Feeds
80%
Dell Vostro 131 laptop

Dell Vostro V131 13.3in Core i5 notebook

Looks the business?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review Back in the old days, you knew where you were a Dell business laptop. Heave it out of the box and you’d be rewarded with a giant, hot-running thing with the aesthetic appeal of a pile-up on the M40.

Dell Vostro V131 laptop

Dell's Vostro V131 looks the business and with the Celeron CPU option can be bought on the cheap

These days, people expect rather more. With the likes of the Apple MacBook Air starting at under £900, it seems only fair that Windows users are catered for with a series of laptops that look the business, and, strange as it is to say, Dell’s recent machines certainly do that.

The Vostro notebook's design really is a very nice piece of design – indeed, a harsher critic might describe it as “surprisingly” nice. Folded shut it’s a shade under 20mm high, and the back of the screen is finished in reassuring Inspiron metallic grey. The screen doesn’t hinge from the back edge, instead starting about half an inch from the back of the machine. The overall impression is one of sleek, understated, tidy design; this certainly isn’t a laptop travelling sales reps will be embarrassed to pull from their bags.

Dell Vostro V131 laptop

Functional keyboard, but no trackpad scrolling feature

Flip up the 13.3in screen and there’s another pleasant surprise: no shiny, reflective glossy panel. Instead, it’s a pleasingly old-school matte finish, and a decent resolution of 1366 x 768. Viewing angles are good, although neither this nor size of the screen lend themselves to crowding lots of people around.

The chiclet keyboard is very solid, with the Function keys doing double-duty as system shortcuts such as media playback, controlling screen brightness, and turning the trackpad on and off to avoid unwanted inputs during typing. The only niggle on my review unit was the spacebar, which developed a deeply annoying squeak as soon as I started using it. A minor – but potentially very useful – highlight is the keyboard backlighting.

Dell Vostro V131 laptop

Two USB 3.0 ports are on-board and there's a mobile Sim slot too

The off-centre trackpad is a decent one. Given that the Vostro V131 starts at a frankly silly £360, it’s nice to find solid, non-clicky mouse-buttons more akin to the high-quality fare you’d expect on a ThinkPad. The only minor quibble is the lack of a scrolling stripe on the side. Windows users might be able to live without pointless additions such as pinch-to-zoom on their trackpads, but a bit of help with scrolling would be appreciated. There’s a well hidden fingerprint reader on the right-hand side too.

Website security in corporate America

Next page: Core decisions

More from The Register

next story
Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE
Yarrrgh! 'Tis Antipodean insanity, ye crazy swab
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.