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Dell Vostro 1310

>> Saturday, January 10, 2009

The smallest laptop in the Vostro family, the 13.3 inch Vostro 1310, starts at just $749 but offers a range of configuration options from ultra budget to high end. Our $1,258 review unit strikes a comfortable balance between performance and afford ability, and it's less expensive than competing systems, such as the Toshiba Tecra M8 and the Portable One SXS37. (A similarly configured Latitude D630, the closest analogy from the Latitude line, costs $1,637.)

What's more, the Vostro 1310 has an upscale look that will fit in to a variety of business environments, and its support package includes such nice touches as a dedicated small business support line and a yearlong subscription to Dell's Automated PC Tune up service. None of these seems all that spectacular on its own (except the price), but they do add up; we think the Vostro will meet the small business owner's needs better than an Inspiron for a similar price.

Specification
  • Price as reviewed starting price $1,258 - $749
  • Processor 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7250
  • Memory 2GB of 667MHz
  • Hard drive 160GB at 5,400rpm
  • Chipset Mobile Intel 965 Express
  • Graphics 128MB Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS
  • Operating system Windows Vista Business
  • Dimensions (wide x deep x thick) 12.5 x 9.6 x 1.0-1.4 inches
  • Screen size (diagonal) 13.3 inches
  • System weight or Weight with AC adapter 4.8 / 5.7 pounds
  • Category thin and light
With a round Dell logo in the center of its glossy lid, the Vostro 1310 looks very similar to the XPS M1330 though the Vostro is both boxier and heavier than its sibling. Overall we're pleased with the design of the Vostro 1310 it looks more expensive than it is, and it's businesslike without being stuffy. Also, its 4.8 pound weight (5.7 pounds with the AC adapter) is reasonable enough to carry on frequent trips to client offices or other work sites.

The Vostro 1310's portable weight can, in large part, be attributed to its 13.3 inch display, which provides ample screen real estate for spreadsheets, documents, and business applications. The review unit featured a 1,280x800 resolution that kept text and icons readable it also features an antiglare finish so you can read the screen in brightly lit office environments.

Though movies are a secondary concern for business laptops such as this, we thought the movie watching experience on the Vostro 1310 was more than adequate for watching flicks in flight. The keyboard on the Dell Vostro 1310 was adequately sized, but the clacking noise and minimal key resistance make the board seem a little bit cheap. We appreciate the recessed touch pad, which makes it less likely that you'll accidentally graze the pad while typing.

However, the touch pad feels a bit cramped and would benefit from a slightly larger surface. On the lower right of the keyboard sits a fingerprint reader, which lets you log onto Windows with the swipe of a finger. Above the keyboard you'll find a handy row of light touch volume and playback controls, of the type usually found on consumer focused media machines.

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