It’s been long enough after using it to now blog about it. Recently, I decided to try to buy a thin and lightweight laptop that is more practical than a netbook to use for my technical consulting business (more info found at http://ectech.info). The Dell Mini 9 netbook I had purchased back in 2008 has been a very useful computer for basic internet browsing but it wasn’t practical for work use. Most of my work functions involve some word processing when composing contracts, invoices and such; network troubleshooting on routers and switches; and other various tools needed for troubleshooting computers and servers. The ideal candidate I had found for the job was, originally, the Dell Vostro V13. However, Dell came out with its successor, the Dell Vostro V130, that is a little more powerful and added functionality with an HDMI port and an additional USB port while still staying within the same price range as the V13. I shopped the Dell outlet store waiting for the perfect price point since my budget wanted me to stay under $450. The only issue with this is that in order to stay under that price I needed to avoid the new i3/i5 processor and stick with the lesser powered Celeron processor. After waiting for several days the Dell outlet never produced what I was looking for. So, instead, I searched eBay and found what I was looking for at an affordable price of $390 in a refurbished model originally purchased from the Dell outlet. Below I decided to post a brief video of the Vostro v130. My apologies ahead of time for the shaky camera.
This is what came with the Vostro:
- Vostro V130 UltraSleek Laptop 0.65″ at thinnest point (0.78″ at thickest) & 3.5lbs
- Color: Aberdeen Silver
- 2 GB Memory (1x2GB), 1333MHz Dual Ranked RDIMM
- Dell Wireless 1702 802.11n/BT3.0 Networking Combo Card
- 320 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
- 2.0MP Webcam
- Keyboard on Notebook
- 6 Cell Primary Battery
- Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
- Trend Micro 16.6 PC-cillin 30 Day
- 64BIT Operating System
- 65W AC Adapter
- 13.3 inch Widescreen HD (1366×768) with Anti-Glare
- 125V Power Cord
- VGA & HDMI Port
- Processor: Intel Celeron Processor ULV U3600 (2M Cache, 1.2GHz, 800 MHz FSB)
- Dimensions & Weight:
- Width: 13″ / 330mm
- Height: (front/back) 0.65-0.78inches/16.5-19.7mm
- Depth: 9.06″ / 230mm
- Starting weight: 3.5lbs/1.59kg (with 6-cell battery)
As mentioned in the video, Linux Mint 11 works really well installed on the Vostro V130. Since Ubuntu moved, a few versions ago, to using Unity as its primary interface, I started using Linux Mint as my preferred Linux distribution. It’s basically a branch of Ubuntu but leaning more toward Debian based without the annoyance of Unity. It’s definitely an operating system I would recommend to anyone especially since it is free to download, install and use without any cost to you. Below is a screenshot of the elegant desktop and menu of Linux Mint 11 Main Edition.
Some of you that know me know that I also own a MacBook and are probably wondering why I just don’t use that for my consulting. I was using it for a while but since it is getting a little long in the tooth – I purchased it way back in 2006 – I was afraid of it getting thrown around too much in my duties that it would die sooner than I would like it to (I LOVE my MacBook). Also, if you have ever held the black MacBook from that line you know that those aren’t too lite, especially compared to the Vostro V130.
I have been really impressed, so far, with the performance and mobility of the Vostro V130. And benefiting from the installation of Linux Mint 11 is just an added bonus. Those that may have some apprehension of buying something like this and losing performance will be as surprised as I. The only issue with the Vostro V130 that most reviews have mentioned is the battery life. On average, like others, I’ve gotten about 2 hours worth of battery power. But, in most cases for me, that is enough to work off of onsite when working with my clients before having to plug it in at home to recharge.