Dell Vostro 1200
- Good wireless connectivity, no trialware, built-in webcam and fingerprint reader, price
- Potential viewing angle problems, keys too close, no FireWire
The Vostro 1200 is a good choice at a smart price for the travelling business user with good processing power, Wi-Fi connectivity and battery life, despite being let-down by some design issues.
Price$ 1,460.00 (AUD)
If there was ever a notebook that deserved the term "Workhorse", the Dell Vostro 1200 is it. Combining decent connectivity with efficient performance and a fair price tag, the 2.2kg Vostro 1200 is clearly aimed at the mobile business traveller – and it almost hits that target on the nose, barely missing it due to some annoying flaws; including an average viewing angle and a slightly cramped keyboard.
Like any workhorse, the Vostro 1200 isn't flashy when it comes to pure hardware. The Vostro runs on Windows Vista Business and is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 2GHz CPU with an 800MHz front side bus speed and a 2MB L2 cache. Included is a DVD re-writer supporting dual-layer writing as well as 2GB of DDR2 RAM, expandable to 4GB.
The 12.1-inch (1280x800) LCD screen is adequate, but not exceptional and the anti-glare aspect certainly works. The screen's viewing angles suffers at times and would probably become a headache, both figuratively and literally, for any user in a cramped plane, train or automobile environment. Given this unit seems almost perfect for the travelling business user you'd think that use-in-transit would be better taken care of. The inclusion of a clasp for the screen would have been a useful addition, given the bumps that go with travel.
As is the case in all of Dell's Vostro range, the pre-installed software is basic and without clutter. What's left are a set of useful tools such as Dell Support Center, which puts all of the system information and tools you'll need in the one place – in case of a problem.
The lack of any dedicated graphics card puts the unit firmly in the "all work, no play" crowd, which is perfectly fine for most small- to mid-sized businesses. The 160GB SATA spins up at an adequate 5400rpm.
What it lacks in exciting extras, it makes up for in business necessities. The built-in 2-megapixel webcam makes video conferencing easy while the Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g and draft-n support, as well as Bluetooth connectivity, will ensure that airport-hoppers are more than capable of logging on at hotspots around the world.
A nifty little extra is the fingerprint scanner that gives users constantly on the move one more layer of security for their confidential documents. Well-designed and inconspicuous, the fingerprint reader works surprisingly well, with the pre-installed software making print registration a breeze.
When it comes to ports, however, the Vostro is a mixed bag. Three USB 2.0 ports, an internal 56Kbps modem, a gigabit Ethernet port, a 4-in-1 card reader supporting SD, MMC, MS and MS-Pro cards and a VGA port are included, which bodes well for presentations and workstation use, but the ExpressCard slot fails to support older PCMCIA cards. The lack of a FireWire port also runs against the current trend, even at this level of pricing.
The keyboard suffers from the unit's portable size, with many of the keys being too close for speed-typing, particularly the comma, full-stop and question mark keys. The sound from the speakers is fairly tinny, but then the unit isn't built with audiophiles in mind.
The efficient office performance showed up in our WorldBench 6 tests scoring a decent 76, meaning good handling of multiple business applications at the same time. In our MP3 encoding test, the Vostro 1200 managed to convert 53 minutes of WAV files into 192Kbps in 88 seconds using iTunes. In our DVD rundown test it lasted a solid 120min. This test is a worst-case scenario, so the Vostro will likely last longer under normal working conditions.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 2 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Lenovo recalls ThinkPad notebooks after overheating hazard
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By ASUS
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By Dell
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Is My Smart Speaker Always Listening?
- Sony a7R Mk III review: Full, in-depth review
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 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
- FTSenior Front End Web DeveloperOther
- FTDigital Content ProducerOther
- FTScrum MasterOther
- TPBusiness & Change AnalystQLD
- FTNetwork Engineer (RUN-BAU)VIC
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW
- CCInstructional DesignerNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst/Project ManagerQLD
- FTBig Data EngineerOther
- TPSenior Network EngineerWA
- CC.Net DeveloperSA
- FTRecruitment CoordinatorOther
- FTTest Analyst - RiskOther
- TPNetwork EngineerQLD
- CCSenior Internet Services EngineerNSW
- CCInfoSphere SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure EngineerOther
- TPPrincipal Solution Architect | CloudQLD
- CCJava Full Stack DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Scrum MasterOther
- FTManager Information ServicesQLD
- FTPresales Project ManagerOther
- FTAgile Coach/Scrum MasterOther
- FTSQL Developer / Data AnalystOther
- FTAWS DevOps EngineerOther