A cheaper Adamo: Dell Vostro V13 hands on

Dell introduces a business thin-and-light that looks like a cousin of the Adamo, except much, much more affordable.

The Dell Vostro V13: a cheaper Adamo? Scott Stein/CNET

Today, Dell announced the availability of the Vostro V13, a new addition to its small-business Vostro line of laptops. The big news here is that it's the company's first ULV thin-and-light for the business sector, an area that seems to be a big focus factor in a down economy when lots of small business entrepreneurs are looking for affordable portables. We had the chance for a quick up-close hands-on look at one, and it's definitely an attractive little laptop.

It's certainly thin. Scott Stein/CNET

With an industrial design that's heavy on anodized aluminum and borrows a lot of what was eye-catching about the original Adamo, the Vostro V13 is .65 inch thick and weighs around 3.5 pounds, comes with a Webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an ExpressCard slot standard, and starts at $449--but, mind you, that's a configuration that includes a single-core Celeron processor and Ubuntu Linux as an operating system.

For Windows 7 and a Core 2 Duo ULV, the price rises in the range of mid-to-high $600, which is still really good compared with its closest competitors, the HP Pavilion dm3 and Asus UL30A-A1.

The Vostro V13 will support up to 4GB of RAM, and can be optionally upgraded with 3G mobile broadband.

Battery life courtesy of the sealed-in six-cell is, according to Dell, slightly less than 5 hours, though we'll have to see for ourselves when we review one. We have to hand it to Dell, though--it seems to have taken a lot of what was so appealing about the Adamo and passed it down into a machine that'll still be sleek enough to show off. The keyboard felt nice and comfortable and the laptop has a sturdy-feeling frame, which isn't always the case with ultrathin budget-range laptops.

Check out the photos below. The Vostro V13 is already available for order on Dell's Web site.

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