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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  • liahos1 - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    can you guys start adding normalized battery life for these products against tablets as well?
  • ingwe - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    I would really appreciate having that back too. It isn't like I particularly care from a user perspective (obviously overall battery life is more important), but I really like to see how different platforms stack up in this regard.
  • jjj - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    No idea why i even clicked , Core M is a horrible product for the price so got no interest at all in anything with it - hopefully AMD. Nvidia ,Qualcomm and ARM will catch up in single threaded perf at a fraction of the price soon. Well,maybe not ARM since A72 seems to be actually smaller than A57 , die size wise.
    Anyway this actually made me laugh when i realized that it kinda looks like the Moto Xoom except with thicker bezels (first Android tab ,4 years ago). OEMs should put more effort than this even in 100$ tabs.
  • Speedfriend - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple managed a giant 10% improvement in single core performance between A7 and A8...
    So with the top Core M single core performance around 60% higher than the A8X, Apple will need to produce a miracle.

    And as for the cost, a 128gb iPad Air 2 is $699+$100 for a decent keyboard case versus the low end core M equipped Asus T300 Chi which comes with a keyboard for $699. And the high end T300Chi, which will obliterate the iPAd Air 2 comes in at $899 with 8GB of memory
  • jjj - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple has no relevance, they have many limitations and high prices so no reason to even consider them.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple has a lot of relevance here, because they've got the ARM core with the highest single threaded performance. If anyone closes the gap to Intel it's going to be them. Even if Qualcom could do it, they need to put 4 cores into phones for the "bigger is better" crowd, which means any single core must not be too big - otherwise people will complain that it gets too hot.

    And if Apple only got 10% on their last refresh they may be approaching the region of diminishing returns that Intel and AMD have long been in. It's easy to improve & grow when you start from nothing, but an entirely different matter once you look at mature technology.
  • jjj - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    Apple is not a reasonable purchase so it doesn't matter, even if they have 2 times the perf it's not relevant in the real world.
    It is true that the Android guys do need more cores in general but it's also true that Intel doesn't design it's cores for this kind of TDP. And do remember to compare sustained perf and burst perf.
    I don't know for sure the core size for Broadwell on Intel's 14nm or A57 on 14nm Samsung but likely 7mm2+ vs bellow 2mm2 so A57 must be some 4 times smaller. For Apple 2 cores plus cache are some 12.5mm2 on 20nm TSMC but the cache is not very die efficient and on 14nm Samsung the 12.5mm2 would be closer to 10.5mm.
    For A72 ARM claimed 2.4GHz sustained clocks on 16nmFF+ in phones and it appears they mean quad cores. It also appears that A72 is smaller than A57. The numbers i've seen were core size 3.3mm2 , quad cluster(so with cache) 18.7mm2 but not certain about process, i believe it's on 28nm but that could be wrong. A72 at 2.4GHz should be pretty good and it remains to be seen what's the burst perf and how it clocks at higher TDP. It's not impossible for it to be close enough in tabs. We should see the dual A72 @ 2.4GHz on 28nm from Mediatek soon in tabs (some early benchmarks are in the wild already) and later this year the Qualcomm midrange phone SoCs with A72 at 1.9GHz and that will give us a better idea about what kind of clocks would be needed on 16FF+ and 14nm.
    Qualcomm's custom core must beat A72 or there is no point in using it and that's the case with all the other custom cores from AMD, Nvidia, Samsung and whatever else comes.
  • pSupaNova - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    No Nvidia has the ARM core with the highest single threaded performance.

    Look at the Benchmarks in this site for the N9 tablet.
  • sonicmerlin - Thursday, April 16, 2015 - link

    They had a 30-40% performance improvement in CPU.
  • Speedfriend - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    A8 at 1.4ghz single core geekbench 1619
    A7 at 1.4ghz single core geekbench 1468

    Improvement = 10%

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