Dell Vostro 1320 laptop
This 13.3in Dell laptop doesn't look like the typical business notebook
- Solidly built, built-in optical drive, powerful CPU
- Relatively short battery life, lacks eSATA and HDMI
The Dell Vostro 1320 is a good choice for any business user who wants a laptop that offers the best of both worlds: portability and fast performance. We just wish it had better battery life and more modern ports.
Price$ 1,968.00 (AUD)
It's got a burgundy-coloured lid and a black base, but don't let its looks fool you — the Dell Vostro 1320 isn't a notebook for hipsters to parade at coffee shops (that's what Eee PCs are for). It's a 13.3in laptop that's designed for small business users who want something that avoids the tedious black-on-black that adorns most meeting rooms and cubicles. It's solidly built, it's relatively fast and it's a good size for taking with you when you're travelling.
The Dell Vostro 1320 weighs 2.15kg, but this includes a built-in optical drive and a 4-cell battery, as well as a modest assortment of ports and slots. You get four USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, D-Sub, an ExpressCard/54 slot and an SD memory card reader. It doesn't have anything as modern as eSATA or HDMI; these are the types of ports that would make the Vostro 1320, with its powerful 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 CPU, come into its own as an all-round entertainment and productivity machine. As it stands, it's a great notebook for business users.
Even with only 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM our test model scored 90 in the WorldBench 6 suite of application tests, which represents good speed for office programs, multitasking and even 3D rendering and photo manipulation. It would have performed even better if it had more RAM (perhaps reaching the same level as the Dell Vostro 1520, which scored 96 with a slightly slower CPU). In the Blender 3D and iTunes MP3 encoding tests, it recorded times of 1min 11sec and 1min 06sec, respectively, which is around what we expected of the P8700 CPU.
The Vostro 1320's hard drive (a Seagate Momentus ST9250421ASG) was also very fast. It recorded an average file transfer speed of 28 megabytes per second in our tests. This is approximately 5MBps faster than the hard drive of the Vostro 1520. This means the Vostro 1320 will serve you well when conducting disk-intensive tasks such as compressing data.
An NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS graphics adapter is present, which has its own memory and gives the Vostro 1320 relatively good graphics performance for a business laptop. It scored 2379 in 3DMark06, meaning it can play games with low-detail settings if you ever get sick of being so productive.
While its performance was impressive despite the very low amount of RAM, the Vostro 1320's build quality is another reason to consider buying this unit. It feels very solidly built — from its base to its lid. You can pick it up from either corner without the chassis bending noticeably or making any disturbing noises. And unlike the chassis around the optical drive in the Dell Vostro 1220, it didn't unnecessarily contact the optical drive's tray and make clicking noises. Furthermore, the lid protects the screen well. There isn't excessive puddling when you move it from the edges; its hinges are strong and hold the screen perfectly in place at the angle you desire. The screen is latch-less, but it can't be lifted open with one hand — that's how strong the hinges are.
The Vostro 1320's 4-cell battery lasted 2hr 20min in our video rundown test, which we conduct with maximum screen brightness and the wireless radio enabled. This result is poor when compared to the 2hr 45min that was returned by the bigger Vostro 1520. We expected the Vostro 1320 to last close to three hours.
Using the Dell Vostro 1320 for a prolonged period will give you a warm lap, but it's not uncomfortable (especially during winter). In summer, you may want to plonk the unit on a notebook cooler or desk instead. Typing on the Vostro 1320 is comfortable after you adjust to the keyboard, although it does tend to bounce a little and its keys need a little less resistance. The primary keys are 18mm wide, which is not exactly full-sized, and the function and arrow keys are half this size. One thing we love about using this laptop is its touchpad, which is responsive and has soft buttons that don't make a noise when you press them.
Our review unit retails for $1968. This includes an Intel WiFi Link 5300 wireless networking adapter, a Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Mini Card module, the burgundy lid, 4-cell battery, and Windows Vista Ultimate Edition (and the rights to upgrade to Windows 7). It's not a bad price considering the build quality of the laptop, and with cash-back offers and online discounts (as well as free RAM upgrades) it is even better value.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCTest Analysts - MainframeACT
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- TPSenior IT Business AnalystNSW
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics DeveloperNSW
- FTIT Project Coordinator - Mascot/AlexandriaNSW
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- TPIteration ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD