Laptop review: Dell Vostro v131
he big buzz phrase at this year’s CES was “Ultrabook”, a name coined and somewhat controversially owned by Intel. It refers to the latest incarnation of super slim and powerful laptops that put the emphasis on portability.
One thing that isn’t so appealing, however, is the price. With most models coming in at around $1,000 and likely to cost around the same in sterling when they reach these shores, it’s not an easy expense to swallow. Dell, however, has responded to the challenge by offering a comfortable middle-ground for users seeking power with the latest edition to its low cost Vostro business laptop range.
Released at the end of last year, the Vostro v131 is positioned as a flexible powerhouse that is still easy to lug around. The PC is not as skinny as its supermodel-thin counterparts, but with a maximum width of just 21mm and weighing under 2kg, the Vostro can hardly be called big or bulky. Carrying it to and from the office and between meetings was never hard.
For such a compact device, it’s more than capable of handling most day-to-day business applications. Bundled with Windows 7 Professional, it comes with ad-supported versions of Microsoft’s Office Suite (excluding Outlook) and the 2.40GHhz i5 processor + 4GB RAM made light work of even the most daunting spreadsheets. The 500GB hard drive wasn’t as speedy as solid-state competitors but our average boot times were still under 30 seconds.