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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  • retrospooty - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    "1360x768 for a "business" laptop?! Seriously, give me a break"

    All low end laptops start with this, business or personal... Its extremely irritating, most people buy it not knowing, and on the business end, some IT dept's buy it cheaply not caring.

    Unfortunately, its cheap, and it sells more than any other res, so they keep making them and the cycle continues.
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    hey retro did you see this one? ==>> http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/10/why-p...

    I know it's offtopic, still wanna know if you saw this :)
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    meh... that guy is just an Anti Android troll and has no idea what he is talking about with regards to smartphones, or IT's take on it.

    This is more the real deal =)

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/26/technology/rim_pla...
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    This doesn't touch businesses though who use bridge and because of bridge they don't care about consumer email clients or consumer Android apps. Since businesses are the primary target for RIM they couldn't care less about consumer backlash for now. And Apple controls consumers anyway so why bother.

    I see RIM promoting PlayBook for businesses mostly these days, they don't yet have ammo to fight Apple for consumer dollar, they just released PlayBook NDK and the 3D games like N.O.V.A. 2 and more serious apps like Skype Android port just started to appear in the App World.

    Probably it's like six more months until they release next version of PlayBook OS and maybe then they could see some success in fighting against Apple. They also have an option of undercutting the Apple price since with time manufacturing costs go down.

    Apple is obsessed with huge bulky 10" designs with beefy and expensive GPUs to drive high resolution screens and this drives manufacturing costs up a lot, RIM can exploit this fact with their smaller lighter 7" form factor. They already did it this month during two promotional sales weeks, I see more of that coming as manufacturing costs keep going down.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    We've gone for the i5-2430M model. I'm a fan of the fact that skipping from 320GB to 500GB hard drive costs a mere £10 (approx. $16 - take note, Apple). Additionally, there's no 6GB option here - we chose 8GB. Shame the SSD option is so expensive - add £180 ($290), and the RAM upgrade from 4GB to 8GB is £100 ($161) though you do end up with a dual channel machine at that point.

    To save going into too much detail, here's the UK version of said machine:

    http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.as...

    We've bought it for our (interim) head so I'm sure we'll know about any problems soon enough. ;)
    Reply
  • fokka - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    first i want to thank you for the great review! anandtech is the go-to site if you really wanna know whats inside a machine! thanks.

    i live in austria and got my first vostro (1310) in 2008. back then they were quite a bit thicker and built 100% out of plastic, but still delivered the best bang for the buck, imho. i only made the mistake of "upgrading" to a geforce 8400gs and while gaming on low details (gta san andreas!) was great, of course the gpu died on me, although i copper-modded it for better cooling.

    thats when i first came in contact with the dell business service, which is nothing but world class support. they fixed the issue (new mainboard) and the machine is running strong since then.

    in my opinion its hard to get better laptops than the vostros for that little money, which is the reason i recommend them to people who are looking for a everyday-machine and want to stay under, say, 800€.

    especially the new series (3300 and newer) dont fail to impress me, since they are quite thin and feel very sturdy.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    I'm using a 2007 17" Dell Inspiron with a dual core T7200 (2 Ghz, 4 MB cache) and a 1920 x 1200 true-life display and is talking about "upgrading" me to a 17" version of this. I'm a bit torn - I love my current screen, and I upgraded my current system with an SSD and maximized the RAM, and it's quite a fast system. Even though I typically run the system at 1440 x 900 resolution, I like the possibility of running at 1920 x 1200 when I need to. I really wish they still made 1920 x 1200 displays... Reply
  • nklak - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    My company is dell direct partner in Europe and I as manager recently choosed this little vostro for my new laptop replacing HP models after 10years. What made me do this is the size of laptop and battery life as I am always on the move and carry notebook with myself 24/7. For strict bussines use even i3 is good enough, SSD is for speed lovers, and this should be enough for 90+% of bussines users.What is bad and what was the ONE AND ONLY reason to dump this notebook is LCD. Crap resolution, shit quality (color quality, wash away effect, very bad angles etc). End of discussion, deal breaker. I spend my 10+ working hours WATCHING at this screen, for proffesionals it should be biggest issue over everything else. I have money, I can afford latitude no problems, but trust me no latitude model is match for this little fellow in usability/portability. 6420 is just to big/heavy for me (who else still need optical drive inside). This is reason apple made it right. They made it like Steve liked it, and everyone else said WOW. I personaly can not use mac, and what makes me thinking is why nobody took their aproach. When you build bussines notebook build what bussines man needs. Try not to pack everything inside, you cant please all. Home users got inspiron, power users XPS, latitude can be for professionals top speced, but be rare manufacturer who makes bussines notebooks and make Vostro a bussines laptop. Needed options, top quailty, and I am in. Right now, mr. dell, one of your partners just ordered sony for himself... Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    The next BDS still works pretty well. I ended up having my Precision 4500 replaced due to BSOD's that they could not track down. And lucky for me, it go replaced with a brand new M4600, which I have to say, is a great machine. I have been very happy with it. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Oh, and as for the Vostro, never been a huge fan of them. Although it looks like this one may be a step up from previous models. Reply

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