Dell Vostro V130 review

A sleek and slender Dell ultra-portable laptop with built-in 3G that leaves us lukewarm. Why? Read our exclusive review to find out.

Price
£904

These battery life scores are more in line with what we'd expect from a heavy 15in laptop with a more power-hungry processor. Although our V130 was a late pre-production unit, we doubt battery life has been drastically improved in the final units now on sale.

More pleasing was the keyboard and touchpad. The keys feel responsive and comfortable to type on, with no undersized keys or odd layout issues. Disappointingly, the keys aren't backlit like they are on some of Dell's larger, chunkier laptops. This would've made it easier to use in dimly lit environments, such as lecture halls. The touchpad is large and accurate, although the buttons don't give quite as much feedback as we would've liked.

The 13.3in screen has a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. It's good enough but we'd have preferred a higher resolution to squeeze in even more onscreen information. It has a non-reflective matt screen, so distracting reflections caused by overhead lighting shouldn't be a problem. It's surprisingly bright too, although viewing angles are a little restricted so colours can look different depending on your seating position.

A 500GB hard disk is included as standard, but the 4GB of RAM, Windows 7 Professional and the 3G modem are all optional extras. If you don't need these, then you could save some money by opting for 2GB of RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium and skipping the 3G modem. A one year onsite warranty is included as standard, although this can be extended to three years for an extra 55.

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So what's our verdict?

Verdict

There's a lot to like about the Dell Vostro V130 from its generous specification to its comfortable keyboard and touchpad. Unfortunately, its battery life is far too short for a thin and light ultra-portable laptop. Although the similarly priced 13in MacBook Air doesn't have built-in 3G and only has half as much RAM and a smaller SSD, its far superior battery life makes it the better ultra-portable laptop for now.

Processor: Intel Core-i5 470UM, 1.33GHz

Memory: 4GB 667MHz DDR3 RAM

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics

Hard disk: 500GB hard disk

Display: 13.3in 1,366 x 768, LED-backlit screen

Features: Two megapixel camera, microphone, stereo speakers

Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, HSDPA, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

Ports: 2 x USB2, combo USB2/eSATA, HDMI and VGA output, 3.5mm headphone and microphone audio sockets

Dimensions: 330x230x19mm (WxDxH)

Weight: 1.66kg

Warranty: 1yr onsite warranty

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

BENCHMARK RESULTS

Image editing 74

Video encoding 60

Multiple apps 53

Overall 60

Light usage battery life – 3h54m

Heavy usage battery life – 1h20m

POWER CONSUMPTION

Idle 17W

Active 27W

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