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Dell’s XPS 11 will be available in November from $1199.

Moving on from this little box is an even smaller box, and from what we hear, this is an area tipped to be ironically big this year.

This is the area known as 8 inch Windows 8 tablet computing, and we first saw a test of that when Acer gave us its W3 to review a few months ago. That device came with a neat form-factor, but we felt let down by the screen and — at the time — lack of keyboard accessories.

At the end of 2013, though, Dell is entering this space with a device of its own, the Venue 8 Pro, a device that will sport a similar form-factor with a new Intel Bay Trail chip, based on what Intel announced a several weeks ago.

Playing with one of the pre-production models this week reveals a nicely built device with an almost iPad Mini like front, a rubberised back that reminds us of what Toshiba did in its AT100, and a weight that is very comfortable to hold in one hand.

Of note, the screen was excellent from multiple angles, a complaint of ours on the Acer, and from the sound of things, Dell will also be making a keyboard case, for those of you who see an 8 inch tablet as more than just a content consumption device.

With schools being one of the areas this thing will be targeted at, we suspect that will be quite a few people.

The price also looks like it could be very competitive, with Dell telling us it should go for $449 when it lands in November.

An 11 inch model of the Venue (above) will also be made to a slightly higher spec, and will feature two types of keyboard docks, plus a larger dock with port replicator, though a price or availability hasn’t been named at this time.

Students will also be seeing a few decent computers aimed at letting them get on with the touch-based Windows 8 world, but without that massive price that laptops often come with.

We checked out the Inspiron 11 3000, which looks to be Dell’s little starter and packs in enough technology to give students something to work with, though not enough to make it a hardcore powerhouse that an Alienware or XPS computer might offer.