This new version of the Dell Vostro V130 laptop updates the identically named model previously reviewed in PC Advisor, which was itself a successor to the older Vostro V13.

At only 1.6kg, the Dell Vostro V130 is a classic thin-and-light design, yet cuts few corners on build quality or materials. Its anodised aluminium case is tough as well as attractive in an industrial sort of way an inside a magnesium alloy forms the palm rest below a full-size tessellating keyboard with responsive, springy keys. There's also a relatively large touchpad, positioned left of centre.

Considering its size, the Dell Vostro V130 has a relatively good selection of ports - all of which, save for the multi-format card reader on the side and the front-facing audio jacks, are to be found round the back. Three USB 2.0 ports are included, one of which doubles up as eSATA. There's a gigabit LAN port as well as both VGA and HDMI connectors. Heat is also vented from the rear via a fan which whirrs up audibly on start-up, but settles to a whisper when in use.

The Dell Vostro V130's 13.3in screen offers the familiar native resolution of 1366x768 pixels and uses a matt anti-glare finish. Unfortunately it suffers from poor viewing angles, resulting in visible shifts in colour and brightness across the display. The colour isn't even that great to start with, rated at only 262 thousand colours rather than the more usual 16.7 million.

These factors together result in a display that's noticeably worse than you might expect. Certainly not good enough if you're hoping to do any photo or video editing.

A 1.33GHz Intel Core i5-470UM processor powers the Dell Vostro V130 laptop and it's supplemented by 4GB of DDR3-1333 memory and a speedy and capacious 500GB 7200rpm hard drive.

Given its relatively low clock speed, this chip can't keep up with full-size laptops featuring Core i5s running at 2.4GHz and up, but it does provide considerably more oomph than the 1.2GHz Pentium U5400 and 1.33GHz Core i3 chips used in the HP TouchSmart TM2 and Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11. Its score of 80 points in WorldBench 6 is a considerable improvement over both of these models.

The small size of the Dell Vostro V130 laptop also leaves less room for a battery, the non-removable internal model offering a capacity of only 30Wh and seriously limiting overall battery life. Using MobileMark 2007, we recorded a time of only three hours before the power ran out. That's around two hours less than what we'd expect from the average business laptop, despite the ultra-low voltage processor.

Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11b/g/n wireless networking come as standard, but you'll also miss out on features such as a fingerprint reader and an optical drive. A 3G modem is available as an option, although not included on our review sample.

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Dell Vostro V130 (late 2010) review

HP TouchSmart TM2 review

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 review

Toshiba Tecra M11–17W review

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Laptop Advisor

Dell Vostro V130 (Core i5-470UM): Specs

  • 1.33GHz Intel Core i5-470UM processor
  • 13.3in (1366x768) matt LED-backlit screen
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 500GB 2.5in 7200rpm SATA 3Gbps hard drive
  • Intel HD graphics (Integrated)
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • speaker
  • mic
  • heaphone jack
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • USB 2.0/eSATA combo
  • 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • MMC/MS/MS-Pro/SD slot
  • 2Mp webcam
  • 30Wh Li-Ion removable battery
  • 177.6x155.2x5.35mm
  • 1.6kg
  • 1.33GHz Intel Core i5-470UM processor
  • 13.3in (1366x768) matt LED-backlit screen
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 500GB 2.5in 7200rpm SATA 3Gbps hard drive
  • Intel HD graphics (Integrated)
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • speaker
  • mic
  • heaphone jack
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • USB 2.0/eSATA combo
  • 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • MMC/MS/MS-Pro/SD slot
  • 2Mp webcam
  • 30Wh Li-Ion removable battery
  • 177.6x155.2x5.35mm
  • 1.6kg

OUR VERDICT

The Dell Vostro V130 is slim, light, tough and powerful enough to make it a really useful business tool. However, the battery life and display performance are sure to disappoint.

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