Dell Vostro V13 Hands On: Bruce Wayne's Laptop

Magnesium alloy. aluminium. Zinc. That's what Dell's Vostro V13 is built with. It's as thin as Dell's primo Adamo at 16.5mm, but it weighs less, 1.6kg. Yet somehow, it's $US450.

Well, part of the somehow is that the default $US450 configuration uses a Celeron processor and comes with Ubuntu. You don't play in Windows land 'til you hit $US600, and don't reach the ULV Core 2 Duo until you drop $US650.

AU: Worth noting that in Australia, the price starts at $999 with a Intel® Core™ 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4GHz, 3M L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB) ULV processor as standard - NB

The V13 is a collision of high end—the design, sharp and thin, heavily echoing the original Adamo's silhouette, and build quality, as sturdy as any non-unibody laptop we've tried to bend—and low rent—the keyboard is straight off Dell's budget Inspiron line and well, I already told you what's inside. The 13.3-inch, LED-backlit, anti-glare display is nice enough though, at a resolution of 1366x768.

Still, at $US650, let alone $US450—netbook level—you expect some compromise, and if it wasn't at the expense of the design and materials, it had to cut somewhere. Conversely, you can buy raging monsters from Asus, filled with blistering silicon, but it's powering machines that are ugly, bloated plastic. Un-compromise is expensive, but the V13 straddles the line fairly skillfully, erring on the side that most don't, and that's something that's commendable. If Adamo was Batman's laptop, this is Bruce Wayne's.

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