.
  • Screen Glare: Still can compete with the low resolution non-glare screen of a Kindle Paperwhite for reading outdoor, otherwise the screen is very well done.
  • Doesn’t support DirectX 11.2 (wow, big deal)

Uses:

  • Reader, this system does PDFs and Kindle nicely, with the 11 hours it is fine for a long period of reading, taking notes using OneNote is a big help instead of the process on a Kindle PaperWhite
  • Note taker: Using the extended capacitive pen ($25 from Dell, you can’t use other pens)  this device is just like the pen driven devices like the Surface Pro and is pressure sensitive
  • Sketching using Fresh Paint, well I won’t throw away my water colors just yet, but it’s close!
  • Spreadsheets: Works nicely, just increase the size of the sheet
  • Word Processing: On board keyboard is not really good for this, but add a Bluetooth and it’s fun
  • PowerPoint: Easy to work with!
  • OneNote: This system is built for OneNote!

Recommendation:

Buy!  This is just the stocking stuffer anyone wants, except for the diehard iPad user.  This is a full up working tool that will run the most demanding software, except for 3D rendering.

For $299 you can’t beat this device.  Get a few, and give them away for Christmas.