Review round-up: The Dell Venue 8 7000 – the World’s thinnest tablet?

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Did Dell make crappy laptops? Some loved them, love hated them. But it now seems our experiences of Dell’s products can be put to one side, with the arrival of a statement-making 8-inch Android tablet – The Dell Venue 8 7000, proudly marketed as “the world’s thinnest tablet”.

So it’s definitely got our attention, but what’s the word on the street about the Venue 8 7000?

Wired, we have to admit, aren’t overly impressed. Citing the 8 7000’s new Intel processor, stylish features, unusual accessories, and a three-camera array, assets which are supposed to “blow you away”, the only aspect of the tablet that ‘does it’ for Wired is its beautiful design – sleek and slim, which at an incredible 6mm, could possibly be thinner than the iPhone 6. Despite its waif measurements and weighing just half a pound, the tablet still feels sturdy, pines Wired.

Innovative Intel Processor

Running the latest, cutting-edge Intel processor, the Venue has theoretically the perfect processor for a PC-style setup in a tablet form, writes Wired. However, the important word here is theoretically. Whilst the battery is impressively powerful and PC-like, little things like a game defaulting to inferior graphics and the multitasking menu stutters opening, are of concern to the Wired reviewer.

So mixed feelings about the Venue 8 7000 for Wired, but does the Dell tablet fare better with The Verge?

Super thin but “surprisingly solid” writes The Verge, but if only “better than the rest” counted for more!

Not a great start to the review and even less so when we learn that there’s only really two reasons why anyone should part with their money for the Venue 8 7000 – its design and its camera array.

So what about this elusive three-camera array?

Flip the Venue 8 7000 over and you’ll see three camera sensors, note the Verge. The sensors work together to form a depth-sensoring array. The first is an 8-megapixel camera which take the images, while the other two 720p cameras measure distance and determine depth information. This enables the user to get creative with photography by doing tricks such a blurring the background or isolating the subject in colour and making the background black and white. The camera even acts as a digital tape measure, informing the user of the measurements of the items in the frame.

Sounds impressive but, disappointingly, according to the Verge, the Venue 8 7000’s ‘special’ camera is reason not to buy this device. Why? Its standard 8-megapixel camera isn’t great, nor is trying to hold the device to take the photos!

Computer World seems a lot more upbeat about the Dell Venue 8 7000, referring to it as a “distinctive and premium Android tablet.”

This “distinctively stylish” tablet has some “unusually compelling” qualities, writes Computer World.

One such quality is the tablet’s impressive speakers which produce crystal clear sound. The 8 7000 is “consistently snappy” has “respectable stamina”, useful feature enhancements and clean and intuitive UI. On the downside, Computer World is critical of the tablet’s limited on-board storage

So what’s the overall verdict? Well the Dell Venue 8 7000 has certainly got the thumbs up for its super thin, sleek yet sturdy design but what seems to be a consistent let down is its camera, which, ironically, is the one component Dell probably worked the hardest on.

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And the price? The Dell Venue 8 7000 starts at £326, which is hardly a bank breaking price tag.

Dell outlines its future vision of the Cloud

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Cloud computing from Dell has been a mouth-watering prospect for tech geeks for a few years now. It is viewed by many as next wave of information technology for individuals, companies and governments. It is also seen as the biggest revolution in how we share information electronically since the birth of the internet.

So, just what can be achieved with all this extra storage space? How can businesses benefit going forward and what can we expect from it in the future? The Cloud World Forum was held in London recently where all this and more filled the agenda. To get a flavour of what was being discussed check out Dell’s video to hear industry leaders give their views.

One thing that is not in dispute is that the cloud’s popularity is all set to grow both in business and in our day-to-day lives. Here are some of the ways we can expect it to shape the future and improve our day to day lives.

Improve education

Classrooms are already embracing the cloud and its many benefits. It allows students to access data anywhere and anytime to participate in group activities and makes it easier to enrol for classes online or for other organisational programs needed for school.

Computing will become invisible

Pretty soon computers and software will become “invisible” in that they are hidden from view. We may simply have to make gestures and a camera will interpret those and provide us what we need, or we simply have to say it. If all this seems a bit James Bond, the capabilities of cloud computing make it a realistic ambition in the not too distant future.

Gaming will become popular with everyone

The cloud offers to enhance all areas of technology and none more so than in gaming. Gamers have been marvelling at demos with complex 3-D graphics delivered to mobile devices through the cloud. While some technical wrinkles remain, players can now enjoy breathtaking gaming experiences anywhere because of the cloud’s power to provide higher speed without interruption.

