A computer is a must-have for any home office, of course, but a lightweight laptop is a must-have for anyone who needs to bring their office on the road with them. Dell graciously offered to let me test out their newest offering, the Vostro V130, and even though I’m a Mac girl at heart, I developed quite a crush on this pretty, ultra-portable computer.
The Vostro V130 is a deep cherry red, which is pretty to look at, of course, and it’s super-skinny (just 0.65 of an inch in the front and 0.78 of an inch in the back). But looks are only skin deep, and the real power is on the inside: an Intel Core ULV processor, a full-sized keyboard, a 13.3-inch High Definition WLED display, a HDMI port (so you can connected it to your HDTV), two USB 2.0 ports, a shared USB/eSATA port, 802.11n wireless technology, optional WiMAXtechnology, and Bluetooth 3.0 (to wirelessly connect to your mouse, printer, or headset). The SIM card slot is a nice touch, as is the built-in webcam — video conferencing is the new normal, after all.
My only two quibbles: If you wanted to use it to watch a movie on the plane, you’d have to make sure you’ve downloaded one first — there’s no DVD player. Which means that if a client hands you a disc full of images (some still do), you’ve got to get them off the disc before you can get on with your work. The clicky keyboard and touchy mouse took a little getting used to, too, but that complaint is easy to solve with a separate Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and mouse.
$429 and up at Dell.