Dell Venue Pro tablets to ship in November with Window 8.1

Dell has unveiled the Venue Pro 8 and Venue Pro 11 Windows tablets, as part of its push to capitalise on the growing enterprise demand for portable devices.

The PC maker plans to attract businesses by offering users the full Windows 8.1 OS together with enterprise support and services packages.

Both tablets will support Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager, TPM 1.2 and include Dell's Data Protection software allowing IT admins to enforce and manage encryption remotely.

The Venue Pro 11 starts at 349 ex VAT, but pricing for the Venue Pro 8 is TBC.

The key differences between the Venue Pro 8 and Pro 11 are the form factor, configuration options and price.

Venue Pro 8

Recognising the demand for pocket friendly tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Dell has introduced an 8in form factor.

There's an 8in IPS display packed into the 8.9mm chassis, which has a 1,280 x 800 resolution. The tablet is powered by Intel's latest quad-core Atom processor range, which was developed under the Bay Trail code name. The sample we previewed had its cores running at 1.33GHz and was paired with 2GB of RAM.

Dell includes a copy of Office 2013 Home and Student, so users can get access to basic productivity software out-of-the-box. The 8in tablet is also tipped to provide between 8 and 10 hours of battery life but it's not swappable.

The Venue Pro 8 has support for dual-band Wi-Fi, Miracast and Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi). Dell also confirmed that HSPA+ will be optional, but there's no 4G support in this generation.

Dell said it will start shipping the 8in tablet on 19 November, and pricing will be announced in the coming weeks.

Venue Pro 11

Windows 8 tablet uptake in the enterprise is yet to take-off, but with Microsoft securing a sizeable 11,000 unit order for the Surface 2 from Delta Air Lines, this could all be about to change.

Dell aims to entice users with the the Venue Pro 11 - a 10.8in tablet with a full HD 1080p resolution.

There are more configuration options with this model. Admins/BYOD users can choose between an efficient, low-powered Atom processor for longer battery life, or Core i3/i5 chips with vPro and 8GB of RAM if they want to use it as a laptop replacement, Griffin suggested.

The Venue Pro 11 also includes NFC support and the 10-hour battery is removable. Fingerprint/smartcard readers are available as extras.

Dell offers a range of accessories for the Pro 11 including a choice of keyboard attachments, stylus and a dock. The Mobile Keyboard includes a battery that can turn the device into a laptop and boost usage by up to 80 per cent. The Slim Keyboard is similar to Microsoft's Touch Cover, which acts as a rudimentary keyboard, stand and cover.

The Venue Pro 11 will be available from the 7 November, starting at 349 ex VAT and delivery.

Following on from its first Windows 8 tablet, the Latitude 10, Dell says it took customer feedback on board when resurrecting the Venue range.

"Customers told us over the last year that they love the mobility of tablet devices, but in some cases where they're looking to use them as standalone devices, they want to have a bit more performance out of the product. So we took that advice on board," Adam Griffin, global product manager of mobile devices at Dell said, during the product's launch.

Griffin added Dell has worked to produce long-lasting devices that are not only secure and manageable, but are visually appealling too.

Dell has also refreshed its XPS laptop range. This highlight of this is the XPS 11, which the firm claims is the thinnest, lightest 2-in-1 on the market, and which includes a Quad HD display (2560 x 1440).

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.