Vostro V131: Let’s See the Benchmarks

Most of what we have to benchmark is part of a well-trodden path. Basically, we’re having yet another go at a midrange dual-core i5 with a hard drive. The Intel i5-2410M has been a very popular SKU among OEMs, and while the new i5-2430M is set to replace it the outgoing model is only 100MHz slower—less than a 4% difference in most cases. We’ve got the i5-2430M in the recently reviewed XPS 14z, so you can see how the two CPUs compare. Also note how the i5-2520M in the K53E compares, with an 8% higher base clock, 10% higher maximum Turbo Boost, and an 8% faster GPU clock.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Cinebench R10 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R10 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

As expected, the 8-10% theoretical performance difference between the i5-2410M and the i5-2430M and i5-2520M basically gets lost in the noise with PCMark 7 when we measure actual performance. A far bigger differentiator is the presence (or lack) of an SSD, as well as the specific brand of hard drive. The ASUS K53E has a somewhat slower 5400RPM drive, while the only laptop in these charts with an SSD is the ASUS UX21E; the SSD enables the ultrabook to run away with the PCMark 7 results.

Outside of PCMark, the results fall pretty much where you’d expect based on clock speeds. All of the dual-core Sandy Bridge mobile processors are plenty fast for most tasks; it’s only in computationally intensive scenarios like video transcoding, 3D rendering, or complex scientific modeling that the dual-core parts start to struggle. If you need to do any of the tasks we just listed, a quad-core processor will definitely pay dividends.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

This isn’t a gaming laptop—by any stretch of the imagination—and we’ve already looked at Intel’s HD 3000 performance several times. The i5-2410M has the HD 3000 clocked a bit lower than the i5-2520M or i7 quad-core models, but if the 10% performance increase offered by the higher clocks on the quad-core chips is the difference between “too slow” and “good enough”, I’ve got some beachfront property I’m willing to sell cheap. If you want graphics performance for gaming, grab something with a GT 525M or above (or HD 6630M or above) and you should be set. We won’t bother with any gaming tests, as 3DMark already tells us enough: this is the same HD 3000, and it will be sufficient for running some titles at 1366x768 and low detail, but anything more and you’ll want a discrete GPU (or Llano). But then, most businesses aren't worried about their employees playing games on their laptops, are they?

A Closer Look at the Vostro V131 Battery Life, Power, Temperatures, and Noise
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  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Oops... thanks for the clock speed note. Guess I copied and pasted and forgot to update the clocks, as they were all the i7-2630QM clocks I think (or i7-2620M).
  • rdamiani - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    The whole Vostro line is afflicted with crappy low-resolution screens - even the 15.6" systems are only 1366x768. I stopped recommending them to customers because of that.
  • Taft12 - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    If Dell "took a leaf out of Apple's book", Vostro would cost 3x as much and the LCD would be equally excellent.

    Lower cost means compromise.
  • aznofazns - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    The Vostro would cost 3x as much? Please. The 13" MBP's LCD isn't even IPS. It's just a higher quality TN panel with a different filter, IIRC.
  • tzhu07 - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    Looks (both the LCD screen and the outer body) like shit.
  • deetewari - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link


    I have been using Vostro laptops for my startup for the past 4+ years and this includes models like 1310, 1320, 3300 etc. My colleagues and I have over the years subjected the laptops to extremes like inevitably dropping the laptops, lugging them around from their screens and even once spilling water. The body flex is certainly present in all of them especially in comparison to Latitude and HP probooks' however, it's nothing noticeable unless focussed on!

    They have lasted all these abuses and are still working fine. Over the years, though we've kept giving them thorough cleanups and due upgrades and that has kept us and the laptops quite satisfied and happy.

    And yes the Vostro's are quite good with respect to battery life!

  • Pirks - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    I've bought my wife a Vostro 1700 in 2007, one of the reasons was because EVRYTHING IS MATTE!!! NO GLARE SHIT ANYWHERE!!! EAT THIS CHEAP ASUS/ACER CRAP :P

    So it works like a champ since 2007, no problems whatsoever. Battery is about 50% of its original capacity, not bad for 4 years.

    Minor things: one key on the keyboard started to get stuck recently and the power cable is getting damaged slowly over time near the laptop power connector because she bends it constantly while moving notebook around. Probably will break apart in a year or two, I'll replace it or solder it on and get a few more years of work after that.

    My next laptop is very likely to be Vostro as well. Judging by my experience Vostro means durability. It's like Lenovo but without the clit and cheaper.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    The flex on the front section/keyboard isn't nice

    Vostro V131 Celeron, 4Gb ram, Crucial C300 SSD
    Room temp: 20c
    V131 temp: 29c

    25 minutes later
    Room temp: 21c
    V131 temp: 34c

    If it were not for the battery life I'd recommend the HP 5330m over this machine every single day of the week.

  • damianrobertjones - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    P.s. The celeron model basically stays quiet pretty much all the time.
  • snuuggles - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    for a "business" laptop?! Seriously, give me a break


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