Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dell Vostro 3350

Mobility. The smallest device of Dell's Vostro refresh, the Dell Vostro 3350, has come in for review. Thanks to a big 8 cell battery, an illuminated keyboard and the latest hardware from Intel and AMD hardware, the mite with a 13.3 inch screen doesn't have any reason to hide.

Introducing the four new Vostro 3000 series laptops, Dell bids current hardware, a new design and practical features. Beside the devices Vostro 3450, Vostro 3550 and the big Vostro 3750 with a 17.3 inch screen, there is also a compact subnotebook with 13.3 inch display (1366x768, matt) in the range. It is especially aimed at small and medium businesses, abbreviated SMBs. However, even private users could find delight in it. The case's design is identical in all device sizes and only the dimensions and weight deviates.

Besides the comprehensive online configurator in direct sale, the Dell Vostro 3350 is also available at select retailers. However, only pre-configured models are offered here. Our test device moves in the upper range in terms of optional equipment with an Intel Core i5-2410M, the dedicated AMD Radeon HD 6470M and a 4 GB DDR3 RAM. There are also less expensive models, as well as more expensive models available depending on taste and application field.

The smallest entry model alternative of the new Vostro notebooks starts at 489 euros, not including added value tax. The laptops with a 15.6 and 17.3 inch screen are a bit cheaper in their base price in comparison. Our test device is available for 789 euro including added value tax and with a 24 month onsite service.

The Dell Vostro 3350's current innards present themselves as small and fast. However, the configuration variety via the online configurator is fairly large. In addition to the Intel Core i5-2410M mainstream solution that we reviewed, there is also the less expensive entry CPU, Intel Core i3-2310M (2.1 GHz -60 euros) and the dual core top model, Intel Core i7-2620M (2.7 – 3.3 GHz) available. With a surcharge of 260 euros, not including added value tax, the upgrade isn't exactly cheap. Back to our sample: The processor works with a base clock rate of 2.3 GHz and a 3 MB L3 cache. The clock rate can achieve 800 to 2900 MHz via the Turbo Boost technology depending on the requirement. In contrast to automatic overclocking, that not all CPUs can serve with, all Sandy Bridge CPUs support the Hyper Threading technology. It accelerates multi-tasking (2 cores, 4 threads or 4 cores, 8 threads in quad core processors).

The portable typewriter turns into a multimedia device with small gaming reserves together with the installed AMD Radeon HD 6470M. Dell specifies this GPU with 512 MB GDDR5 RAM, whereas various tools don't permit a clear conclusion about the memory or the core speed (700 or 750 MHz). It could also probably be a slower DDR3 VRAM, whereas the available memory is addressed via a slower 64 bit memory bus. You shouldn't allow yourself to be deceived by the specification of a built-in AMD Radeon HD 6490M. A new feature that is also used in this device is the automatic graphics switching, Switchable Graphics by AMD, which can be controlled via the Catalyst Control Center (driver: 8.811.1.4000). Only few programs were directly addressed with the according graphics in our test and the settings usually had to be set manually. At the same time, we missed a setting that appoints one of the two graphics for general use, like it's possible via Nvidia Optimus technology's system control.

specifications :
  • Processor : Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM67
  • Memory : 4096 MB, manufacturer: Samsung, DDR3-10600, 1333 MHz, maximum 8 GB, 2 banks
  • Graphics adapter : AMD Radeon HD 6470M - 512 MB, Memory: 800 MHz, Switchable Graphics, DirectX 11, 8.811.1.4000
  • Display : 13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AUO312C, LED, diagonal: 33 centimeters, glossy: no
  • Harddisk : Seagate ST320LT007-9ZV142, 320GB 7200rpm Momentus Thin, height: 7 millimeters
  • Soundcard : Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: headphone out, microphone in, Card Reader: 4in1 (SD, MMC, MS, MS PRO), 1 Fingerprint Reader, RJ45
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1030 (bgn), 3.0 +HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-U633J
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 27.3 - 29.8 x 329.2 x 228.5
  • Weight : 2.19 kg Power Supply: 0.325 kg
  • Battery : 80 Wh Lithium-Ion, 8 cell, 14.8 volt, model: GRNX5
  • Price : 789 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 2 Megapixel, subnotebook, 90 watt adapter with power cable, manuals, program DVD, recovery DVD, driver DVD, webcam central DVD, Adobe Reader X, Intel Wireless Display, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Catalyst Control Center, CyberLink PowerDVD 9.5, Roxio Creator Starter, Skype, Trend Micro Client-Server Security Agent, Windows Live Essentials, Dell software, 12 Months Warranty, colors: Aberdeen Silver, Lucerne Red and Brisbane Bronze, spill-proof keyboard with backlight
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