I was excited for cyber Monday. I need a new tablet for work. I had a Dell Venue Pro 8 that bit the dust. I relied heavily on it for note taking. If I got a call or went to a meeting used it and therefore I’d always have my notes in order and available. Without that, I have scraps of notes everywhere and it’s just not productive. I looked into the new version of the DVP to find that little changed except the price. Weirder, getting the 64gb model meant losing the Office license and getting 365 for one year. I did chat with tech support who confirmed this. So that only left the 32gb DVP 5000 (the 3000 doesn’t support the active stylus). It’s $250 and pretty much the same as the old DVP. Which made me rethink things. Truthfully, I’d be better with a larger tablet. So what’s in the 11″ world? If you want a stylus you can do Surface Pro. The i3 was on sale for $700. That’s more than I was looking to pay and still no Office license. Maybe a Surface Pro 2? Shockingly, you can only get one used. The price for a new one is that same as the Pro 3. So back to Dell and the Venue Pro 11. Again, the new versions omit Office in favor of 365 and the prices go up quickly.
So that’s how I ended up buying a Dell Venue Pro 11 (2013 edition) for just shy of $400 but with Office and support for my active stylus. Honestly, the whole thing is annoying on some level. Maybe I’m looking for a product in a narrow market. Maybe I’m too cheap. But with all the news about cheap tablets, I wasn’t planning on going this route.
With that said, Microsoft’s strategy on Office is pretty clear now. 365 is a teaser product where they give you one year and then you’re spending more on they license than the device costs. Let’s see if Office Mobile changes this further…
Anyway, as we approach 2015 I await my 2013 tablet like a champ… Or a chump. Not sure yet.


  1. I have a Gen 1 dell venue pro 8. Active stylus support, 2gb ram, AND an attractive option was the targus rugged case. Wanted to buy a win tab for my son this Xmas and looked at the newer 3000 series which was a $149 doorbuster on black Friday. $149 bought only 1gb ram, no stylus support, and a crappy, stand-less case option with a gimped 32bit CPU.

    Went to the Dell outlet Friday, they had a 30% off tablet coupon, got a red (which I believe was more expensive when it first came out) refurb DV8 pro, with higher specs than the 3000 series and I paid $142 ($7 cheaper than the crappy 3000 series doorbuster).

    • If I was sticking with 8″ then gen1 DVP all the way. I feel like I paid$125 new for it as party of a deal. They don’t make them like they used to…

  2. “365 is a teaser product where they give you one year and then you’re spending more on they license than the device costs”

    I would have thought that was obvious…

  3. Just bite the bullet and get the 5 User O365 License already! That’s 27 cents a day. And it includes Outlook, Publisher & Access. A tad more than 2 bits. Tell the deli to hold the pickle one or two days a week and your got it paid for.

    Too late now, but an O365 subscription shouldn’t be a factor in choosing devices valued at hundreds of dollars. Surely you can find one or two people who would pay you $20 (or $25) to get Office Pro for a year. That reduces your cost even more.

    But glad you got your stylus back (even though Apple invented it). Life is too short to live without.

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