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Dell Vostro 3350 review

Previous Dell Vostro business laptops have been Jacks of all Trades; Tom Morgan looks at the new Vostro 3350 to see if it is now a master of everything combining features and performance with battery life and portability.

We had no trouble viewing the 13.3in screen under harsh office lighting thanks to the matt display finish.

We had no trouble viewing the 13.3in screen under harsh office lighting thanks to the matt display finish; it mutes the appearance of colours somewhat, but does an excellent job of diffusing light reflections. Brightness isn't particularly high, even at its maximum setting, so we had some difficulty viewing the screen in direct sunlight. At 1,366x768 pixels, the resolution is just high enough to work on two documents side-by-side, but too small for Full HD video files. Even so, images were very sharp and contrast was reasonable, but only when sat face-on to the screen. Viewing angles were less than impressive and there's not a huge amount of screen tilt compared to other business-oriented laptops, which could make it harder to use in confined spaces such as on a plane.

The Dell Vostro 3350's keyboard feels comfortable and responsive to use.

The Dell Vostro 3350's keyboard feels comfortable and responsive to use.

In spite of these issues, we had no trouble using the 3350 when sat at a desk. The full-size Chiclet-style keyboard was very comfortable thanks to the typing angle created by the protruding battery pack. Each key has a reasonably short travel time, but we were always sure when we'd pressed one because they all had plenty of tactile feedback. There's no room for a separate number pad, but we would always choose a full-size keyboard without a number pad over a smaller one with a number pad. Even though the keyboard stretches across the entire chassis, there's still room for three useful shortcut keys; the first two launch Dell's settings manager and support centre software, but the third can be configured to launch the program of your choice.

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