Battery Life

Overall performance is pretty much what you’d expect given the components, but one area where the Vostro V131 does acquit itself quite well is in battery life. The 65Wh battery is slightly larger than average, and for a 13.3” chassis it means you can last a long time between charges. How long? If “all day computing” is anything over eight hours (in light use), the V131 certainly reaches that mark, at least in certain workloads.

Battery Life - Idle

Battery Life - Internet

Battery Life - H.264 Playback

Relative Battery Life - Idle

Relative Battery Life - Internet

Relative Battery Life - H.264

We measured just under nine hours of idle battery life at our 100 nits brightness setting (48% in Windows’ control panel). Internet battery life comes very close to eight hours, while H.264 playback will get you over 5.5 hours of movies. The above charts are only a small selection of the laptops we’ve tested, but Mobile Bench has more results, so let’s look at the bigger picture.

Out of all the laptops we’ve tested in the past couple of years, the Internet battery life ranks near the top—only Atom (with a similar size battery) or some of the ASUS U-series laptops last longer. Idle battery life isn’t quite as impressive, with some ULV/CULV options along with more Atom netbooks surpassing the Vostro, but then idle battery life also isn’t particularly useful if you’re using a laptop. As far as H.264 battery life goes, the V131 again places near the top.

If you prefer a level playing field where we factor in battery capacities, you can also find those charts in Mobile Bench. Relative Idle Battery Life has many Atom and CULV/ULV laptops ahead, but the V131 still performance admirably. Relative Internet Battery Life has the V131 just out of the top 10—number 11 of 112 or so tested laptops. Relative H.264 Battery Life is even better, with the Vostro sitting in the #7 spot overall (for now). In terms of relative battery life, the V131 is right in the mix with the Brazos and Atom laptops we’ve tested, and it’s the second place result out of Sandy Bridge laptops (surpassed only by the Sony VAIO SB).

Power Use

If you prefer looking at power numbers rather than battery life, the Vostro V131 consumes around 7.3W idle, 8.2W for general Internet use, and 11.2W for H.264 playback. Those are all low load numbers, of course; if you put a full load on the system doing CPU video transcoding or gaming, you’ll use a lot more power. Under load, using a Kill-A-Watt meter, we measured a peak draw of 45W in the x264 encoding second pass test, and 49W max looping 3DMark06. (If you factor in power adapter efficiency of around 80-85%, that represents actual power use of 36W-38W for CPU intensive workloads or 39W-42W for gaming.)

Temperatures

With a moderate dual-core CPU and no discrete graphics, temperatures are nothing to worry about. Even at maximum load, the CPU sits at a warm but hardly alarming 74C. And if you’re just running office tasks, the CPU will rarely get to that level.

Noise Levels

Considering there’s no discrete graphics chip, it shouldn’t be too surprising that noise levels are quite good. Idle noise is slightly higher than some laptops, but 32.3dB (in a ~30dB noise floor) isn’t bad. Put a heavy load on the CPU and/or GPU and fan noise will hit 36.5dB after a minute or so, and under heavier/prolonged loads the maximum noise we measured is 39.0dB. All of the noise measurements are taken at around 15” in front of the laptop.

Vostro V131: Let’s See the Benchmarks Dell Vostro V131: Not a Good LCD
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  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Oops... thanks for the clock speed note. Guess I copied and pasted and forgot to update the clocks, as they were all the i7-2630QM clocks I think (or i7-2620M). Reply
  • rdamiani - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    The whole Vostro line is afflicted with crappy low-resolution screens - even the 15.6" systems are only 1366x768. I stopped recommending them to customers because of that. Reply
  • Taft12 - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    If Dell "took a leaf out of Apple's book", Vostro would cost 3x as much and the LCD would be equally excellent.

    Lower cost means compromise.
    Reply
  • aznofazns - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    The Vostro would cost 3x as much? Please. The 13" MBP's LCD isn't even IPS. It's just a higher quality TN panel with a different filter, IIRC. Reply
  • tzhu07 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Looks (both the LCD screen and the outer body) like shit. Reply
  • deetewari - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Hi,

    I have been using Vostro laptops for my startup for the past 4+ years and this includes models like 1310, 1320, 3300 etc. My colleagues and I have over the years subjected the laptops to extremes like inevitably dropping the laptops, lugging them around from their screens and even once spilling water. The body flex is certainly present in all of them especially in comparison to Latitude and HP probooks' however, it's nothing noticeable unless focussed on!

    They have lasted all these abuses and are still working fine. Over the years, though we've kept giving them thorough cleanups and due upgrades and that has kept us and the laptops quite satisfied and happy.

    And yes the Vostro's are quite good with respect to battery life!

    Thanks
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    I've bought my wife a Vostro 1700 in 2007, one of the reasons was because EVRYTHING IS MATTE!!! NO GLARE SHIT ANYWHERE!!! EAT THIS CHEAP ASUS/ACER CRAP :P

    So it works like a champ since 2007, no problems whatsoever. Battery is about 50% of its original capacity, not bad for 4 years.

    Minor things: one key on the keyboard started to get stuck recently and the power cable is getting damaged slowly over time near the laptop power connector because she bends it constantly while moving notebook around. Probably will break apart in a year or two, I'll replace it or solder it on and get a few more years of work after that.

    My next laptop is very likely to be Vostro as well. Judging by my experience Vostro means durability. It's like Lenovo but without the clit and cheaper.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    The flex on the front section/keyboard isn't nice

    Vostro V131 Celeron, 4Gb ram, Crucial C300 SSD
    Room temp: 20c
    V131 temp: 29c

    25 minutes later
    Room temp: 21c
    V131 temp: 34c

    If it were not for the battery life I'd recommend the HP 5330m over this machine every single day of the week.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-latitude-vost...
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    P.s. The celeron model basically stays quiet pretty much all the time. Reply
  • snuuggles - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    for a "business" laptop?! Seriously, give me a break

    Pathetic
    Reply

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