CPU Performance

The Venue 8 is a unique device among the Android devices that we have tested. While most Android smartphones and tablets employ ARM based SoCs, Dell has opted to use Intel's Atom Z3580 processor. Z3580 is part of Intel's Moorefield line, built on Intel's 22nm process and sporting four Silvermont cores with a max burst frequency of 2.33GHz. To test CPU performance we turn to our standard web based benchmarks, along with Basemark OS II. For our 2015 benchmark suite we've removed Sunspider as it's become too much of an optimization target.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)

The Z3580 performs very well in all of our web based benchmarks. Its scores are in the same range as devices with Apple's A8 and NVIDIA's Tegra K1 which currently hold the best scores of the devices we've tested.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - OverallBasemark OS II 2.0 - SystemBasemark OS II 2.0 - MemoryBasemark OS II 2.0 - GraphicsBasemark OS II 2.0 - Web

The performance in Basemark OS II is a mixed bag when compared to the consistently good results from our web benchmarks. We see fairly good performance in the web and memory sections of the benchmark, but less impressive scores in the system and graphics categories. This leads to an overall score that sits in the middle of the results from other devices we've tested.

Whether a tablet's performance is acceptable or not will often be based largely on how much the tablet costs. Class leading performance can't really be expected from inexpensive tablets, and for expensive ones having class leading performance is a must. At $399, the Venue 8 is priced at the same point as the Nexus 9, and it trades blows with it across our different tests. With generational improvements to their processors, it's not hard to imagine Intel becoming a major performance leader in the mobile space. Performance isn't the only metric considered when a manufacturer is deciding on the processor for their device, but I wouldn't be surprised if we end up seeing more design wins for Intel in the future.

Device Performance

A device's performance in benchmarks is a fairly objective measurement of performance, but it may not necessarily be representative of how a device actually feels to a user. Issues with performance in the real world can fall under many categories, which range from long loading times to stutters and sluggish framerates. The "jank" that has historically existed on Android devices has typically fallen under the latter category rather than the former. With each iteration of Android, Google has made improvements to this perceived smoothness in the Android interface. The recently released Android Lollipop brought large increases to framerates in many key areas, but the Venue 8 ships with KitKat and can not take advantage of them.

Unfortunately, the Android 4.4 KitKat experience on the Venue 8 is not always as free from jank as one would expect based on its CPU performance. Many issues manifest themselves as stutters or drops in framerate, even in common animations like bring down the notification shade and rotating the device. Turning on any live wallpapers is also guaranteed to bring the animations in the launcher well below 60fps, and even below 30fps. Many scrolling lists also suffer from the jank that was commonly seen on pre-Lollipop versions of Android. It's unfortunate that the Venue 8 didn't ship with Lollipop, as I don't think I would have to discuss performance issues like these if it had. Hopefully a Lollipop update arrives for the Venue 8 soon.

Introduction GPU and NAND Performance
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  • Murloc - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    1. comfort and ergonomics (seating position, not having to hold it up, big screen and audio without spending even more $$$ in wireless gizmos)
    2. speed of writing and clicking when browsing the internet
    Reply
  • WereCatf - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    As for comfort: I'd say it's actually a plus for tablets that you can use them in all sorts of positions and not be restricted to seated positions. As for "big screen:" not all activities require a big screen. If you always insist on doing everything on a big screen then that's on you, but obviously many people don't. Writing is faster on a proper keyboard, sure, but I don't see how clicking is any faster.

    Besides, nothing you said actually answer the question I asked: why is using a tablet specifically at home so ridiculous compared to using it elsewhere?
    Reply
  • darkich - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Thise arguments are utterly ridiculous.
    Have you ever actually used a tablet?

    An 8" tablet is PERFECTY usable in a sitting position, its screen provides a perfectly natural focal area size from that viewing distance, when held on top of the lap.
    Reading articles is in fact far superior than on a laptop even in that position since:
    1}) articles are usually formatted towards visual focus of the eye(columns) and portrait screen of a tablet is a perfect fit for a column.
    If you still fail to see the obvious and dont get why tablets are far better and convenient way for reading than a laptop is ,let me ask you - how many books and magazines have you read on a laptop??.
    2) tablet screens are superior to laptop(unless you want to compare a $1300 laptop with a $400 tablet) screens in terms of quality.
    3) tablet is incomparably more manageable and confortable to handle than a laptop due to vast weight and size differences.
    4) tapping and swipping >>> using a touchpad for scrolling and clicking
    Reply
  • p1esk - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    I've read a ton of pdfs (books and papers) on a laptop. I tend to agree with your points, however, one thing a laptop has got going for it is the screen size. On my 15" MBP I can display two pages at a time. Alternatively, when a text is really dense (some papers), on a 8" tablet the font is simply too small to read comfortably without zooming in all the time (with your zoom resetting every time you turn a page. Reply
  • darkich - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Yeah I don't disagree with your points either, all you say stands but doesn't counter what I said.
    For some complex and rich context, a top notch laptop like MBP is a natural fit, but overall, Internet is about reading, and for reading a tablet will always be a more natural fit than a laptop.

