A slim and light Dell notebook for business users
The ExpressCard/34 slot gives the Vostro V13 more expansion options than just USB 2.0 and eSATA and is suitable for plugging in a 3G data card when you're on the road, or a third-party docking station when you're in the office.
Because it's a business notebook, the Vostro V13 doesn't have niceties such as HDMI or dedicated shortcut buttons, nor does it have any fancy design patterns or colours; instead, you get a nice black and silver notebook with clean, straight lines and sturdy construction. You can't even see the battery — it's located on the inside of the unit and can't be easily replaced (unless you're prepared to remove screws). It's a 6-cell battery that Dell says is good for up to 4.5 hours of work.
The hinges are zink reinforced, so they are strong, and they are not placed directly on the spine of the notebook but a little further in, with the spine behind them. They hold the screen in place perfectly, and allow the screen to open up to approximately 135 degrees. If you hold onto the spine with one hand as you open the lid, you might have to move your fingers so that the screen doesn't push down on them.
Around the edges, the Vostro 13 has a very clean design and only a sparse helping of ports. You will find less ports on the Vostro 13 than on a typical consumer notebook; it has two USB ports (one of which is shared with the eSATA port), a D-Sub (VGA) port, an ExpressCard/34 slot, an SD card reader, a headphone port, a microphone port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. You also get fast 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth.
For a few hundred dollars more, the Vostro V13 can be purchased with a Centrino 2 configuration featuring a Core 2 Duo ultra low-voltage CPU and 4GB of RAM, which makes it a more potent machine in a slim and light form factor that still won't cost you the Earth. The better CPU can be used because the Vostro 13 employs the same architecture for airflow and reduced skin temperature as the Dell Adamo, Adamo XPS and Latitude E4300 notebooks.
You get a full sized, spill resistant keyboard that feels sturdy and has an ample palm rest; from our brief encounter with the Vostro V13, we think it's a very comfortable notebook to type on. The touchpad is large and supports vertical scrolling.
Dell targets the Vostro V13 at small businesses with one to 25 employees but we think even home users and frequent travellers will want to check out this laptop. It's slim, light (approximately 1.6kg), feels sturdy, looks good, and has more power and is more comfortable to use than a netbook. Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to [[xref: http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/user/register| PC World’s newsletters| Register for PC World Australia’s newsletters]] Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: [[xref:http://twitter.com/PCWorldAu|@PCWorldAu|Follow PC World Australia on Twitter]]
The balance of the Vostro V13 is perfect; you can open the lid with one hand when the notebook is placed flat on a desk (it's a latch-less lid) and the base won't move at all; it will rest on your lap without falling over when you lift your hands off the palm rest. Its 13.3in screen has a native resolution of 1366x768, a built-in webcam and uses an LED backlight. Its lid is made of aluminium.
Dell has announced its latest laptop for business users, the Vostro V13. It follows the trend of slim, light and inexpensive laptops that we've seen over the last couple of months from the likes of [[artnid:320795|HP]] and [[artnid:327488|Toshiba]], but it's definitely not a run-of-the-mill product. It looks good, feels sturdy, and is quite fast. It unintentionally borrows the shape of the Dell Adamo. Aluminium has been used to construct the base and the lid (the palm rest is still plastic), and you get a full-sized keyboard and a 13.3in screen. For a starting price of $999, you get an Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 CPU, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, integrated Intel 4-series graphics, Windows 7 Pro, a 320GB, 7200rpm hard drive and a 1-year, next-business-day, on-site warranty.
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