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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  • ruthan - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Tablets without integrated 3G/4G/LTE modem are absolute, tablet for home use is ridiculous, same using with cell phone Wifi hotspot. Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Tablets with integrated modem are absolute garbage. Not using your existing phone or wi-fi connection for internet is simply ridiculous. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Not to mention they keep trying to unload really terrible tablets with built in modems. My Verizon guy keeps emailing about the Ellipsis 7 Crap Tablet. yeah no thanks... Reply
  • secretmanofagent - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Cell phones are absolute garbage. Not using your own body as a mobile hotspot is simply ridiculous. Reply
  • wewantsthering - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    You should win a prize for this comment! Laughed so hard! :-) Reply
  • p1esk - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    Nice! Reply
  • akdj - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Unless you 'need' your phone for the day, 'using your existing phone (sic wifi) for Internet is ridiculous'. Indeed. I concur
    But as an owner of each iPad. A half dozen Android tabs, ½ with, ½ without LTE --- I've YET to find an iPad 'with an intersted modem (that is) "absolute garbage"'
    My iPad Air 2 is getting consistent speeds of 60-75 Mb/s down, 45-50 up. That's fast as hell without wires. And consistently stable. Maybe it's time you tried 'one' (ya know, with a modem?)
    Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    The above comments are pretty funny, especially with the sarcasm, for those who didn't catch that.

    As for cellular hotspots, I don't see what's the issue? In today's world, there's a multitude of ways to charge your phone on the go - in the car, at the office, while ur walking, pushing a stroller, riding your bicycle, a mobile battery pack, a solar powered battery pack etc. I would also assume that most wireless carriers also offer free wifi at certain locations just for being a data subscriber (at least where I live, we have this feature; the concept was to remove congestion from the 3G/4G networks in higher density areas). So, even if I didn't have a cellular data modem in my ipad, the coffee shop or random place I'm at usually has some form of free wifi or at least my subscriber's wifi. For the odd times I dont, I just use my cellular hotspot. It also costs less per month as I don't need a tablet data plan. I have a mini with LTE and with my purchases of the Air 2, I opted for wifi, as I barely used my LTE data on the mini
    Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, March 16, 2015 - link

    How does that work when your phone isn't in the same location as your tablet, and you want to access the Internet from the tablet, and there isn't wifi available? Reply
  • WereCatf - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - link

    "tablet for home use is ridiculous" -- Uh, why? If you only want to consume content why in your mind would a laptop or a desktop be somehow utterly superior? Reply

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