Improve decision making

The cloud allows you to process large amounts of data from just about anywhere, even just with the use of a Smartphone. You can combine data and streams of information to inform your decisions, research any topic and make smarter decisions with your analysed data.

Source

ThoughtsOnCloud.com and Onyx.net

 

The words and opinions above were provided by a third party, and as such this should be considered a ‘sponsored post’.

Dell’s BYOD campaign aims to increase workplace productivity

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There is no denying that today’s world is heavily connected – almost everyone has some form of internet-connected device, be it a phone, laptop or tablet. Dell’s newest campaign for workplace innovation drives to increase productivity from this connectivity.

Dubbed the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) campaign, the company aims to enlighten businesses across the world on how using a device from home not only increases productivity, but also wants to demonstrate the scheme’s potential in improving working life for all. Dell quotes that BYOD could extend productivity hours by 460 a year per employee, as the scheme would allow each employee to bring their projects home in addition to developing them in the workplace.

However, embracing a BYOD scheme does not come without its risks. Of course, by allowing your employees to bring their own devices into the workplace, you could open up your business to potential dangers. For example, computers infected with malware could cause huge amounts of damage if your network is not sufficiently protected. Dell has further encouraged businesses to take up BYOD by providing ways to guard against these dangers. Dell is launching Mobility Solutions, which, according to the company will allow businesses to “welcome employee-owned devices in the workplace without putting company data at risk”.

Previously, companies would secure their networks by providing devices for their employees to use, controlling what these devices could access and regularly checking them for harmful data. Dell’s Mobility Solutions will allow devices into business networks securely, where protected resources can be accessed to aid with business tasks. This means a great change for businesses that formerly provided working devices – rather than paying for these devices to be provided, employees can bring their devices from home with ease.

Dell’s Mobility Solutions will also provide “complete endpoint protection, secures company and customer data, and supports the system disk and external media”. This means while there will be many devices accessing potentially sensitive business data including customer information, this can all be securely held, with no risk of this data being accidentally leaked or lost. Loss of data can be a real headache for many businesses, so this protection will prove invaluable to those using BYOD in the workplace.

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Screenshot from Dell’s BYOD Infographic

The company also wants to improve the way that devices function while being used in the workplace – Mobility Solutions provides  Desktop Virtualization, which allows connected computer devices such as laptops to sync with company services and receive a workplace version of system OS, files and media straight from the cloud. Employees can then get on with their work as if they were using an office desktop. This data is kept on secure servers, so business information is not vulnerable.

Dell have created a brand-new infographic which is called Bring Your Own Device Derek, which explains the BYOD concept in more detail.

 

We worked with Dell in creating this post. The words and opinions above are ours, however this should be considered a ‘sponsored post’. Image courtesy of Patrick Quinn-Graham.

5 Desktop PCs for under £500

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In this smartphone and tablet-powered era, the traditional desktop PC is looking rather antiquated. Moore’s Law continues to facilitate the development of smaller and smaller devices, and even laptops – historically the most functional of business tools – are becoming slimline and cool, with fully rotating screens that can also be detached as standalone devices.

Against this streamlined assault, the time-honoured desk-mounted black box is looking like an endangered species. To investigate whether rumours of the desktop’s demise have been exaggerated, Latest Gadgets has assembled a top five list of PCs that can be purchased for less than £500 – the price of a mid-level tablet – to see whether there’s life in the old warhorse yet.

Acer Aspire XC/TC series
Unveiled last week, Acer’s AMD-powered PCs come in desktop (XC) and micro-tower (TC) guises, with a stylish exterior far removed from the drab boxes of yore. TC models nod to progress by featuring a recess on top where tablets and smartphones can rest, although these computers still pack plenty of punch, with up to 16GB of memory and the ability to get users online in 2.5 seconds.
Price: between £279.99 and £599.99, from stockists including Amazon and John Lewis

Dell Inspiron 660
Let’s be honest, Dell is probably the first name that springs to mind in terms of black-box PC towers, and their Inspiron range of desktops has powered countless homes and offices over the years. The 660 is pretty uninspiring aesthetically, but it retaliates through the sheer brute force of its specifications, including a 1TB hard drive, the newest Intel Core i5 processor, and 4GB of RAM.
Price: £449 when bought from the Dell website

