Dell Vostro 1400
- No trialware, Dell Support application, speakers, Dell MediaDirect, excellent battery life
- Viewing angle on screen, no Dell Chat support currently (according to the Dell Web site)
The clean-slate design and trialware-free desktop are immediate pleasures that are soon accompanied by solid performance and some surprising media centre-style capabilities.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
Dell's Vostro range covers both desktop and notebook PCs and aims to provide a cleaner, more efficient business machine. As far as the Dell Vostro 1400 notebook goes, we feel the job has been done well.
Purely by hardware and benchmarks alone the Dell Vostro 1400 is a very smooth machine to run. It uses Intel's Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2GHz CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS graphics card and 2GB of DDR2 RAM, as well as having a 160GB hard drive and a DVD re-writer with Dual Layer support.
However, the most defining feature of the Vostro range involves what it lacks, rather than what it offers. By this we mean that Dell has taken the hint and removed all trialware and promotional software from the notebook and sold it clean-slate. All you'll find on the desktop are icons for the included software (full version), like Roxio Creator Home and the Dell Support application.
Dell Support has a nice user-friendly interface with links to driver downloads, FAQs and product manuals. There are also links to support sites with help on maintaining your system and improving your system's performance. There are, of course, means to get assistance from Dell; there are e-mail and phone details, as well as links to online chat support.
The software also displays all of your system information under various tabs, including your Dell service tag, a unique number that is attached to the machine and allows you to access these services online. Following links from Dell Support to Dell's Web site will automatically enter your service tag for you, making things smoother.
Although there are a number of self-support methods and means of contacting Dell, the feature that interested us the most is the online chat support. Unfortunately, in our attempt to access this chat support service the Dell Web site informed us that the Vostro 1400 does not currently have chat support.
If you want to get things done with a little more automation, Dell Support also includes the Dell Automated PC TuneUp software, an application that changes settings, installs or uninstalls features and generally tightens up the works. Each tweak can be included or excluded at your will and a small, but generally succinct description of each action will let you know what you're doing and why you might wish to do it.
The Vostro 1400 isn't all about business; Dell has allowed some room for pleasure to go into the mix, too. As is standard on Dell machines, the Vostro 1400 has Dell MediaDirect, a media centre-style software with a music player, photo viewer and DVD player among other features. The best part of MediaDirect is its ability to run a pre-operating system, and can be accessed within a few seconds from an off state. A set of media controls provide quick control over your media.
The 1440x900 screen is adequate, but nothing to write home about. However, the speakers are quite impressive for a business machine. There's a webcam, which can be useful for business or personal reasons and a pair of headphone jacks mean you can share movies, music or business presentations with a friend or colleague.
In WorldBench 6 the Vostro 1400 scored 82, a very decent result, especially for a business unit. The battery test was also very impressive. In our DVD rundown test the Vostro 1400 lasted 195 minutes, well beyond the average. As this is a worst-case scenario test we expect the Dell Vostro 1400 will last longer under normal usage conditions. Encoding tests also showed good results, a testament to the CPU. Encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took just 79 seconds in iTunes and 118 seconds in Cdex.
The 1400 is one of three Dell Vostro notebooks. Also in the range are the 15in Dell Vostro 1500 and Dell Vostro 1000 notebooks.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Android struggling in tablets as Windows 10 2-in-1s come on strong
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- 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
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTAutomation TesterQLD
- FTProduct Manager - FintechNSW
- CCDigital Business ArchitectACT
- FTSOE Team LeaderNSW
- CCSenior Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- TPAutomation TesterQLD
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- FTDrupal Developer - SeniorQLD
- FTSenior Microsoft EngineerVIC
- CCSecurity Incident Analyst - Splunk - TelcoVIC
- FTSAP Logistics ConsultantNSW
- TPProject Manager - General InsuranceNSW
- CCProject Manager - Security DomainVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst AgileQLD
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- FTAgile CoachVIC
- FT.Net Solutions DeveloperSA
- FTICT ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW