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
POST A COMMENT

52 Comments

View All Comments

  • Luke2.0 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Uh, could you guys review ASUS' N55 ?

    The one with the new i7-2670QM, a 1080p 15.6-incher and, well, an external subwoofer.

    Thank you in advance.
    Reply
  • gostan - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    STOP MISGUIDING YOUR READERS! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    RTFA. With the 4-cell battery it's .83" thick. OMG, that's 0.03" thicker than ultrabook spec! What's this world coming to? Reply
  • juampavalverde - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    It's amazing how the big players in the market are not paying attention to the NEED in the business sector for good quality displays. As latitude d620, i am uber happy with the relatively snappy performance and high quality of my thinkpad t60 (core duo yonah, 2 gb ddr2, 14" 1400x1050 display) and i really do not understand why they are shipping new laptops with this awful screens, poor for productivity, when even 1280x800 is a lot more comfortable to work than a 1366x768, and its not about consumer laptops, business laptops are getting these ugly displays too! Reply
  • jiffylube1024 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    The Vostro V131 delivers on the promise of the V13 and V130 that preceeded it, with little to no compromises (I don't consider a lack of DVD drive a compromise in late 2011). The V13 was weak on processing power (1.3 GHz ULV Core 2 Duo), and lacked an HDMI port. The V130 added a more powerful but still underperforming CPU (1.33 GHz Nehalem ULV that turbo's up to 1.86 GHz) but had horrid battery life.

    The V131 delivers a lot of value for the money: 2x USB 3.0 ports, amazing battery life, backlit keyboard, 2.1+ GHz Sandy Bridge CPU (finally! No more compromise on speed!).

    Yes, there is still a lot of plastic on this laptop, and the screen isn't fantastic - it's a mediocre TN film that at least has a matte finish like the rest of the Vostro series. Still, you can literally buy two of these with 3-year warranties for the price of one Macbook Air. Adding an SSD is incredibly easy - just one screw. I do worry about breaking the plastic tabs with repeated removing of the cover, but as long as you go slowly and around in a circle one tab at a time, it's pretty quick and painless.

    I got one for my wife and she loves it -- all the power of her Vostro 3450 but a pound less and barely any perceptible screen size difference.

    I do wish Dell would put a 1400x900 option on this model -- I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Dell is usually a cut above when it comes to putting higher res screen options.

    All in all, I've been wanting to get my wife a 4lb (or less) laptop on a budget for awhile now, and this one delivers.
    Reply
  • OS - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link


    I have a Vostro V3550 and it has similar problems to those noted here, the chassis is build rather poorly, it flexes alot and the screen sucks despite being matte. Washed out colors and bad contrast.

    Whats sad is my previous laptop was an Acer Aspire 5534, and oddly it had richer colors and contrast and the chassis was more rigid.
    That's kind of sad when the budget leader has better qualities than a supposed business line.
    Yes it was glossy vs matte, but being matte alone is not really useful if every other aspect of the screen sucks.

    That said the feature set of the vostro is great, usb 3.0, eSATA, bluetooth 3.0, HDMI and sandy bridge. Great features and performance.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    You might want to check if Intel's "Display Power Saving Technology" is enabled; that will futz with contrast and backlight intensity in order to save power. The result is that it makes washed out colors of poor TN panels look even worse, unfortunately, while providing perhaps 5-10% more battery life. It's for this reason that I disable the feature on any IGP-equipped laptops. Reply
  • 86waterpumper - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Man I am on the fence about this one...the price isn't too bad for the specs, but everyone keeps trash talking the screen. Is it really THAT bad. I mean that much worse than any other typical crap tn panel? Reply
  • agent2099 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Dell does not give you a Windows 7 disc with this correct. So if you upgrade the hdd to an ssd how are you supposed to reinstall windows on it? Reply
  • OS - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    MS has a bootable USB/ISO tool, you can even use it to load win8 developer

    the win7 ISOs are generally uncontrolled, you can find it on google search and reuse the key on the bottom of the laptop.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now