Dell Vostro 410
Too cool for school, but not the office
- Standard ATX case, quad-core CPU, four USB ports on the front, looks stylish
- Could use more PCI Express slots, runs 667MHz RAM instead of 800MHz, doesn't have eSATA, USB ports are not flush with the front panel and could be awkward to use if the unit is placed at floor level
This PC is worthy of consideration if you want something zippy and good-looking, not to mention easy to maintain and upgrade, for the office.
Price$ 1,890.00 (AUD)
There's no doubt that Dell's Vostro line-up of PCs is good-looking. The 410, in particular, is black and svelte, with glossy trim and concealed ports. It's easy to forget that this is a PC that is essentially aimed at the small to medium business market, because it looks like it would fit in nicely in a home environment.
It doesn't just look good; it's also a functional PC, with four USB 2.0 ports, as well as a media card reader and audio ports located on its front panel. Meanwhile, the inside of the case sports a standard ATX form factor. There's no upside-down motherboard, topsy-turvy drive bays with clippie things or anything else proprietary. That means if it ever breaks down and it's out of warranty, you can easily work on it with a screwdriver, and without having to get back in touch with Dell to procure parts.
However, unlike a custom-built system from your home-grown PC shop down the road, the Vostro 410 probably won't have all the modern conveniences that you might require. This might be OK for a business environment where upgrades may occur every time Haley's comet passes the Earth, but we'll dwell a little on it as we think home users might also be interested in this PC.
While its motherboard is of the full-sized ATX variety, it is still reliant on numerous PCI slots. It has three of these slots, and the same number of PCI Express slots. Its biggest PCIe slot houses an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT-based graphics card, and there are two PCIe x1 slots underneath it. Chances are you might not need to use a PCIe x4 or x8 slot during this PC's lifetime, but we think one more long PCIe slot should have been included. We do like the fact that Dell offers an 802.11g wireless card (although we do wish there was a draft-n offering), which makes it ready for hooking up to a wireless network straight out of the box.
Dell has done away with IDE ports on this motherboard (DG33A01), which is based on Intel's G33 chipset and I/O Controller Hub 9, but still includes a floppy disk controller. There are eight ready-to-use USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, as well as six SATA ports, and all of them were occupied in our test machine, which was decked out with four 160GB hard drives (WD1600AAJS-75PSA0) but not in a RAID array. We also got a DVD-ROM drive along with a DVD burner. Luckily, Dell machines are customisable, so you can decide the amount and type of drives you want installed.
The computer features an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU that runs at 2.4GHz, and it has 2GB of DDR2, 667MHz RAM. There are two free slots for expansion, but the 410 ships with the 32-bit version of Windows Vista, which won't recognise more than 3GB of RAM anyway.
The Vostro 410 breezed through our WorldBench 6 applications, scoring 105, and it would've been even faster if the drives were set up in a RAID 0 array. It also recorded a time of 1min 6sec in our iTunes MP3 encoding test, which is bang on the money for its CPU. Basically, all you need to know is that this system will easily handle office applications, even photo and video editing suites, and with its GeForce 8800 GT card it won't burden your system RAM; it will also let you run a few games when you've got some downtime.
It's worth noting that the 8800 GT is very much last year's technology. A card based on the 9800 chip would offer more grunt, but for this there is Dell's XPS range of PCs, which are aimed at gamers instead of businesses (unless your business is games, of course).
As for comfort, the system ships with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is weirdly shaped and it has media controls, which are probably unnecessary for a business environment. Meanwhile the mouse is even weirder: its buttons are not separate to the main body of the mouse, and the design of the mouse itself is long and uncomfortable. Furthermore, the left-click button refused to single-click, forcing us to do a little troubleshooting. The best part about these two devices is their wireless nature, which is handy in an office environment. We just wish they were more comfortable.
Heat shouldn't be a problem for this machine. It has one 12cm extraction fan at the rear and venting at the front near the hard drives. A fan at the front wouldn't go astray, especially if you opt to install four hard drives. However, for most businesses one large fan should be enough. The rear fan, along with the power supply, CPU and graphics card fans, combine to produce very little noise at all, apart from a slight whirr, and the Western Digital drives in our test machine are quiet by design.
The machine will consume 80-90W of electricity when idle, and 17W when switched off but still plugged in to an outlet. Our test configuration costs $1890, but this is with two 320GB drives instead of the four 160GB drives we tested it with, and it also comes with a 20in Dell E207WFP LCD monitor. The price includes delivery and Dell can also recycle your old monitor for free.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
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
- Samsung Galaxy S7 hardware will come to the DragonBoard 820c computer
- Now you can try Microsoft's supersized Surface Hub before buying
- Samsung scraps a Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, shrinks Artik line
- Google wants to add AI to gadgets made using Raspberry Pi
- How to fix a limited connectivity problem on a Windows 7 PC
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
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)VIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- CCBPM DeveloperVIC
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- CCCloud Solution DesignerVIC
- TPProject Technical LeadQLD
- CCGun Java Developer wanted...VIC
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- FTTechnical SpecialistNSW
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- TPSQL DeveloperQLD
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)WA
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)VIC
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- CCPega DeveloperNSW
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTFull Stack PHP Developer - Focus on Front EndQLD