Dell Vostro 3300 review
Dell's 13.3in business laptop is certainly affordable, but there's room for improvement
Review Date: 6 Oct 2010
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £449 (£528 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Business laptops don't need to be gorgeous to succeed, they just need to work, and work well. But while some companies may be willing to pay the premium for high-end workstations, smaller companies need a more affordable option. Dell's Vostro range provides just that, and its Vostro 3300 is a compact 13.3in business laptop with a healthy dose of processing power.
If you're expecting a no-frills budget build then the Vostro 3300 will come as a pleasant surprise. The two-tone silver and black exterior is unusually smart and attractive for a business model, and despite a modest 1.94kg weight, feels reasonably stout.
It's no match for Dell's pricier Latitude models, though. Pull really hard on its base and there's a noticeable bit of flex to and fro. Neither do you need to prod the lid with any real force before it fouls the LCD panel inside, causing ripples on the displayed image.
Ergonomics are a key ingredient of any business laptop worth its salt, and here the Vostro does just enough to remain competitive. We'd hardly describe the keyboard as being brilliant, but it isn't hateful either.
There aren't any needlessly shrunken keys, but the decision to arrange the Home cluster of keys on a vertical strip on the right side of the keyboard leaves it feeling more cramped than it should. The feel could be improved too, with the short travel keys and slight give in the base leaving the keys feeling somewhat dead under the finger.
It's a shame the keyboard isn't better, as some elements of the Vostro 3300's design are impressively sensible. The strip of touch-sensitive media controls along the keyboard's top edge are a nice touch, and the headphone and microphone inputs, wireless switch and SD/MMC card reader are all mounted within easy reach on the front edge.
Meanwhile, three USB ports are dotted about, one doubling as an eSATA port, while Gigabit Ethernet, D-SUB and HDMI fill in the gaps. There's also an ExpressCard/34 slot and a DVD writer just alongside, as well as 802.11n wireless and Bluetooth. Oh, and a fingerprint reader. There's really very little missing.
- Samsung tempts the selfie market with A5 and A3 smartphones
- Internet tax: what it is and why it failed
- Android co-founder Andy Rubin leaves Google
- Windows 10 trackpad shortcuts: Microsoft takes a leaf out of Apple's book
- Promo: Using IBM BlueMix to create successful business apps
- Why the Microsoft Band could be a game changer
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Microsoft Office 16 set to launch late next year
- HP's vision for the future of PCs: the 3D Sprout
- How Google X plans to detect cancer and heart disease using nano-magnets
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Five smartwatch features we’ll see by 2015
- How to wipe an Android phone or tablet
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office