Deal or no deal
Of course, all the performance in the world is no good if the battery dies in half an hour, but the rather bulky, 65Wh battery in the back of the system proved its worth. Left idle, with the screen on at half brightness, and connected to a wireless network, the V131 ran for a highly impressive eight hours and 45 minutes.
If the styling appeals, there are configuration options across a wide price range
Left looping on PCMark Vantage with the screen at full whack it ran for nearly two hours, so most users should see a result somewhere in the middle. Combined with the V131’s barely-there weight of 1.82kg it makes for a beautifully portable machine.
The cheapest Core i5 system, for instance, with Dell's current on-line discounts costs £660 - typically £800 - with 4GB of Ram and a 320GB hard disk – its practical specification and good looks are decent value. It’s worth bearing in mind that the Sony Vaio SB is another good-looking machine that also includes an optical drive and discrete GPU that pushes up its price. Having used both, the Sony is marginally more elegant in terms of its build, although its noisy fan detracts from these plus points somewhat.
If you tinker with the configuration options you can get a Dell Vostro V131 for an attractive price – the top-end somewhat slightly less so, but only because the silver finish and light weight invites unflattering comparison with Apple's MacBook Air. Without the current spate of Dell discounts, the top-end Vostro costs £960 – which then puts a 13in Air within reach and the 11in model for less, although they run a slower Core i5 chip. Yet at the mid-range, the Dell Vostro V131 certainly holds its own as a portable day-to-day work machine. ®
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Dell Vostro V131 13.3in Core i5 notebook
ive yet to use one of the 13"models, but the 15"is only 300quid ex vat for a core i3 :) pretty much the best thing out there for the cash,certainly at the entry level they are the most featureful, sofar the alu clad Vostros have made very nice business machines, excluding user abuse, of 70 odd, only one has required a hardware call.
If only dell could make their rugged range as solidly!
Two screws to remove the panel on the bottom. Another couple to free the HDD tray. Disconnect the cable and swap. Done it twice. Piece of piss.
Not a Dell thing
I have an EliteBook where you have to pop the entire bottom off to access anything.
I also have a Vostro at the house that I'm fixing for a friend - two screws and the HDD is out... just like the Latitude (D630) I used to use.
Does this mean my EliteBook does not qualify as a business machine?
Depends on your standards.
For years, 1024 x 768 has been the "normal" resolution for 15", I don't see why today's 1366 x 768 on a 13" would suddenly cause you to scroll up and down like mad.
@Business machines? @Head
I've got three vostros, an original 1700 which was the last of the decent build-quality units. The two latter 1720's I was disappointed in, they are a bit bendy, but that said they've survived reasonable well including umpteen trips between Scotland and Ireland for business and pleasure. I have one running Citrix XenServer and the other running Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and they're good enough (for the money). The 1920x1200 glossy screens that shipped with them are fairly pleasant to work with as well.
It's a shame they're hobbled with VGA video outputs though.
There are a lot worse things you can spent your money on when looking for cheap laptops....such as the Latitude E series. I don't think there's a single one of these in our company that hasn't topped itself.