HP Pavilion p6
HP have been keeping pace with the industry trend-setters, and their Pavilion p6 incorporates some features that will attract knowing nods from cognoscenti. For one thing, Beats Audio is installed, with support for 7.1 surround sound, while the p6 can even be controlled remotely via an Android or iOS app from your tablet or smartphone. Two HD ports and 6GB of RAM reinforce its appeal.
Price: £449.99 from PC World (current discounted price)

Lenovo H520
With its brushed-steel-effect frontage and compact dimensions, Lenovo’s H520 series is probably the desktop to choose if you’re going to be looking at it all day, rather than hiding it out of sight. Price is another H520 strength, retailing at less than £430 despite a spec list that encompasses a 3 GHz clock speed, a terabyte hard drive, built-in wifi, and Lenovo’s proprietary content management software.
Price: £429.99 from Currys

ADMI FX-4100
Gamers may be spoiled for choice on tablets nowadays, but complex games require sophisticated hardware, and ADMI’s player-friendly tower fits the bill nicely. That striking red exterior houses a 4 GHz Intel processor, a 2GB graphics card and a 1TB hard drive, as well as full 1080p HDMI output. Uniquely among this round-up, it comes with Windows 7, but the price point is impressive nonetheless.
Price: £414.95 from Amazon (at time of writing)

XPS 18 – Dell’s Thinnest and Lightest All-in-One

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What do you get when you cross a laptop with a desktop PC and a tablet? If you’re imagining a bit of a mess, then you’d be completely on the wrong tracks, because that is just what Dell’s new XPS 18 is. All the portability of a laptop, with the trappings of a tablet and power of a desktop.

Connect the tablet device to a wireless keyboard and mouse and you have a laptop, or alternatively you can set up a special stand that allows it to take centre stage on any desktop. Versatile? Yep, you can check those boxes.

Whilst the majority of tablets with large screens (the XPS 18, taking after its name, comes with an 18.4-inch HD touchscreen display) tend to be rather bulky and on the heavy side, the XPS 18 is neither. Both thin and light clocking in at 5ibs, the All-in-One (AIO) is less than half the weight of its competitors on the market-place.

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With an aluminium backed finish, you can be confident that the XPS 18 is also designed to take a few knocks whilst on the go, and the versatility it offers means you can use it no matter if you are in the office, on the train or at home in the living room. The battery life of nearly five hours between charging means you are not restricted in terms of where you use it, making it a truly portable device.

Based upon third generation Intel Core processors together with seamless integration of the new Windows 8 operating system, the XPS 18 also represents good value for money, with a recommended retail price of only £849 when it goes on sale on April 16th.

Visit Dell for more information and to reserve one for yourself before the official release date.

Park life: Dell announce XPS One 27, XPS Duo 12 and XPS 10

Not long after breakfast this morning, we headed to Dell’s ‘TechnologyPark’ in IFA to discover what announcements they had in store. Having found all the deck chairs occupied and not much space available on the ‘grass’ – we propped ourselves up next to a couple of neglected Vostro desktops.

After a brief introduction by Dell EMEA President Aongus Hegarty, the job of unveiling the latest XPS products fell to Sam Burd, the firm’s Global VP of Personal Computing. The first revelation of the morning was that the “XPS comes in S, M, L… and now XL” – which referred to the launch of the XPS One 27 – a large all-in-one (AIO) PC with a large 27-inch wide quad-HD touchscreen display. It also comes with Infinity Premium speakers and Waves MaxxAudio 4 audio technology.

Next up, under the headline of ‘convertibles have always been more fun’ (presumably not said by someone who lived through this year’s rainy summer), was the XPS Duo 12, a tablet-cum-notebook complete with a full HD touchscreen which rotates on a flip-hinge to swap between the two modes – pretty similar to the Inspiron Duo which won a design & engineering award back at CES 2011. The Duo 12 is made from premium materials including machined aluminium and carbon fibre, as well as Corning Gorilla glass for durability.

The final announcement was the XPS 10 – which on first impressions appeared to be a 10-inch version of the company’s existing XPS laptop range. That was until, in a slightly corny way, Aongus jumped back on to the stage to reveal that it was in fact a laptop/tablet combo (a laptab? or laplet?). The ARM-processor based XPS 10 will use the Windows RT operating system.

All of these three new XPS products will be made available for sale following the launch of Windows 8 and therefore are expected towards the end of October. Pricing has not been released at this stage.

