Tablet Tuesday : Smaller is better when it comes to #inteltablets

As I wrote last week, I’m participating in a special Intel program to where they allow people to experience their tablets. My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 wasn’t compatible with two key apps I use: Google Helpouts and Lynda.com. The gracious folks at Intel investigated the problem and confirmed that a Dell Venue 8” worked with both products. Since that product wasn’t released yet we opted for the Dell Venue 7” tablet.

The bad news was while Lynda.com worked with it (yeah!), Helpouts still didn’t work. Even worse, now Amazon Cloud Player won’t work — and it did on my Samsung. Arrgh. I’m waiting to hear back from Intel on this. Having experienced both the Samsung 10.1” tablet and the Dell 7” tablet, I was shocked to learn bigger isn’t better.
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I’m old school and think a big screen is the way to go. I love my iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 was a product very similar to my iPad. Since we also have an iPad Mini in the house I was able to spend a few days comparing and contrasting.
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I’m in love, and I mean love, with this Dell Venue 7”. Even if it doesn’t run Helpouts, I can live without it for now. There’s a few specific reasons for my new found love.

First, no offense to Samsung, but they do modify the Android OS quite a bit with their own apps and skin and their unique take on the OS. It’s not bad per se, it’s just not consistent with other non-Samsung products. My screen was filled with apps I didn’t necessarily want or need. The Dell came clean without any Dell stuff except for a logo at start. Heck it doesn’t even have Dell wallpaper. Nice! It does come with a bonus app called Pocket Cloud that competes with LogMeIn and other remote control programs; I have yet to try it. Considering that LogMein is $29.99 in Google Play, I’m likely to choose this option for remote access, at least for a while.

Second is the ergonomics. The tablet fits in one hand, easily. I can find the audio switches and the power button. The Samsung had a few extra buttons which were moderately annoying. On the Galaxy the door from the Micro SD card was a bit hard to open. This is easy on the Dell with a clear gap showing you both where to open it and how to insert the card. Putting the charger on the side rather than the top made it easier to use while charging.

Third is the cost. While $150.00 is nothing to sneeze at, it’s half the price of an iPad Mini. I’m comfortable taking it more places (see next paragraph) because if it breaks, you know it’s not the end of the world. I’m pretty careful with my stuff but I’ve always been very hesitant to take my iPad some places for fear of damage. The price makes it easy to replace if I do mess up, and it’s inexpensive enough that I would buy it as an enhancement to my digital life.

Finally, of course is the actual size. It simply fits everywhere. My iPhone is nice, but it’s hard to read in the kitchen and watching movies on it reminds me of my college days with the tiny portable TV I had to use (no Hulu or YouTube then). This 7” fits everywhere: safely in my gym bag or my coat pocket. I’m taking it more places because I can. My secret use right now, which shows my ADD, is to place it in the gap between my keyboard and monitor so I can get caught up on TV while checking email and my RSS feeds.

While I’m sad I can’t use Helpouts on this Dell and I liked the big screen on the Samsung, this Dell Venue isn’t a replacement for my iPad or my current devices but actually adds to my existing devices. I’m excited to take the Dell different places, and so far, considering most of my life is in the cloud, I don’t see myself missing out on my data.

DISCLOSUREIn exchange for two social media mentions and one blog post a week, I was gifted this tablet by Intel representatives I, however am free to say what I want beyond the scope of those requirements. Intel might provide me additional information or incentives and those will clearly be disclosed.

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