Dell as a brand is well known for their laptops and have always launched products that can withstand the competition. Their Vostro line has been around for the last few years in the process replacing the Dimension line. These laptops from Dell are aimed at those looking for a laptop with above average features and looking to get decent performances from uses such as graphics related softwares or even a fair amount of PC gaming. The company recently launched the Dell Vostro V3350 that boasts of features such as Intel's second generation core processors, Intel HD 3000 Graphics 3000 card as well as preinstalled Windows 7 Professional. This notebook is designed especially for small businesses. Read on to see if it lives up to its predecessors.

Quick access keys on the top right of the keyboard

Quick access keys on the top right of the keyboard

Design and Build Quality
Dell is targeting both genders with the Vostro V3350. The notebook we received in our lab has a Lucerne Red finish on the top and sides; the rest of the laptop has a matte black finish. This laptop is pretty simple looking but because of its colour, it has an air of style about it. The Dell branding is in silver and is located at the centre of the top panel.

Design-wise Dell has not strayed away from the conventional tried and tested laptop look used by pretty much every manufacturer across pretty much every model. The notebook has a chicklet keyboard design with the trackpad located below it. The trackpad is featured slightly to the left below the keyboard but not too far off from the centre. There is a fingerprint scanner as well on the panel surrounding the keyboard. Featured above the keyboard are three quick access keys to the top right and the on/off button is located on the other end.

Indicators at the front

Indicators at the front

Connectivity options are located on all sides of the Vostro V3350. To the right side we find the VGA port, HDMI, eSATA, 3.5 mm audio jack as well as a mic port. The connections are well spaced but we noticed that when a VGA adaptor was connected it had a tendency to slip out easily. Only when the laptop was kept extremely steady, the adaptor stayed put. On the left of the notebook are the two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet port and the optical drive. In the front is the SD card slot which can support SD, MMC and MS card types of memory card. The optical drive slides out smoothly and we had no qualms with the build quality of the entire notebook.

The bezel surrounding the display is extremely sturdy and even after putting a fair amount of pressure, there were no backlighting issues noticeable on the display. The top panel features the HD webcam which is located in the dead centre of the upper panel above the screen. Another interesting but not unique feature of this bezel is that it has vertical rubber strips on either end of the keyboard as well as on the panel above the screen. This ensures that while closing, the laptop screen and keyboard are protected. The metal hinges are extremely smooth and do not pose any difficulty while opening or closing. The V3350 feels really solid overall and it looks like it could withstand a couple of accidental drops and come out on top.

Features
The Dell Vostro V3350 is pretty loaded with features and is perfectly suited for business professionals. The main feature is the second generation Intel Core i5 processor running at 2.30GHz. By fitting this processor, the V3350 is expected to be pretty fast in itself. As for the RAM, this notebook comes with 4GB and the internal hard disk drive has a storage capacity of 320 GB. This is pretty decent, but we would have hoped that the storage capacity would have been a minimum of 500 GB.

Two USB 3.0 ports

Two USB 3.0 ports

The graphics card used on this laptop is Intel HD 3000 graphics which is more energy efficient as compared to other GPUs from Intel. Another interesting feature of this notebook is that it comes with two USB 3.0 ports and no USB 2.0 ports, however, these ports are backward compatible. The Vostro V3350 comes with Windows 7 Professional edition, and the set up process is very simple. Apart from this, Dell has loaded some of their in-house softwares on this laptop for data backup and recovery as well as customer support. Overall, this notebook has some pretty good features and with the Intel HD 3000 GPU coupled with the Core i5 processor, the V3350 was pretty fast.

Performance
The performance of the Dell Vostro V3350 was tested by running real world as well as synthetic benchmarks along with checking factors such as viewing angles, comfort while typing and heating. We found the viewing angles of this notebook to be very good and images across the screen are easily viewable. While typing, we observed that the keys can be easily pressed and had a soft feel to it. During typing, the clicking noise was not present and we were quite pleased with this. This laptop was on for a considerable amount of time and hooked to a charger. Even though it was continuously tethered, the laptop did not get very hot at all. Apart from being cool, this notebook is really silent as well.

Benchmarks

Benchmarks

For the performance of this laptop, we noticed that it had consistant performances across all benchmarks. We compared it with the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG based on the price. From the image above you can see that the Dell notebook was at par with the Acer across most benchmarks. The only one where there was a significant difference was in the PCMark score. This Vostro V3350 with its HD 3000 graphics was a pretty good match to the AMD graphics card found on the TimelineX. Even though one can upgrade to an AMD GPU on this notebook, out of the box, this laptop does well enough. Where gaming is concerned, a slight bit of framing was noticed by running Far Cry 2. However, while running the benchmark we raised the anti aliasing to very high. So if one has to play games with this, it can handle them properly so long as the settings are not amped very high.

During video playback we noticed that the speakers were pretty loud and can be used as a good supplement for watching movies or TV shows. Without the need for adjustment, the screen produced colours accurately – this is the case with most laptops nowadays.

Metallic hinge and power connector

Metallic hinge and power connector

Battery Life
We tested the battery of the Dell Vostro V3350 by using our exhaustive Battery Eater Pro benchmarking tool. The time it took to die out completely was one hour and ten minutes. It's obvious that no one will be running this tool while using a laptop and with the notebook not connected to the power cable, the battery lasted for around three hours.

Lucerene Red makes it an attractive colour option

Lucerne Red makes it an attractive colour option

Verdict
The Dell Vostro V3350 sells at a market operating price in India of Rs. 45,990 and may be available in your area for lesser. This is a pretty good laptop overall and as Dell mentions, this is targeted at small business users. However, if you think this laptop fits in your budget it would be an ideal choice for anyone looking to upgrade from an older laptop, netbook or just looking to purchase a stylish looking laptop that's a good performer as well.

Publish date: October 10, 2011 9:45 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:40 pm

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