Dell Vostro V131 review: Slim, affordable, hidden gem of a small-business laptop

Dell's small-business-targeted Vostro V131 is meant for small businesses, but its size and price could make it appealing for anyone.

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Most companies strive to create distinctions between their small-business and consumer laptop lines, sometimes to the point of creating whole new designs that aren't available otherwise. Usually, they're nothing to write home about, but every once in a while one emerges that merits attention from even "regular" consumers.

The Dell Vostro V series has been that way for us for well over a year now. The last model we reviewed, the slim Vostro V130, looked like it might be the perfect slim 13-inch laptop, hiding in the form of a small business computer...except that it had a battery life that was far too short, and a low-voltage processor that wasn't fast, either. It was well-designed, however, solidly built, and surprisingly affordable.

The new Dell Vostro V131 addresses and fixes both problems. A second-gen standard-voltage Core i-series processor improves performance, and the included six-cell battery in our Vostro V131 was a great leap forward over the four-cell in the last version. Even better, it keeps a similar price to its predecessor, starting at $499.

Granted, $499 as a starting price for the Vostro V131 doesn't land you a Core i-series CPU; instead, you get a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron ULV 847 processor, which we'd recommend avoiding at all costs. Most people (us included) would choose the $599 model instead, which bumps up to a more reasonable second-gen Intel Core i3-2310M CPU. Our $799 version has a Core i5-2410M processor.

In the field of thin 13-inch laptops, it's hard to find good ones for less than $700. For $599, this slim 13-incher could be a perfect solution for some. At higher prices, it's likely that you'll find equally good options elsewhere.

Read the full review of the Dell Vostro V131.

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.

 

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