Dell Vostro V131 review

12 Aug 2011

Dell’s 13.3in Vostro V131 combines power and stamina in a business-friendly package

Price when reviewed 
995
4

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £829
Price inc VAT £995
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4
Performance 5

Physical specifications

Dimensions 330 x 238 x 30mm (WDH)
Weight 1.800kg
Travelling weight 2.2kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-2410M
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3

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 3000
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive None
Battery capacity 65wh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter yes
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 1
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel 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
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 7hr 56min
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.68
Responsiveness score 0.83
Media score 0.68
Multitasking score 0.53

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS family Windows 7