2013 did not end without leaving us with something to talk about when it comes to tablets. During the final months of the year, Microsoft and Dell unveiled their latest Windows 8 tablets. Looking at them from a material point of view, both tablets look amazing, and their cost is on par with the performance.
As far as performance goes, both the Microsoft Surface 2 and Venue 11 Pro are extremely fast, among the most powerful Windows tablets money can buy and you can tell Microsoft and Dell really put some thought into their new generation of tablets. Although similar, there are some differences between them so let’s go over a specs and features breakdown. We are not comparing the Microsoft Surface 2 Pro with the Dell Venue 11 Pro, but the second edition of the Surface tablet. We have just finished comparing the Dell Venue 11 Pro with the Asus T100, so head over and see the comparison, if you’re interested.
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Dell Venue 11 Pro vs Microsoft Surface 2: specs compared
- Price – Microsoft Surface 2 starts at $449 and the Dell Venue 11 Pro at $499. There is a slight difference between the price of both models, and the Microsoft Surface 2 sells $50 cheaper than the Dell counterpart. The lower price helps Microsoft take the lead, however the difference is relatively small and both tablets are in the same price category.
- Display – Both tablets are similar when it comes to the display and are equipped with IPS with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The slight difference is that the Dell has a 10.8″ and 10-pt capacitive touch compared to Microsoft’s 10.6″ and 5-pt one.
- Processor – The processor tells a different story and Microsoft went with the NVidia Tegra 4 1.7 GHz superior to the Intel Atom 1.33 GHz that is present on the Venue 11 Pro. Although both CPU’s are quad core and very powerful, the Surface 2 is a bit faster and more responsive.
- Memory – There is no difference between the two when it comes to memory and both have 2 GB of RAM, the same as most of this generation of tablets.
- Storage – The storage available for the Microsoft Surface 2 is 32/64 GB, in contrast to the 64/128 GB available for the Venue 11 Pro. There’s also a 32 GB version available, but we didn’t manage to find it nowhere. The comparison was done between the basic versions of the tablet from both manufacturers, so the Dell Venue 11 Pro has double the storage available on the Surface 2.
- Multimedia – Both models offer two microphones and stereo speakers, however the Surface 2 is slightly superior having Dolby sound. Both tablets are designed to offer a great experience for video calls, watching movies or listening to music.
- Connectivity – The ports on both these tablets are the same, the only difference is that the Venue 11 Pro has a mini HDMI compared to Microsoft’s HD Video out port. Dell takes a small lead when talking about connectivity because the Venue 11 Pro supports NFC, the Surface 2 doesn’t. This might come in handy when pairing the tablet and a smartphone for easy transfers between the two.
- Battery – The battery life is pretty much the same, both of the models going for the 10 hours mark. This is a huge improvement compared to older versions of Windows tablets and now it’s more than enough to power through a whole work or school day.
- Camera – Let’s start the comparison with the rear cameras, and give the Dell Venue 11 Pro the lead on this one with an 8 MP camera compared to Microsoft’s 5 MP. Looking at the front cameras, the Surface is clearly superior with a stunning 3.5 MP webcam recording at 1080p way better than the 2 MP on it’s counterpart.
- Size – The size of the tablets is pretty much the same, both being 11″ and even the weigh is similar. In one corner we have the Surface 2 at 275 mm x 173 mm x 8.9 mm weighing 1.49 lbs and in the other, the Venue 11 Pro at 297.7mm x 176.8mm x 10.2mm weighing 1.57 lbs. The differences are barely noticeable, we are talking about a couple of millimeters and grams in favor of Dell, but the weigh difference present only because the tablet is slightly larger in size.
Seeing the hardware specs of these two state of the art tablets, there is no clear winner and it all breaks down to personal preference. But, there is one thing that puts the Microsoft Surface 2 in a rather big disadvantage, Windows RT. Dell Venue 11 Pro has Windows 8.1 operating system and that resolves all the compatibility issues, allowing you to use any PC software. There is no reason to use Windows RT on a tablet with the specs like the Surface 2, simply because it has more than enough juice to let Windows 8.1 run perfectly.