Aimed at mobile small business professionals requiring a reliable, highly customizable laptop, Dell's reasonably priced Vostro 1510 delivers adequate performance for most small business users. While these units may not win style awards, they are built with many Intel components, boast decent video capabilities and are backed by Dell's limited hardware warranty.
- Processor: Up to Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 with 2.6GHz, 6MB L2 Cache and 800MHz FSB
- RAM: Up to 4GB dual channel 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
- Screen: 15.4-inch widescreen (WXGA, WXGA+ or WUXGA)
- Storage: 5400RPM HD to 320GB or 7200RPM to 160GB
- Dimensions: 14.6" x 1" x 10.16", 5.7 lbs
- OS: Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Business or Ultimate with Windows XP Professional Downgrade Rights Service
- Price: Starting at $479 street
- More Info: Dell Vostro 1510 information page
- See more of the Dell Vostro 1510 in this TechRepublic Photo Gallery
Who's it for?
Dell's Vostro 1510 is aimed at small business mobile professionals requiring a mid-weight laptop that can be customized to provide above-average performance. While not necessarily a road warrior machine (with its 15.4-inch widescreen and five-pound-plus weight), the Vostro 1510 provides mobile users with the choice of Windows XP or Vista, up to 256MB of video memory and respectable battery life. These systems will serve mobile staff needing to run common office productivity tools, access the Internet and e-mail and run financial management software.
What problem does it solve?
The Dell Vostro 1510 provides business-class performance in a moderately priced machine. In addition, users wishing to stay standardized on Windows XP can configure the 1510 to ship with Windows XP Professional.
These systems are highly portable. With sub 17-inch screens and reasonable weight (five to six pounds), the Vostro fills the gap between a thin and light laptop and a desktop replacement notebook. The Vostro 1510 works as well at remote meetings and client appointments as it does when deployed on an employee's desk.
- Highly customizable - The Vostro 1510 can be tailored to meet most mobile small business users' specific needs. From entry-level Celeron to very fast 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo CPUs to the choice of Windows Vista or XP to a wide range of hard disk and integrated wireless networking options, you can configure the Vostro 1510 to meet most users' requirements.
- Respectable performance -With 4GB dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM, a 256MB video card, 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and 7200RPM hard disk options, the Vostros can manage even the most demanding tasks.
- Above average warranty available - Purchasing managers can add Dell's limited hardware warranty to Vostro 1510s orders, thereby extending next-business-day warranty replacement service several more years, if so required.
- Well equipped - Configuration options enable including 802.11 b/g and even n connectivity, as well as integrated Bluetooth connectivity. Vostro 1510 models boast integrated 8-in-1 media card readers, an ExpressCard slot, four USB ports, a 10/100 Ethernet port, VGA out and a FireWire port.
- Moderately priced - Compared to many competing models and even other Dell laptops (such as the Latitude), the Vostro 1510 is moderately priced, enabling small businesses with restricted budgets the ability to purchase reasonable-performing laptops at comparatively lower prices.
- Reliability - As an IT consultant, I've recently deployed more than a dozen 1510s, and all have worked well. While time is the ultimate determinant, these units have made field deployment and installation fast and easy due to their fast Intel chips, Windows OS flexibility and apparently robust magnesium-chassis construction.
- High-end performance lacking - Users that regularly complete demanding tasks, such as those users who edit video or create three-dimensional architectural drawings, will find the Vostro 1510's capabilities limited. Processors top out at 2.6GHz, while video cards support a maximum of 256MB of RAM. Further, only a single hard disk (maximum size 320GB) can be ordered in the 1510.
- No built-in broadband - Mobile users wishing to add integrated broadband wireless cards to the Vostro 1510 are out of luck. You must move up to the Latitude line of laptops to include integrated broadband wireless connectivity.
- Heavier than a "thin and light" model - While not as heavy as many desktop replacement laptops, the Vostro 1510 is not a lightweight. At almost six pounds, road warriors should at least consider a lighter Latitude model before committing to a Vostro purchase.
Bottom line for business
Dell's Vostro line targets small business users on a budget. As a result, the 1510 is a no frills laptop that meets well the needs of most business users. While light on design touches (there's no glowing apple or LED-highlighted accents on these models) and lacking gimmicks (playing DVDs without booting the OS, for example), the Vostro is a professional and capable business-class laptop. The model's clean lines, elegant slot-loading DVD drive and attractive display will win many fans.
Users concerned about high style may consider more flashy models. Small business users needing to maximize their budgets, though, and obtain Dell-quality, reliable business machines should look no further than the 1510. Unless users regularly perform more demanding tasks (audio/video production, three-dimensional modeling, high-end scientific calculation, etc.), the Vostro 1510 should prove a solid fit.
Have you encountered a Dell Vostro 1510? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the Vostro 1510 in the Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.
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Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.