Much like a smartphone, the display of a tablet is one of the most critical elements. Not only is it the only method of receiving information, it is also the primary method at input. A mediocre tablet can get by with a poor display, but unlike laptops the bar for poor displays on a tablet is much higher. A good tablet needs a good display, and Dell has delivered here.

The Venue 11 Pro is equipped with a Samsung SDC4C48 panel, which is an 8 bit model. The 10.8 inch panel is 1920x1080, for a good 204 pixels per inch. While not class leading in pixel density, everything looks clear and sharp. It is also a good compromise for desktop use, where you can pretty easily get by with just 125% scaling to keep a reasonable amount of desktop real estate available.

Dell Venue 11 Pro Pixel Arrangement

The Samsung display is a full RGB stripe, so there is no question about subpixel density like on a RGBW pentile arrangement. Color accuracy is generally better as well with RGB, and to test that, we will turn to SpectralCal’s CalMAN 5 suite, along with an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter for brightness and contrast measurements, and the X-Rite i1Pro spectrophotometer for color accuracy testing.

Display - Max Brightness

Display - Black Levels

Display - Contrast Ratio

Dell’s premium Windows tablet starts off quite well, with good brightness at about 370 nits. The black levels are just OK though, which results in a good but not spectacular 885:1 contrast ratio. For those that need a dim display for use in a darker environment, The Venue 11 Pro goes down to around 18 nits so it should be no problem there.

Display - Grayscale Accuracy

Looking at grayscale, the Venue 11 Pro has not too bad of a score out of the box, but it could use some work. Overall the dE2000 is 4.38, which is due to the greens being a bit too strong, and the gamma falls off of the 2.2 target especially at the upper brightness levels. The white point is good overall though at 6615, very close to the ideal target of 6504.

Display - Saturation Accuracy

The saturation sweep is excellent, with an overall dE2000 of just 2.65, nicely under the target score of 3.0. The reds are a bit compressed though, and the 100% red is closer to 80% than 100%. The other colors are very close to their targets though.

Display - Gamut Accuracy

Display - GMB Accuracy

The Gretag MacBeth colorchecker is the most comprehensive test, and the overall score is 3.48, which is just above the 3.0 target. For an out of the box experience, few would complain about the Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet. Colors are generally quite good, and the brightness and contrast is also good.

Being a Windows tablet, we can also calibrate the display. Since the worst offender was the grayscale performance, calibration should help a lot to pull those scores down.

Once calibrated, this display is almost perfect. The grayscale falls to 0.71, and the gamma is almost spot on. Gamut falls to just 1.41, saturations are 0.83, and the GMB score drops to 1.13. Out of the box, the display is already good, but once calibrated it is fantastic.

Few would be left wanting with the Venue 11’s display. It has the kind of quality display one would expect in a premium tablet. Color accuracy is good out of the box, but because it is Windows it can be improved upon assuming one has the tools to do so. Really the only issue I had with the display is the 16:9 ratio, which works great for media consumption like MLB.TV and the like, but a taller overall display would make it a better tablet for both portrait and landscape modes.

Design System Performance
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  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Well Said! I'm not going to buy Core M because I value performance over mobility - yet this doesn't make it a bad product. If you want maximum performance at high mobility, nothing comes close to Core M.
  • dj_aris - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Core M is in fact a new cpu category on it's own, a cpu that resembles the single core performance of "core" cpus while in the Atoms' TDP envelope (at least before it throttles!). But, as with every new product, it's overpriced at launch. Wait for the Skylake release, I say.
  • lilmoe - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    That's the main point. It's REALLY overpriced.
  • xthetenth - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Pay a pretty high price for the absolute best burst performance for a snappy device. I've heard much worse than that.
  • smilingcrow - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    The M-5Y71 is the same price as the i5-4300U in my laptop with the same base & turbo boost clocks for the CPU. Given the same cooling as my laptop has it should perform very similarly for CPU loads. Not fussed about GPU loads so haven't focussed on that but seemingly it will struggle to match the U series when both are stressed.
  • Marc GP - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    A category where they can only keep this performance for short bursts before having to low their frequency from 2,8Ghz (turbo) to their nominal 1Ghz (where you don't get any much performance than on a simple Atom).
  • ppi - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Even in the benchmarks, where sustained performance is necessary, Core-M is some 25% slower compared to 15W Broadwell. ONLY.

    This effectively means, that if task is pain on Core-M, it will be pain on 15W Broadwell as well. I.e. if some task is not snappy and requires waiting on Core-M, it requires waiting on Broadwell as well. And only desktop class chips may have the oomph to be significantly faster.

    I do not count in games, but nobody considers Broadwell-U gaming SoC either.
  • smilingcrow - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    If you had read the recent detailed Anandtech overview of Core M you would see that is a fallacy. I was surprised how well Core M does in a fanless laptop versus one with a Broadwell i5 that is fan cooled. And even more how well it does in a tablet where surface temperate is more of an issue so throttling is more prevalent.
    A Core M-5Y71 in my Latitude E7440 with a slightly beefier cooler would I imagine come close to my i5-4300U even for extended loads. This is purely for CPU loads as the GPU is another issue that doesn’t concern me.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    When it throttles it's actually entering Atoms TDP envelope. Before that it's allowed to use more power for short periods. That's the whole point of a Thermal Design Power.
  • zepi - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    If you don't care about absolute performance, Intel is happy to sell you a Baytrail for quite a bit cheaper.

    If you do... Well, no one else can match Core M's CPU-performance even remotely.

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