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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Dell Vostro V130 review:

Dell Vostro V130

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Annual energy consumption cost
Asus U35Jc-A1
Dell Vostro V130

Juice box
Dell Vostro V130 Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.72
Sleep (10 percent) 0.83
Idle (25 percent) 11.72
Load (5 percent) 31.64
Raw kWh 44.04
Annual energy cost $5.00

The biggest letdown on the V130, and a real deal breaker for many people, is its battery life. The six-cell integrated battery on the V130 only netted us 2 hours and 9 minutes on our video playback battery drain test. That's terrible, especially considering that the V130 uses an ultralow-voltage CPU that's supposed to help enhance battery life. Apple's 11.6-inch MacBook Air trounces the Vostro V130 by comparison, lasting more than twice as long on a single charge. Acer's diminutive but higher-specced 11.6-inch Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T also more than doubled the Vostro V130's battery life. On a laptop this small and portable, battery life is critical, and this downfall alone is enough to mark the V130 down in overall score.

Dell includes a basic one-year limited warranty with on-site service with the Vostro V130, which can be upgraded up to 3 years for an extra $80, or up to a Pro 3-year service plan for $190. Battery service can be added separately, at $79 for one year or $89 for two years. Accidental damage protection can also be added, at $59 for one year of coverage. Dell's Web site does a decent job making toll-free service numbers and documentation easy to locate.

Dell Vostro V130
Windows 7 Professional; 2.26GHz Intel Core i5 U470; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Dell Adamo XPS
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Dedicated)/1,759MB (Total) Intel GS45; 128GB Samsung Solid State Drive

Sony Vaio VPC-Y218FX
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.2GHz Intel Pentium U5400; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 128MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Samsung 5,400rpm

Acer Aspire Timeline X AS3820T-5246
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.27GHz Intel Core i3 M350; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 128MB (Dedicated)/1696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Asus U35Jc-A1
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.4Hz Intel Core i3 M370; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 310M + 64MB (Dedicated) Mobile Intel GMA MHD; 500GB Seagate 5,400rpm

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