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ET Review: Dell Vostro 3350

The Vostro series from Dell has always been cheap. But there's nothing cheap about the way the Vostro 3350 looks or performs.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 01, 2011, 08.22 AM IST
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Dell Vostro 3350
Dell Vostro 3350
Price: Rs 65,912

FEATURES

13.3-inch LED, IntelCore i7 2.7Ghz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, ATi 6490/Intel HD3000 USB 3.0, HDMI, 8cell battery, 2.1Kg

PROS

Performance, battery life, switchable graphics

CONS

Average quality display, no backlit keyboard

The Vostro series from Dell has always been the cheaper alternative to the Latitude for business use. But there’s nothing cheap about the way the Vostro 3350 looks or performs. In fact, the fit and finish can rival more expensive machines quite easily. The Vostro 3350 may be a business machine, but it still comes in three colours. Our review unit was clad in silver aluminium (Aberdeen Silver), but you can opt for two additional colours; Lucerne Red and Brisbane Bronze.

Our review unit was configured with an 8-cell battery (which sticks out from under the machine) — it makes the notebook look chunkier, even though the weight is just about 2kg. The advantage of the protruding battery is that it raises the notebook up from the back, which brings the keyboard to a more comfortable position and helps in cooling. The 13.3-inch display has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which provides enough screen estate for an average user. The display brightness is great, although the colors did feel a bit washed out. On the inside, the notebook has a matte finish — a big relief . The chiclet keyboard is well-spaced and comfortable to use but was not backlit (it is an optional feature).

There are three dedicated keys present on top right of the keyboard — two have pre-assigned functions and the third one can be customised. The first key provides quick access to volume, battery status, wireless connection status (and so on) in a pop up box, while the second key launches the Dell support center. The third key is set to launch the browser by default, but can be configured for anything using the quick settings key. The trackpad is very responsive with large buttons for primary and secondary click. A biometric fingerprint reader is also available on the palm rest for security. On the left side there are two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port and a DVDRW drive. The right side has a D-sub out, HDMI out, e-Sata /USB combined port and 3.5mm jacks for headphone and line-in .

A multi-card reader is present on the front right, whereas the indication lights are on the front left. Overall, the notebook has great build quality and well placed ports. Our review unit came with secondgeneration Intel Core i7 processor running at 2.7Ghz with 4GB DDR3RAM, 500GB hard-drive and Intel HD 3000 graphics switchable to ATi 6490M graphics card when required . Thanks to the configuration, it scored a high 5.6 in the Windows Experience Index. The configuration and score clearly indicates that a Vostro 3350 specced like this can easily be used to run applications for photo and video editing or for playing high-end games.



Multimedia performance on the notebook was a mixed bag. The display was a bit of a downer due to the washed out colors, which in turn played a spoilsport in videos. However, audio output from the notebook was above average — both from speakers and headphones. The HD webcam performed top-notch as well with impressive clarity even in lowlight surroundings. As regards battery life, the Vostro 3350 gave us an impressive 7-hour back up on a full charge with 50% brightness and Wi-Fi connected (with the included 8-cell battery).

At the price, the Vostro 3350 is great for someone who wants a compact but powerful notebook. Note that you can also configure the 3350 with a Core i3 processor for as less as 41,990. To match our review unit, an alternative in the same price range is the Sony SB18GG/B notebook —similar specs but without the HD webcam and 8-cell battery for 69,990. However, the Sony does have a magnesium body and a lower weight of 1.7Kg for the same screen size.

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