Dell Vostro 1400
- No trialware, Dell Support application, speakers, Dell MediaDirect, excellent battery life
- Viewing angle on screen, no Dell Chat support currently (according to the Dell Web site)
The clean-slate design and trialware-free desktop are immediate pleasures that are soon accompanied by solid performance and some surprising media centre-style capabilities.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
Dell's Vostro range covers both desktop and notebook PCs and aims to provide a cleaner, more efficient business machine. As far as the Dell Vostro 1400 notebook goes, we feel the job has been done well.
Purely by hardware and benchmarks alone the Dell Vostro 1400 is a very smooth machine to run. It uses Intel's Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2GHz CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS graphics card and 2GB of DDR2 RAM, as well as having a 160GB hard drive and a DVD re-writer with Dual Layer support.
However, the most defining feature of the Vostro range involves what it lacks, rather than what it offers. By this we mean that Dell has taken the hint and removed all trialware and promotional software from the notebook and sold it clean-slate. All you'll find on the desktop are icons for the included software (full version), like Roxio Creator Home and the Dell Support application.
Dell Support has a nice user-friendly interface with links to driver downloads, FAQs and product manuals. There are also links to support sites with help on maintaining your system and improving your system's performance. There are, of course, means to get assistance from Dell; there are e-mail and phone details, as well as links to online chat support.
The software also displays all of your system information under various tabs, including your Dell service tag, a unique number that is attached to the machine and allows you to access these services online. Following links from Dell Support to Dell's Web site will automatically enter your service tag for you, making things smoother.
Although there are a number of self-support methods and means of contacting Dell, the feature that interested us the most is the online chat support. Unfortunately, in our attempt to access this chat support service the Dell Web site informed us that the Vostro 1400 does not currently have chat support.
If you want to get things done with a little more automation, Dell Support also includes the Dell Automated PC TuneUp software, an application that changes settings, installs or uninstalls features and generally tightens up the works. Each tweak can be included or excluded at your will and a small, but generally succinct description of each action will let you know what you're doing and why you might wish to do it.
The Vostro 1400 isn't all about business; Dell has allowed some room for pleasure to go into the mix, too. As is standard on Dell machines, the Vostro 1400 has Dell MediaDirect, a media centre-style software with a music player, photo viewer and DVD player among other features. The best part of MediaDirect is its ability to run a pre-operating system, and can be accessed within a few seconds from an off state. A set of media controls provide quick control over your media.
The 1440x900 screen is adequate, but nothing to write home about. However, the speakers are quite impressive for a business machine. There's a webcam, which can be useful for business or personal reasons and a pair of headphone jacks mean you can share movies, music or business presentations with a friend or colleague.
In WorldBench 6 the Vostro 1400 scored 82, a very decent result, especially for a business unit. The battery test was also very impressive. In our DVD rundown test the Vostro 1400 lasted 195 minutes, well beyond the average. As this is a worst-case scenario test we expect the Dell Vostro 1400 will last longer under normal usage conditions. Encoding tests also showed good results, a testament to the CPU. Encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took just 79 seconds in iTunes and 118 seconds in Cdex.
The 1400 is one of three Dell Vostro notebooks. Also in the range are the 15in Dell Vostro 1500 and Dell Vostro 1000 notebooks.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 2 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 3 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 4 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 5 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
Latest News Articles
- Hands-on with Asus ROG G752 and GeForce GTX 1070 (or holy crap this thing is fast!)
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 for laptops break the mobile mold
- After delays, Lenovo finally ships its first OLED laptop
- Surface Pro 3's massive battery drain is a software problem, Microsoft says
- Early Android app support rolls out to two more Chromebooks
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSolution Designer - Windows UpgradeNSW
- CCICT Security Design & Implementation - NV1ACT
- CCAnalyst Programmer/Snr. Analyst Programmer 20160817/vedAsia
- CCLean Six Sigma Project ManagerVIC
- CCSr. Project Manager- Infrastructure- Data Centre,VirtualizationNSW
- CCSenior Android DeveloperVIC
- CCWeb Content SpecialistNSW
- FTRelease & Configuration Manager | Defence intelligence application | NV1 clearedACT
- CCPMO Project AdministratorNSW
- CCPHP Developer | Network Specialist |VIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (.NET/SQL Server) 160829/AP/267Asia
- CCService Desk AnalystNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCOracle DBA with Solaris experienceNSW
- CCSenior IT Project ManagerVIC
- CCIT Support Officer- SAP (tool experience)NSW
- CCData AnalystACT
- FTDB2 Systems ProgrammerWA
- CCRelease ManagerNSW
- CCContract Programmer (IT Security/Website Admin.) 160824/P/567Asia
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/HTML/PHP) 160819/P/733Asia
- CCSenior Project ManagerSA
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/Oracle) 160822/AP/259Asia
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- CCWCAG 2.0 Accessibility TesterNSW