Saturday, September 13, 2014
Dell's USB OTG dual charging dongle for the Dell Venue 8 Pro
I've finally put my Dell Venue 8 to good use. It has been in the drawer since I got it months ago. After a week of usage, it really didn't fit my use-case. Even with a portable bluetooth keyboard, I found the whole touch experience with Windows 8.1 on an 8" screen painful. I never even use Modern UI, just the traditional Dekstop and using your fingers is hopeless. Desktop operating systems simply do not work with touch on a small screen.
Then out of nowhere, Dell releases a USB-OTG cable that simultaneously supports charging. It is roughly $20 on Dell's website. For those who don't understand the significance, it now means you can charge the Venue 8 at the same time you are using a USB device. Before, you couldn't do that.Thus, the single micro USB port limited it's use as a full time desktop computer.
There has been some D-Y-I type affairs but I wasn't keen on taking that route. This official dongle works pretty good. This should have been provided from the get-go or made available at release of the Venue 8. I paired it up with my Microsoft's All-in-One Multimedia keyboard. The keyboard has a built in trackpad, so now I treat the Venue like a little mini laptop.
I also have a hoot USB 3.0 3-port hub with built in Gigabit. Once you plug it in, you can make up for the lack of networking and multiple USB. It looks like this:
Now, it is a good VPN terminal. I run Cygwin and I use it as SSH client. When I don't use the Dell Venue, it simply stows away nicely.