The 2-in-1 market is really heating up, with excellent veterans like the Lenovo Yoga line and the Microsoft Surface Pro line mixing it up with promising new devices like the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi. Now, Dell has their on take on the 2-in-1 market, and it’s breaking from its competitors in one major way—operating system.
2-in-1 devices are almost always Windows devices, mostly because it was the dual-OS concept behind Windows 8 that spurred 2-in-1 development in the first place. But, Dell is taking things in another direction with their new Venue 10 7000, instead using Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The choice of operating system matches up well with the system specs, which make the Venue 10 7000, in essence, a 10″ tablet packaged with a Bluetooth keyboard. The device is powered by a quad-core 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor, which is one of the latest from Intel’s line of tablet-optimized processors—notably, not the 2-in-1 friendly Core M processor, which we’re seeing in most new Windows-based 2-in-1s. So, while you will be able to use the Venue 10 7000 as a laptop, it’s not going to give you the kind of processing power you’re used to with a traditional laptop, especially with only 2 GB of RAM. But, if you’re just looking for an Android device that you can get some work done on once in a while, then the Venue 10 7000 looks like it’ll give you everything you want.
Speaking of giving you what you want, the 10.5″ 2560 x 1600 OLED display is about as good as you can reasonably expect from a device of this size, and might actually be better than necessary. Another cool addition is the 8 MP Intel RealSense Camera on the back, which can record depth information in your pictures, opening up a host of advanced editing possibilities. There’s also a 2 MP camera on the front for video calls and tablet selfies, if you must.
The standard set of tablet connectivity options are here—802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and Miracast. The lack of ports is a little disappointing, as there’s only a Micro USB port, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. For audio, there are dual front-firing stereo speakers backed by MaxxAudio Waves processing. The battery is pretty big at 7,000 mAh, but it needs to be to support that high-end display and audio. Hopefully the use of Android and a mobile-friendly processor will mean that battery life doesn’t suffer too much.
While the Dell Venue 10 7000 purports to be a 2-in-1 device, the media-friendly specs and design remind us more of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, a dedicated and versatile entertainment machine. While it doesn’t have the extras that the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro did, it certainly matches up in terms of looks, using the barrel edge that Lenovo popularized. The barrel edge on one side should allow for a better grip when using the Venue 10 7000 as a tablet, and is also what makes room for such a large battery. Dell has arguably improved on the design here, making the barrel edge fit seamlessly with an optional Bluetooth keyboard that allows you to use the tablet more like a 2-in-1.