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Dell's Budget-Friendly Venue 7 and 8 Boast Android and Atom

While Dell's Windows 8 devices were the stars of its Oct. 2 press conference, the hardware giant made sure to keep Android fans interested. Rounding out the lower end of Dell's Venue tablet line, the Venue 7 and 8 are a pair of Android 4.2.2-based slates launching later this year at $149 and $179, respectively.

Both budget slates are lightweight, weighing in at roughly 0.7 pounds for the Venue 7 and 0.8 pounds for the 8-inch variant. The devices feature soft-touch back panels and have ports for USB 3.0, headphones and SD cards. The Venue 7 features a 3-MP rear camera with a VGA lens in the front, while the 8 has a sharper 5-MP lens and 2-MP front-facing camera. Both tablets pack 1280 x 800-pixel IPS displays, which were bright and clear when we navigated their home screens.

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 The Atom-powered slates run on a mostly clean version of Android 4.2.2 with a few Dell-exclusive features such as PocketCloud, which allows users to share content across multiple Dell devices. The Venue 7 and 8 are powered by Intel Atom processors, with the 7 featuring a 1.6-GHz dual core CPU while the 8 has a 2-GHz dual-core processor. Each slate has an expected battery life of 8 hours.

With the launch of the Venue 7 and 8, there are more budget Android tablets than ever. From our hands-on time, the Atom-powered Venue 7 and 8 are shaping up to be solid competitors for the $150 ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 and $129 Hisense Sero 7 Pro