Update: Here is our video showing a quick 360 of the Dell Duo 12:

Alienware X51: Big things in a small package

There are some people to whom gaming is not just a game. You know who you are. And you know deep down that it’s *just* a game right? You can have a really engaging round of tiddlywinks if you have the right people. I know you’re shaking your head in disgust so I’ll tell what you want to hear. If you crave power, performance and dizzyingly high framerates from your gaming “rig” and are not fooled by the so called charms of the outside world then you will want an Alienware system atop your desk. But despite all the elxir, gamers are getting older and having to think about things like clutter in the living room. Whilst they might crave a “beast” compromises with the other half have to me made. And for these people Alienware are proud to present the Alienware X51 – a comparatively dinky high-end performance rig for PC gaming.

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The Alienware X51 is Dell smallest gaming desktop ever and crams 1080p high definition and 3D gaming into a new, smaller chassis so that at the flick of a switch, nearly any living space, from the living room to the dorm room, turns into an entertainment and gaming mecca.

The Alienware X51 allows us to bring the exciting nature of high-definition, immersive gaming within reach of more gamers than ever before. With the X51, we’ve expanded our gaming desktop offering to cater to all gamers in addition to our core enthusiast and competitive gamers. Now everyone can enjoy the latest games on a sleek, powerful, compact and customisable system. The X51 desktop delivers an incredible feature set for its size and price.
Arthur Lewis, vice-president, Alienware and Product Management for Consumer, Small and Medium Business.

So what’s inside? The Alienware X51 features powerful 2nd generation Intel Core i processors, NVIDIA GeForce GT or optional GTX class graphics cards for intense gaming performance, Wireless-N technology for easy Internet access, HDMI 1.4 for connecting to 3D TVs and watching 3D Blu-ray movies (optional extra obviously), two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports for fast data transfer, High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio and GDDR5 graphics memory.

At its entry-level configuration with a Core i3 processor, 4GB memory , 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 545 graphics, and a 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive, the X51 clocks in qt at £699 including VAT and delivery.

Dell’s XPS 14z laptop: Professionally snazzy

Dell recently unveiled its XPS 14z laptop, and it is one of the thinnest in the brand’s history. This delightful model features a 14-inch display in a 13-inch body, an internal optical drive and comforting, discrete graphics option. This is the latest move from Dell made to create a series of powerful solutions that include a snazzy range of thin laptops, desktops and accessories.

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The XPS 14z delivers a strong performance, and it’s design is pretty darn hot as well. Despite it’s sleek and intelligent looks, passionate professionals need not worry because the model still packs in all of the energy one would need for a busy and hectic office day before time spent chillaxing (yeah, we think it’s a good word) in the evenin’ with this system’s HD screen to watch movies or video. Style as well as substance, good eh? It’s got pretty much everything you could possible want; we think. And erm, we should know.

This one is also available with second-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, an HD WLED display for entertainment purposes, a slot-load optical drive and NVIDIA graphics option along with all the usual suspects ready to rock your tech-starved existence: the backlit, spill-resistant Chiclet keyboard and built-in 1.3MP HD webcam with dual array digital microphones and stereo speakers – ever handy!

“The XPS 14z delivers what professionals want – raw power paired with a stunning, sophisticated design that signals ‘I’ve arrived’,” says Steve Felice, president of Dell’s Consumer and Small/Medium Business group. “The XPS 14z is specifically engineered to help our customers do more in their personal and professional lives – and it advances our industry-leading vision for thin-and-powerful solutions that deliver performance without compromise.”

The 14-inch HD display easily fits into a 13-inch laptop form factor – while offering 10 per cent more viewing area than a 13.3-inch display. It will be easy to manage for most people, weighing in at 4.36 pounds, sliding through at less than an inch thin with an anodised-aluminium finish, this thing is about as sophisticated as it’s marketed to be, and with up to six hours, 49 minutes of battery life, it will see that you stay safely “in the loop” with your commitments at work, home and abroad from wherever you are without causing stress.

Sam Burd, vice president of Dell’s Consumer and Small/Medium Business product group says: “With the XPS 14z, our challenge was to build a laptop that provided customers the performance and portability that they need, with the design and finish they desire.”

This light beast also comes with the Dell Stage user interface, which offers one-click access to content including music, photos and video – swish! Meanwhile, SyncUP powered by Nero can keep content and personal information synced with other Stage-enabled Dell PCs and mobile devices within a home wi-fi network.

The XPS 14z laptop will be available November 15 in the United Kingdom priced from £799 through www.dell.co.uk.