Dell Vostro V13 hands-on impressions: 'yes'

What if you took an original Adamo, shaved a couple pounds off the weight and a grand off the price? You'd end up with something pretty close to the new Dell Vostro V13. We just got a quick look at the machine, and while some of the cheaper materials Dell is using here certainly came through, the total package is still quite impressive -- and the price unimpeachable. The anodized aluminum exterior is smooth to the touch and gives the frame of the entire laptop a great amount of stiffness; none of that bendy nonsense that can be found in some of the $500ish thin-and-light competition. We were also pleasantly surprised to find a antigloss (not quite matte) display under the hood. Unfortunately, the compromises begin with the keyboard, which is a bit bendy and "clacky" (the bad version of "clicky"), and the 6 volt battery gets 4.75 hours as quoted, so probably around three in real life. We're also a little disappointed that the $450 base price rips out the SD card and ExpressCard slots, and that you can't get a Windows 7 version for under $600 -- even though the Ubuntu default is mighty tempting. So, there are compromises, just like in life, but for the most part this is one of the least timid computers we've seen from Dell in a while: not afraid to step on the toes of its brandmates and make a name for itself. Check out a quick video hands-on after the break, and stand by for our review that should hopefully arrive later this month.

Update: We got some bad info, and it turns out that the ExpressCard and SD card slots do come standard with the laptop -- the mockup we saw didn't have them, but all shipping models will. Phew! %Gallery-79846%