Dell’s Vostro line-up of business laptops are quite popular for what they offer their target audience. Rock solid build quality, smart design, decent performance, and now, you can even choose to get a more powerful Vostro laptop as opposed to settling for a bare bone office machine. Today we have with us, an entry-level variant of the Vostro 3400, let’s see what it offers.
Amongst the features, design, hardware etc, it’s actually the aesthetics that’s most attractive about this one. Our test unit has a silver-grey matte exterior and black matte chassis and wrist rest. All-in-all, it’s quite an elite-looking machine, and you’ll even find touch-sensitive media player buttons above the keyboard, but that doesn’t make it a multimedia laptop, it’s just an ad-on, a good one at that. In addition to the elegant appearance, it boasts a rugged shell, just like most Dell laptops, especially the Vostro and XPS series. The lid and the edges have an aluminum surface and the rest of the body is plastic, nevertheless, the use of metal gives it a solid look-n-feel.
Ergonomically, it’s quite comfortable to use. Unlike many other brands, this one doesn’t have a chiclet keyboard, and it sticks to the traditional flat design that’s common to the Studios and Vostros. In any case, typing is quite comfortable, thanks to the regular-sized and well-spaced keys. The touchpad is matte, thankfully, and the mouse buttons are comfortable to use as well. So overall, the design gets a thumbs up!
In terms of features, there isn’t much to brag about, it’s an entry-level machine for office use. Yes, despite being a 14-incher, it is pretty light in weight and sports a slim design. Built around the Intel HM 55 chipset, it’s powered by the entry-level Intel Core i3-350M CPU, has 2 GB RAM and a 320 GB hard drive. So, considering the hardware, onboard Intel HD graphics, and overall design, we’d say it’s a good pick for office use and light multimedia, but not gaming. Ofcourse online gaming and watching movies should be a breeze, but you can’t expect to run demanding applications or heavy multitasking from this machine.
On the left-hand side you’ll see display options like VGA and HDMI, and then there are two USB ports, a USB/eSATA combo and a Kensington lock slot. On the right-hand side, there’s a PC card slot, a memory card reader, a DVD writer, ethernet jack and the third (actually fourth) USB port. The hardware switch for wireless connections, and the audio jacks are in front, which could be blocked when using the machine on your lap. Finally, the standard connectivity options include Wi-Fi N, 10/100 Ethernet and Bluetooth, and, out test unit came pre-loaded with Windows 7 Professional (32-bit).
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