Dell Vostro 5460
The Vostro 5460 is a Dell’s newest addition to the Vostro family, and is a “slim laptop” (or Ultrabook, depending on configuration) catered to professionals – that being said, it also makes for a good all-rounder machine. Clad in a no-nonsense black-dark grey shell, the Vostro exudes an aura of class, matching the audience it is meant for. Overall, it looks like a pretty well-built machine, and its slimness is a definite boon when you have to carry this around.
If there was one flaw regarding the design, it would be the speakers. Even at its loudest setting, the speakers leave you wanting, and can be easily overpowered by environmental chatter. This could be a software issue with the OS (more on that later), but listening to Spotify while typing this review is mildly disappointing. On the other hand, it keeps noise pollution to a minimum, should your colleagues find your taste in music questionable. The keyboard flexes ever so slightly, but is otherwise comfortable to type on, with evenly-spaced chiclet keys.
Considering its budget price point, the Vostro is rather well-equipped. This particular variant runs on an Intel Core i5-3230M paired with 4GB of RAM, has a 500GB hard drive tucked safely within, and discrete graphics in the form of NVIDIA’s GeForce GT630M. There are four variants of the Vostro altogether, with the base variant getting an Intel Core i3 processor and lacking the discrete graphics, while spending a few hundred ringgit more gets you a ULV Intel Core i5 processor (making it an Ultrabook), a 500GB hard drive paired with a 32GB SSD, and full-fledged Windows 8. In case you’re wondering, this variant runs on Ubuntu 12.04 – the only one in the lineup that runs it.
Since it runs Ubuntu, all of the usual benchmarks could not be run, so instead, I’ll just state my experience of using it during the process of writing this review. Other than the speakers, the trackpad was also a bit wonky at times, sometimes not registering clicks when using it. If you use the trackpad often, this might get in the way, so a bit of practice is required to accustom yourself to it. Otherwise, using Ubuntu was in no way hindering productivity. If your workplace doesn’t rely on a set of mission-critical applications, then you can still get work done with Ubuntu. The machine did not falter when handling Web browsing, document processing and audio at the same time, so you should have no trouble with this. The OS doesn’t seem to recognise the discrete graphics unit, but a software update should fix that small issue.
If you’re looking for an affordable notebook that doesn’t skimp on performance, the Vostro 5460 is a great choice. Depending on your needs, there is a Vostro 5460 out there for you.