Dell Vostro V131 review
Aimed squarely at the small and medium business market, the Dell Vostro V131 is a 13.3in ultraportable capable of tailoring itself to the tightest of IT budgets. Now, with the addition of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and a newly removable battery, the latest update to the range aims to be faster and longer-lasting than ever.
It might look somewhat understated in its palette of dark grey and silver, but the Vostro V131 is a lovely looking business laptop. The attractive chassis measures a dainty 19mm thick, apart from the slight bulge of the six-cell battery propping up its rear. The extra bulk of the battery sees it tip the scales at 1.8kg – 170g heavier than last year’s model, the Vostro V130.
Given the extra battery capacity on offer, we’re happy to suffer a little extra weight. Indeed, where its predecessor was hamstrung by poor battery life and crippled by a non-removable battery, we’re glad to see that Dell’s redressed the issue. And with its 65wh battery clocking 7hrs 56mins in our light-use battery test, the Vostro V131 now has the stamina to match its go-anywhere proportions. It’s a huge improvement.
Application performance has improved dramatically too. The previous generation had to make do with low-voltage processors, but the new model now gives the choice of a low-voltage Celeron 847 processor, a Core i3-2310M or a Core i5-2410M. Our model sported the fastest Core i5-2410M processor, and it flew through our application benchmarks with an overall result of 0.68. For a light, compact business laptop, the Vostro V131 is packing some serious power.
It doesn’t mimic the flex-free brawn of Dell’s Latitude range, though. The base gives noticeably when you tug on it hard, and the display’s slender lid also feels a little weak. Still, the backlit keyboard makes for comfortable typing: the wide channels around the Scrabble-tile keys keep mispresses to a minimum and, despite a little bounce in the base, the overall feel is crisp and responsive.
The multitouch touchpad is excellent, giving accurate cursor control, and its two buttons offer a soft yet positive click. And the amber LED light above is a nice touch, clearly indicating when the touchpad’s been disabled.
|Dimensions||330 x 238 x 30mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-2410M|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Optical disc technology||N/A|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||1|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 56min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.68|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|