Dell Vostro V131 review: Dell Vostro V131

Juice box
Dell Vostro V131 Average watts per hour
Off (60%) 0.42
Sleep (10%) 0.59
Idle (25%) 7.69
Load (05%) 41.95
Raw kWh number 37.94
Annual power consumption cost $4.31

Annual power consumption cost

The Dell Vostro's six-cell battery lasted an impressive 6 hours and 9 minutes in our video playback battery drain test. That's amazing strides from last year's pitiful 2 hours we got from the Vostro V130's four-cell battery. The new Vostro should last for much of a business day without needing to see a power outlet.

Dell includes a basic one-year limited warranty with on-site service with the Vostro V131, which can be upgraded up to three years for an extra $80, or up to a Pro three-year service plan for $190. Dell's Web site does a decent job making toll-free service numbers and documentation easy to locate.

There are many semi-thin 13-inch laptops on the market, and the selection can get numbing. The Dell Vostro V131 is meant for small-business customers, but the not-so-secret secret is that, at its lower-end price configurations, it's an intriguing option for anyone looking for a highly portable computer. Just be forewarned: it's no MacBook Air, and it's not trying to be.

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)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Dell Vostro V131
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1696MB (Total) Intel HD 3000; 500GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Acer Aspire Timeline X 3830TG-6431
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 540M / 128MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Dell Vostro V130
Windows 7 Professional; 2.26GHz Intel Core i5 U470; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Sony Vaio VPCSA21GXSI
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6330M / 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 500GB Samsung 5,400rpm

HP ProBook 5330m
Windows 7 Professional w/ SP1; 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1315MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Toshiba 7,200rpm

Toshiba Portege R835-P56X
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Hitachi 5,400rpm