Dell’s Vostro line-up of business laptops are quite popular for what they offer their target audience. Rock solid build quality, smart design, decent performance, and now, you can even choose to get a more powerful Vostro laptop as opposed to settling for a bare bone office machine. Today we have with us, an entry-level variant of the Vostro 3400, let’s see what it offers.
Amongst the features, design, hardware etc, it’s actually the aesthetics that’s most attractive about this one. Our test unit has a silver-grey matte exterior and black matte chassis and wrist rest. All-in-all, it’s quite an elite-looking machine, and you’ll even find touch-sensitive media player buttons above the keyboard, but that doesn’t make it a multimedia laptop, it’s just an ad-on, a good one at that. In addition to the elegant appearance, it boasts a rugged shell, just like most Dell laptops, especially the Vostro and XPS series. The lid and the edges have an aluminum surface and the rest of the body is plastic, nevertheless, the use of metal gives it a solid look-n-feel.
Ergonomically, it’s quite comfortable to use. Unlike many other brands, this one doesn’t have a chiclet keyboard, and it sticks to the traditional flat design that’s common to the Studios and Vostros. In any case, typing is quite comfortable, thanks to the regular-sized and well-spaced keys. The touchpad is matte, thankfully, and the mouse buttons are comfortable to use as well. So overall, the design gets a thumbs up!
In terms of features, there isn’t much to brag about, it’s an entry-level machine for office use. Yes, despite being a 14-incher, it is pretty light in weight and sports a slim design. Built around the Intel HM 55 chipset, it’s powered by the entry-level Intel Core i3-350M CPU, has 2 GB RAM and a 320 GB hard drive. So, considering the hardware, onboard Intel HD graphics, and overall design, we’d say it’s a good pick for office use and light multimedia, but not gaming. Ofcourse online gaming and watching movies should be a breeze, but you can’t expect to run demanding applications or heavy multitasking from this machine.
On the left-hand side you’ll see display options like VGA and HDMI, and then there are two USB ports, a USB/eSATA combo and a Kensington lock slot. On the right-hand side, there’s a PC card slot, a memory card reader, a DVD writer, ethernet jack and the third (actually fourth) USB port. The hardware switch for wireless connections, and the audio jacks are in front, which could be blocked when using the machine on your lap. Finally, the standard connectivity options include Wi-Fi N, 10/100 Ethernet and Bluetooth, and, out test unit came pre-loaded with Windows 7 Professional (32-bit).
You can customize your Vostro 3400 purchase to choose more powerful hardware if you want better performance in the same form factor. Ofcourse, the prices will differ, the model we have is priced at Rs 35, 250, but, the ones with better CPUs and more RAM, ought to be more expensive. There are two other models with a slightly more powerful Core i3 variant and then there’s a Core i5 mainstream unit priced at Rs 42, 145. The 14-inch screen and the native resolution of 1366 x 768 are common across all variants, including our test unit. Basically, if you want more power from an entry-level business laptop, then the Core i5 variant is a good pick, otherwise this one suffices.
Speaking of power, this laptop is just as capable as any other entry-level laptop out there. So the latest office suites and using multiple tabs on browsers won’t slow it down, however, you obviously can’t expect encoding heavy video or audio within seconds. Also, not that it is intended for multimedia, but watching movies and light gaming should be just fine. The built-in sound is pretty clear and good, but the volume isn’t loud enough, and we’re not considering that a downside. All-in-all, it’s a good 14-inch business laptop in a 35K price bracket.
Published Date: Sep 27, 2010 03:38 pm | Updated Date: Sep 27, 2010 03:38 pm