Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Dell Vostro V131 business notebook
Don't let the Dell Vostro V131 laptop's low price fool you: it's state of the art
- Nice input ergonomics, two USB 3.0 ports
- Inexpensive for an ultraportable
- On the large side of the ultraportable class
You'll have a hard time finding a more affordable business ultraportable than the Dell Vostro V131, though its size and weight stretch the definition.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
This review is for the US version of the Dell Vostro V131. You can find the Australian Dell Vostro V131 on the Dell Australia site.
Dell's Vostro V131 is sedately handsome and a good performer, but has little else to distinguish it from the corporate-targeted ultraportable crowd. Unless, that is, you count eye-catching prices for various configurations, two USB 3.0 ports, and a generally excellent set of features.
Our V131 test unit ships with 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 7200-rpm hard drive, and a fast Intel Core i5-2410 CPU, and is priced at a mere $799--low for a business ultraportable. However, that drops to $500 if you can deal with a Celeron CPU, a smaller 320GB hard drive, and only 2GB of memory. If you're not doing anything taxing with the unit, the lesser configuration is worth considering. Components common to every model include a 13.3-inch, 1366 by 768 display, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11n wireless, gigabit ethernet, and WiDi wireless display technology.
At 4.1 pounds, the V131 is definitely on the heavy side for an ultraportable--probably the reason Dell refers to it as an ultramobile. The battery in the back, which managed 7 hours and 13 minutes of run time, also makes the unit a bit thicker than the ultraportable norm. A Macbook Air it ain't, but the V131 is certainly svelter than your average all-purpose laptop. Appearance-wise, the pewter-and-black V131 is about an 8 out of 10, with clean lines and a tasteful amount of bling.
The performance of our configuration was quite good, garnering a 118 in our WorldBench test suite. Gaming frame rates are as poor as you can expect from Intel integrated graphics--about 30 frames per second only at low detail and 1024 by 764 resolution. The unit's 1080p video playback was smooth, and audio was better than average through the speakers. The webcam maxes out at 1280 by 720 resolution and is quite a bit smoother than the average at that resolution.
Two USB 3.0 ports are the big news in the connections category. However, as part of a growing trend, the V131 forgoes a microphone input in favor of utilizing the dual-array mics on both sides of the webcam. There is, of course, a headphone jack, plus VGA and HDMI output, a SC/MMC card slot, and a gigbit ethernet port. Also included is one of the least ostentatious fingerprint scanners you'll run across--it's barely noticeable just below the right side of the keyboard.
The V131 provides a Chiclet-style keyboard that has a very nice feel, as well as slightly sculpted keys for secure finger positioning. The layout suffers no undersized keys and, outside of Lenovo's keyboards, is as good as anything you'll find. Both the keyboard and the touchpad are outlined in chrome trim, with the latter offset comfortably slightly to the right of the space bar. I found the touchpad a tad too sensitive to tapping, but the feel of the buttons is pleasant.
The V131's $800 price for our test configuration looks even better when you consider that the V131 runs the professional version of Windows 7. Microsoft Office 2010 Starter is on hand, and as is the norm with Vostro machines, you'll find a relatively junk-free software array--just a few useful utilities and Trend Micro's Security Agent trial. The Dell webcam application is one of the better examples you'll see, and digitalPersona is included to take care of the software end of the biometrics.
The Vostro V131 is going to draw a lot of attention solely because of its low price. But it's no good grabbing someone's attention if you can't impress them. The V131 should have no problem doing that.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- 4 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 5 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Huawei Nova 3e: Full, in-depth review
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?