Dell Vostro V131 review

Price when reviewed

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.

Dell Vostro V131 - front

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.

Dell Vostro V131 - keyboard

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.

Physical specifications

Dimensions330 x 238 x 30mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.2kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2410M
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 3000
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical driveNone
Battery capacity65wh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapteryes
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)1
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readeryes
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
Fingerprint readeryes
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use7hr 56min
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.68
Responsiveness score0.83
Media score0.68
Multitasking score0.53

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7

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