Intel’s fanless Core M chip is powering a Surface Pro-style Dell tablet


There’s a new competitor to the Surface Pro 3, not that Microsoft will mind. Like Microsoft’s hybrid, Dell’s updated Venue 11 Pro packs full laptop power in a tablet, and plugs into various keyboard docks and covers to become a professionally oriented workstation.

The Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series — a catchy name consumers will love — starts at $799, and for that price, you’ll get a 2GHz Intel Core M processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal flash storage powering a 10.8-inch 1080p OLED touchscreen. That compares well to the entry-level Surface Pro 3, which has a superior (on paper) 12-inch 2160 x 1440 touchscreen, the same RAM and storage, but a less powerful Intel Core i3 processor.


Like the Surface, there are a variety of component upgrades available, including one model with a built-in LTE modem. Unlike the Surface Pro, however, [company]Dell[/company] will be including a tablet keyboard case with the entry-level model — which is arguably a $110 value, and in my opinion, are essential for the dual-use flexibility that these kind of tablet-laptop hybrids advertise.

Tablets that function as laptops (with a keyboard case) or desktops (with a dock) are important to watch as Windows 10 continues to blur the line between touch interfaces and the traditional keyboard and mouse.

Dell makes other tablets that can run a full version of Windows 8, like the Venue 8 Pro my colleague Kevin Tofel likes. But the key to the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 is that instead of an inexpensive [company]Intel[/company] Atom chip, it’s using Intel’s new Core M processors, which are built on a new Broadwell design and provide tablets with a processor powerful enough for a laptop but doesn’t require a fan.

It’s safe to say that Dell making a Surface Pro-style tablet won’t be ruffling feathers at Microsoft, which has sometimes called the Surface a “reference design” for its hardware partners to emulate. I’m sure there are Surface fans eager for a Core M-equipped Surface Pro, and it looks like they’ll have to wait until next year. But starting November 11, you can check out a sweet Dell tablet that does essentially the same thing.




Price will dictate success. Hard to see how successful these will be at prices.


Great specs! Very poor design, Dell! Wish it had the bodily design of the Llmala Mountain.


Looks just like the Samsung ATIV smart pc pro 700t, another mouthful of a name.

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