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Dell Vostro 3300

>> Monday, July 5, 2010

Dell Vostro 3300 is meant to glide somewhere between personal and business, and that's exactly what the design of Dell Vostro 3300 suggests : metal and black define the outside, with squared off edges on the front and back, and slightly rounded sides. Dell Vostro 3300 comes standard in Aberdeen Silver (which is what we had) in Core i3 configurations, with the option of adding Lucerne Red or Brisbane Bronze color schemes in the Core i5 configuration for an extra $40.

Overall, the design lies somewhere between the trendy Adamo and the more utilitarian Latitude. Plain, ThinkPad-esque matte black defines the interior of this minimalist Dell, from the keyboard deck up to the material surrounding the above screen Webcam. A few backlit media control keys and a backlit power button above the keyboard are the only flashy touches. Because this Vostro has a slightly thick and squared bottom half, there's room to fit audio in or out jacks, an SD card slot, and a Wi-Fi toggle button on the front edge, although they're a little tightly packed together in the center below the track pad.

The keyboard on Dell Vostro 3300 is similar to ones we've seen on other recent Dell laptops : it could be best described as a flat keyboard with individually raised keys. Though there's no number pad, it's easy to type and feels comfortable during extended writing sessions, and the keyboard goes edge to edge, maximizing the laptop's compact dimensions. The keyboard on our model wasn't backlit and that isn't available as an upgrade option on this exact model, but there is a Dell Vostro 3300 that includes a backlit keyboard on Dell's Web site starting at $708.

Above the keyboard, a small backlit touch controlled media bar has basic play and pause and volume functions. It's useful, but not overly so for a business focused machine. These might have been better spent on videoconferencing and other productivity related toggles. To the right of these are a few LED indicators for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and battery status. The track pad is wider and responds better than that of some brands we've seen. The plain discrete buttons below are nothing remarkable and could be slightly larger, but at least they're not over designed.

A 13.3 inch LED-backlit display on Dell Vostro 3300 has a 16x9 aspect ratio and a native resolution of 1.366x768 pixels, which is standard for most laptops up to 15 inches. These screens also come standard with antiglare, which is far rarer. The experience we had was excellent the screen has the glare free quality of a matte display, with the crispness found in a glossy coating. Text and video were easy to watch in any lighting. The included 2 megapixel Webcam had better clarity, sound recording and light sensitivity than most Webcams we've come across, making it perfect for video conferencing.

A small LED light also indicates the camera's in record mode. Though the camera's professional, Dell's selection of cartoonish effect overlays in its included camera software can only be described as cheese ball. There's only one speaker on Dell Vostro 3300. It's located on the front left edge of the laptop's bottom half, and though it sounds loud and clear, its off center position makes it a weak choice for movie playback. Should you choose to take a break with a DVD, you might want to pack some good headphones.

Dell Vostro 3300 doesn't have a huge selection of ports, but it does have eSATA. It's lacking HDMI-out, however, which is a feature that's becoming nearly universal on all laptops (excluding Macs). Thankfully, at least there's Bluetooth. Configuration options abound on Dell Vostro 3300, as is often the case with Dell laptops. Customization on Dell's Web site offers either a Core i3 or i5 processor, along with RAM configurations from 2GB to 4GB and hard drives from 250GB to 500, all at 7,200rpm. RAM can be expanded up to 8GB.

Despite Core i3 and i5 processors being 64 bit ready, Dell chose to make 32 bit Windows Home Premium the default OS. Upgrading to 32 bit Professional or 64 bit Home Premium costs an extra $70, 64 bit Professional, an extra $120. Depending on the support software, memory and other options chosen, Dell Vostro 3300's price can climb above $1,000, where it no longer seems like a great bargain. We'd advise you keep software services to a minimum and focus on basic needs. Our configuration, at over $800, just straddles the border of what we'd consider paying before looking elsewhere.

2 comments:

Latest gadgets September 20, 2010 at 12:54 AM  

Found this laptop through an internet site last month. It's features are quite good. I am interested in buying it this year.

Lindasy Rosenwald March 27, 2011 at 10:31 AM  

Lindsay Rosenwald http://www.doctorlindsayrosenwald.com/dr-lindsay-rosenwald-prolific-leader/ Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald – The Most Prolific Leader

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