Budget ultra-portable laptops, such as those in the Asus Eee PC range, have been making all the headlines recently with their shockingly low prices, but usually pretty basic specs. With the Vostro range, Dell is aiming to offer a more grown-up-sized laptop with a beefier spec for a similar price. The Vostro 1310 starts at a rock-bottom £229, but the model we’ve reviewed here is higher-end, with a larger £674 price tag to match.

Strengths
The Vostro range is aimed primarily at business users — you’ll find it in the business section of the Dell Web site — but there’s nothing to stop consumers from taking advantage of their low price tags. Most budget machines are heavy and slow, but the Vostro 1310 only weighs slightly more than 2kg and has a surprisingly good specification.

Our review model was built around a fairly speedy Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 chip running at 2.10GHz, with a decent 2GB of memory to help it along. It feels sprightly and managed to push itself to a PC Mark05 score of 4,528, which is perfectly respectable.

For storing your documents and media files, there’s a relatively roomy 160GB hard drive, a slot-loading DVD rewriter, and you also get a multi-format card reader for transferring files from devices such as digital cameras.

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