July 11, 2011
- Ultraportable, solid design
- Business-focused features
- Two USB 3.0 ports & eSATA port
- Excellent battery life
- Average display quality
- No dual-N spectrum support
- Only average performance
The Dell Vostro 3350 is a 13.3-inch ultraportable laptop that's geared towards small business users. It has fantastic battery life and mobile broadband capabilities, but it only has average performance in the end.
The Dell Vostro 3350 measures 13 x 9 x 1.2-inches (wdh) and weighs about 4.5-pounds, which makes it an ultraportable laptop that is definitely compact enough to carry around with you throughout a long day of work. It has a sleek, attractive design that has a silver color (also available in bronze & red) and feels quite sturdy too.
The island-style chiclet keyboard is backlit, which is really nice, but does feel a little bit mushy when typing. It is full-sized and provided a decent amount of comfort. The multitouch trackpad below the keyboard was nicely sized and was good in the responsiveness category. To the right of the trackpad, there is a built-in biometric fingerprint reader for added security that small business users will appreciate.
Dell's 13.3-inch LED backlit widescreen display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels and provided only average quality. The screen was quite bright, but there was some ghosting when viewing fast-moving images and image quality quickly distorted with extreme vertical viewing angles.
The port selection on the Dell Vostro 3350 include two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port, HDMI-out, VGA-out, gigabit Ethernet, headphone/microphone jacks and a dual-layer DVD+/-RW optical disc drive. There is also a multiformat memory card reader too. We really liked the dual USB 3.0 ports and the eSATA combo port too, so there's really nothing left out in terms of physical ports.
Specifications of this laptop include a dual-core Intel Core i3-2310M CPU (2.1GHz), 3GB of RAM, a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive and integrated Intel GMA HD 3000 graphics. There is also 802.11b/g/n wireless, but the 802.11n support is only limited to the 2.4GHz variety and not the less-crowded 5.0GHz spectrum. There is also support for Sprint's EVDO-Rev A mobile broadband, which will also please on-the-go business users.
Dell chooses Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) as the operating system as opposed to the Professional edition, which was a little surprising to us because of its business-focused design.
The performance with the Dell Vostro 3350 was decent, especially for the business users, but more avid computer users might find this computer a little lacking. This is mostly due to the Intel processor, which is the latest generation, but one of the lower end ones. The speedy 7200RPM hard drive helped a little to speed things up, but not enough for users who want to play games, heavy video encoding or extreme multitasking.
Gaming is definitely out of the question too because of the integrated graphics, which don't provide much graphics performance for 3D gaming. Watching HD content from the Internet worked, however, without any performance issues.
Battery life with the 4-cell battery was an astonishing 9 hours on average, which blew away pretty much the rest of the competition.