    It is no coincidence that devices specialized for reading have 6" screens, and are about as light as a magazine.
    I actually by far prefer to surf on my Note 3(despite having an 8" tablet also) ..all context can be easily managed with one hand, and the screen is just the right size to cover the visual focus from one ft distance.
    Reply
  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Ah. You're on 'our side' lol. I misread. I love my Note 4 too. But pick up an iPad mini retina. The second iteration is a bargain right now and it's not much heavier than your Note
    But it's a HELLUVA lot easier to read whe your eyes get tired (I'm 44 & retina, HiDPI displays have changed everything for me when it comes to Legibility & Portability/Hand 'Hold-a-bility'
    Reply
  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Need to look at it differently. I'm with you as an rMBP owner myself and LOVE computing again...after three decades, HiDPI is phenomenal
    That said, as darkich mentions...its a 'comfort' thing
    The iPad Air2's display is phenomenal. The horsepower is finally here and in MANY cases, it's a perfect 'home' computer. Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS MMS, pics, reading, surfing and gaming ALL significantly more 'easy' to do with a one pound 6mm tablet without the keyboard in the way! While the last part may be one of the dislikes you've got with tablets ...you can always get a keyboard case for a hundred bucks ...that said, after time with an iPad you can type quick. Respond fast and get back to what you were reading, watching or playing. A laptop while hella more powerful invites distractions while 'reading a magazine, book or doing a crossword puzzle'
    IMHO, it's always made me curious why others 'want' multitasking on a tabket OR user accounts. The former ...I've also been a Galaxy Note owner and currently use the Note 4 for our business, it's multi tasking system is still very flawed and much like in this article ...it's Google that isn't paying attention to their UI layouts pixel for pixel on individual devices
    Probably an impossibility I know me the latter...a first world deal, but for my family our tablets, whether my son's iPad mini, wife's Air, employees' iPads or my own are VERY personal devices set up the way you're looking to set them up with your icons and apps distributed in the fashion you prefer
    If you're unable to realize the benefits of tablet computing you're 'working too much!' Enjoyment, recreation and pleasure are how I use my iPad at home. On the Job site, it's all business! (& they're VERY capable devices now, today in this incarnation as a productivity piece too! $10/month and you've got 5TB of storage on OneDrive with a free word processor (Word), spreadsheet creator or editor (Excel) and a crappy presentation program in comparison to Keynote. Called PowerPoint;). Five tablets. Five computers. Mix n match as we do and it's a bargain!
    Not to mention making music, editing photos, video work flow or entertainment. Games for a buck or two. Five or ten for the big ones and some IAPs the kids can 'earn'. Lot better than dropping the same amount on a console and $60/pop for a game they don't enjoy
    Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    I'm comparing a 13" MBP to say, a tablet like the Air 2 or retina mini. I actually find my laptop more comfortable than my tablets when sitting (couch or otherwise), eating (kitchen table), on the toilet (I have a small table in the washrooms dedicated for the placement of tablets and laptops).

    1) on my MBP, books and magazines are okay, and can match my tablet's viewing experience only if the app/program im using is optimized for viewing on a laptop. That being said, I prefer my tablets in this category because of the "curated" views books and magazines have done for the reader.

    2)screen speaks for itself, but one thing to note is that for laptops, u can open a swathe of articles a lot easier and faster than a tablet can. If I'm spending an hour catching up on the news or some tech event, I could easily open 10-20 tabs for articles and related articles much faster than my tablet.

    3) sure, there's a weight and size disadvantage, but there's also a keyboard and screen advantage

    4)for my MBP, scrolling is a pretty easy two finger affair, which doesn't require me to reach my tablet each time. As for switching browser Tabs, I just use the keyboard short cut (same with closing/opening), and keyboard shortcut for switching programs. Zooming for text to fit to size is also an easy affair with "reader" setting on safari (removes adds, reformats text) for those websites with terrible layouts, or I could just double-tap my trackpad on the text I want to read and my browser automatically adjusts the zoom to fit my screen.

    I'm not out to promote apple per say, but once u figure it out, their UI for some things is pretty amazing. It would be a nightmare to do the above in Windows IMO
    Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    I do prefer my tablet in some scenarios, such as lying down in bed (I have a canter lever tablet holder thing), and when my laptop doesn't fit the area required, like my current predicament of replying to this while in my bathtub Reply
  • SoCalBoomer - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    "The Venue 8 has an LTE variant, but most tablets operate purely over WiFi." Hmmmmm . . . Reply

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