CNET First Look
Dell Vostro 3300The small-business-targeted Dell Vostro 3300 is a compact, stylish-looking laptop selling at a price that's reasonable. If it had a more robust battery, this would be an excellent travel companion.
>> Hi, I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com, and this is the Dell Vostro 3300. Now, somewhere between personal laptops and professional, there's the small business category of laptops, which most manufacturers make and result in devices that look pretty much like a hybrid between something that's sort of a stylish, semi-professional look and something that small businesses can use. Well, Dell's line of laptops, the Vostro, falls in between the Latitude, which is their business laptop, and the Inspiron and studio side of the consumer. So what exactly is it? Well, it happens to be a laptop that for what it includes can be surprisingly affordable, and that's why we thought it was interesting. Starting at $599 for a Core i3 processor, the Dell Vostro 3300, which also has an included optical drive, is a pretty good value. Now, depending on what you put into the Vostro 3300, it can rise up. There are a ton of configuration options, and you can definitely get up above $1,000, which then doesn't make it that great a buy. The one that we had is over $800, has a Core i5 processor, 3 Gigs of RAM, a 320 Gig hard drive at 7200 rpm, which is faster than normal. And one nice thing that is included on all the Vostro 3300s is an anti-glare screen. We're excited about this, because a lot of screens nowadays are glossy and they reflect. Well, maybe, at least it's just us. We're excited about it. It's a nice display. The keyboard's nice and comfortable. It's pretty much a standard across a lot of Dell laptops, and the touchpad's nice and big, too. Now, the one drawback is battery life. A little over two hours, which is disappointing, but it's a four-cell battery. That's why it's lightweight. You can also spend an extra $99 to get an 8-cell battery, too. And that's kind of a requirement, I think, if you're going to be getting this laptop, because honestly, I don't think you're going to want two hours of battery life. Other than that, it's a nice performance. It's a solid package. It does not have HDMI out, but you can add discrete graphics for a little bit more money. The Dell Vostro 3300 comes standard with Windows 7 Professional 32 bit. Now, you can also get Windows 7 Home Prename 64-bit, Professional 64. Anyway, there's a lot of different options on Windows 7. But if you're looking for a nice, semi-professional laptop that actually has a slightly more advanced set of business software features built into it and a nice set of customization, and you don't mind paying a little extra for a higher capacity battery, this might be the laptop for you. I'm Scott Stein, and this is the Dell Vostro 3330.