Dell's Vostro V130 is a compact ultraportable laptop aimed at small businesses, although there's plenty here for everyday consumers to enjoy. Only a couple of flaws prevent it from being an excellent travel companion.

Immediately impressive is the slender chassis, which measures just 20mm at its thickest point. This is one of the most compact laptops we've seen of late and is perfectly sized for slipping into bags. Furthermore, the 1.6kg weight makes it a light laptop and perfect for taking out on the road.

It doesn't have an optical drive, though, so you'll need an external drive to access DVDs and CDs.

Unfortunately, we only managed to work for 197 minutes away from the mains before the battery ran dry. This is a pretty poor result, and only marginally better than the Hi-Grade Notino D8000i, which greatly limits portability.

Performance is also limited, as a low-voltage Intel processor has been used in order to keep the chassis slim. We found there was enough power to comfortably run office applications and browse the web, but there are much more powerful options elsewhere.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 197 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 155
3DMark 2003: 1174

This definitely isn't a laptop for multimedia fans either, with the integrated graphics card scoring low in our benchmark tests. You can flick through your photo collection and watch standard definition video without trouble, but media editing is beyond the Vostro's abilities.

Compact display

The reduced chassis size leaves just enough room for a 13.3-inch screen - the smallest in this group test. Images are reasonably sharp, as the display features a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. The lack of a glossy finish means you won't be hampered by distracting reflections either.

The 320GB hard drive provides ample storage. Bettered only by the Hi-Grade's 500GB drive, there is enough space to store a hefty media collection.

The ports are positioned at the rear of the laptop and include VGA and HDMI connections, as well as an eSATA port for fast data transfers to external storage devices. Networking is also strong, with both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet connections onboard.

Dell vostro v130

Usability is another highlight, with the well-sized keyboard stretching across the width of the chassis. The typing action is smooth and quiet, although there's obviously no room for a dedicated numeric keypad. The touchpad has a surprisingly generous area and is perfectly responsive.

We love the Dell Vostro V130's compact chassis, and with a strong battery life this would have been one of the best ultraportables of recent times. Sadly, its three hour mobility is a poor result, while performance is also limited.

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