The Good Sturdy, thin design; lightweight; excellent keyboard; crisp, matte screen.
The Bad Poor battery life; high prices at upper-range configurations; no optical drive.
The Bottom Line Dell's thin and extremely portable Vostro V130 is an attractive small-business 13-incher, but an unacceptably poor battery life sinks its appeal.
Dell Vostro V130
Here's the not-so-secret secret about Dell's new small-business laptop, the Vostro V130: it's not really just for small-business users. Although the Vostro series slots in alongside Dell's Latitude as non-consumer-oriented laptops, the thin, sturdy, compact 13.3-inch Vostro V130 feels more like a more affordable offspring of the original Dell Adamo. The V130 is an upgrade to last year's Vostro V13, outfitted with HDMI-out and new, faster CPUs. Available in a wide variety of configurations ranging from $429 up to a MacBook Air-level $1,073, the Vostro V130 is less of an individual product than it is the latest in a line of high-concept designs kicked off by the original Adamo.
As a result, our recommendations vary based on what cost and specs you'd select from the configuration options available on Dell's Web site. Certain aspects of the V130 are consistent across the board: the rock-solid aluminum-and-magnesium frame, the 13-inch matte screen, and the system's lack of an optical drive. Also, the V130 only has integrated Intel graphics.
The configuration we reviewed, a top-of-the-line $918 model, had an Intel Core i5 U470 CULV processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. In this configuration, it underperformed compared to the slightly larger but more affordable Toshiba Portege R705, especially in terms of battery life.
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