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As TR's resident SSD reviewer, I'm a little apprehensive about the limited tools available to test storage performance on mobile devices. There's a fair amount of run-to-run variance in Passmark's storage tests, for example—even in read speed tests that should be unaffected by flash memory's finicky write characteristics. Despite its name, Basemark OS II's oddly named "memory" benchmark actually tests storage performance. The trouble there is the vague overall score, which provides little sense of performance in the underlying read and write speed tests.

The Venue 8 7000 scores well in Passmark's write speed test but poorly in the read speed one. Basemark's assessment of storage performance is very positive, but I wouldn't put too much stock in the results overall.

For what it's worth, the Venue's load times with popular games are comparable to those of the Shield Tablet. I didn't test load times with conventional apps, which often open too quickly for the differences between devices to be meaningful.

Battery life
We tested battery life in four different scenarios. In each case, the display brightness was set to 180 cd/m² before starting, and display auto-brightness features were disabled. Our workload for the web surfing tests was TR Browserbench. The video test involved looped playback of a 1080p video recorded on one of the phones, and our gaming workload was the Unreal Engine-based Epic Citadel demo.

The Venue is good for 14 hours of web browsing and nine hours of 1080p video playback in our tests. That's pretty good in absolute terms—and versus the competition. The Shield Tablet has substantially lower battery life in each case.

The devices' run times are much lower in our gaming test, yet the Venue holds its own. It's only beaten by premium phablets from Apple and Samsung.