Dell Vostro V130 review

10 Dec 2010

Sleek, surprisingly powerful and with a good range of options - but battery life is poor

Price when reviewed: 
1,062(£1,062 inc VAT)
4

Dell hasn't always been known for its focus on style, but with the advent of the gorgeous Adamo, it had a laptop for the kind of people who'd buy a MacBook Air or a Sony VAIO Z Series. It didn't quite pull it off, but the design soon evolved into the sleek Latitude 13 and now this: the Vostro V130.

It's flat, gently curved at the sides, and measures just 20.5mm thick (including feet) - and that's the same from front to back, since there's no incline or variation at all. The lid opens on a hinge set an inch or so from the rear edge, giving it a neat, angular look when sat on a desk. And best of all, it weighs just 1.66kg. That isn't quite as light as the 1.33kg of the 13in MacBook Air, but it isn't far off, and shows just how honed Dell's design has become.

Dell Vostro V130

There are no ports or sockets around the sides, bar a single memory card slot for SD, MMC and Memory Stick formats - and that comes with a plastic stopper to keep the silver lines clean. Instead, on the flat rear edge you'll find D-SUB and HDMI outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB ports and a USB/eSATA combo port. It's a slim selection that may require a USB port replicator.

The keyboard exhibits no such compromise. The keys are large with no shrunken tiddlers, and there's space for the page navigation keys down the right-hand side. Key travel is shallow - not surprising given the tight squeeze of the base - but it's comfortable enough to type on, and the multitouch touchpad and buttons are responsive. There's no ThinkPad-style trackpoint, or security extras such as fingerprint readers and TPM chips, however.

The 13.3in screen has the usual 1,366 x 768 resolution, and its white-LED backlight is even and keeps things nice and bright. Thankfully it isn't glossy, so although the colours aren't as vibrant as on the Sony VAIO Z Series, you won't have to worry about reflections from the office lights. The lid feels strong, as does the base, and the hinge has enough stiffness to stay put when you're moving it about.

Details

Price ex VAT £904
Price inc VAT £1,062
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4
Performance 4

Warranty

Warranty 1yr on-site next business day

Physical specifications

Dimensions 329 x 230 x 20.5mm (WDH)
Weight 1.660kg
Travelling weight 2.0kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-470UM
Motherboard chipset Intel HM57
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 1

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 500GB
Hard disk usable capacity 451GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Western Digital Scorpio Black
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter yes
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
FireWire ports 0
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Pointing device type Multitouch touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 2.0mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 3hr 55min
Battery life, heavy use 1hr 15min
Overall application benchmark score 1.06
Office application benchmark score 0.93
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.16
Encoding application benchmark score 1.01
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.15
3D performance (crysis) low settings 11fps
3D performance setting Low

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS family Windows 7
Software supplied Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security (15mths)