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Dell Vostro V131 review

Tom Morgan
21 Feb 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
659
inc VAT

A stylish portable business laptop at a good price

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Dell’s latest Vostro business laptop is more evolution than revolution, as it uses the same outer chassis as last year’s V130 model. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the combination of black plastic and silver metal looks as sleek as ever, especially in the compact 20mm-thick chassis.

Dell Vostro V131

Weighing 1.8kg and equipped with a 13.3in display, the V131 is aimed at business travellers who want something light yet powerful to use on the move. The 1,366x768 display resolution is fairly standard for a screen of this size, but the semi-gloss finish strikes a good balance between displaying vibrant colours and combating reflections. Unfortunately viewing angles aren't particularly wide, but there’s a decent amount of screen tilt to counter any problems. In the configuration we saw, the laptop comes with an integrated 3G modem and prepay SIM for easy online access on the move.

As this is one of the entry-level models in the V131 range, the laptop has a basic Core i3 processor. The version we tested had a dual-core i3-2330M running at 2.2GHz, but Dell has just upgraded the laptop to a 2.3GHz i3-2350M without changing the price.

The chip doesn’t have Turbo Boost so can’t overclock itself automatically for increased performance. Its Hyper Threading technology does double the number of cores seen by Windows and can help in multi-threaded applications, but an overall score of 38 in our multimedia benchmarks shows this is only of limited help - the new version will be around 5% faster. The laptop will also struggle to run multiple applications without slowing down, as it only has 2GB of RAM.

Dell Vostro V131

The laptop uses the processor's built-in graphics, but it’s mostly limited to video playback. It can handle 720p footage on the laptop screen, or 1080p video on an external display using the HDMI port, but playing modern games is almost out of the question. The V131 could only manage 13.3fps in our Dirt3 test, so you’ll have to stick to older titles.