Dell has refreshed its Venue 11 Pro 7000 series hybrid tablet, updating both its internals and its external design. Like its predecessor, the new machine has a lot in common with Microsoft’s Surface Pro, straddling the line between tablet and notebook.
While the Venue 11 Pro is a business focused product, we found a lot to like about its predecessor from a consumer point of view. Its small size meant that we weren’t completely comfortable recommending it as a laptop replacement, but we lauded its great display, powerful speakers and solid design.
The new machine doesn’t make any radical changes to the existing form-factor, but opts instead to refine it a little. The original system wasn’t overly bulky, but the revision is notably thinner, slimming it down by 15 percent to a thickness of 10.75 mm (0.42 in).
Dell has replaced the Intel Core i3 and i5 chips found in the original model, with the more efficient dual core Core M 5Y10a processor. The switch not only makes an undisclosed improvement to battery life, but also allows for a quieter, fanless design.
The 10.8-inch display has 1080p resolution with 204 pixels per inch and weighs in at 1.62 lbs (0.7 kg). The system runs on Windows 8.1, with a healthy 4 GB RAM and will be offered in 64 and 128 GB SSD variants. There’s also a microSD card slot included, as well as a single USB 3.0, and HDMI-out.
Given that the Venue 11 Pro is a business-oriented machine, it’s no surprise that extra security measures are available, including two-factor authentication with an integrated fingerprint scanner and SmartCard reader. Users can pick up an optional digitizer pen for pressure sensitive input, and the updated device will work with both the Slim and battery-packing Mobile keyboards from the previous model, with the latter reportedly adding an extra 10 hours battery life to the device.
The new Venue 11 Pro starts at US$699 for the 64 GB model, with the Slim keyboard included in that price. It’s scheduled to start shipping November 11.