Dell Vostro Business Laptop Review – 2023
The business laptop Dell Vostro 14 5490 is a powerful, nicely designed, and well-configured item. It does, however, have a persistent mispricing approach that is not inherent to it. To be a competitive alternative to other models, it must be significantly less expensive by at least 20%.
Price and accessibility
Although the Dell Vostro 5490(opens in new tab) is now unavailable, at least directly from Dell, it is no longer among the most recent models in the list. That would be the Dell Vostro 5510, a product that aims to stand out in the competitive business sector where cost is king with a look that could be compared to the acclaimed XPS line.
The chassis of the Vostro 14 5490 is reminiscent of Dell’s high-end sub-brand, the XPS series. It has an upscale appearance thanks to a gunmetal color scheme (named Ice Gray)—minor elements, but ones that matter when it comes to perception. Nevertheless, only the cover is made of metal; the remainder of the chassis is made of smooth plastic rather than the cheap, sticky, granular variety that is typically found on entry-level models.
The base unit and the display are joined by a solitary, lengthy hinge. As you open the 5490, you’ll see a screen with thin bezels on three sides, quite similar to the XPS 13. (opens in new tab). A webcam, although a modified one with a 2.7mm diameter, has been crammed in at the top by the designers.
The RJ-45 connector, a USB Type-A 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and a MicroSD card reader are all situated on the other side.
Its dimensions—18mm thick, 322mm wide, and 228mm deep—along with its weight of 1.49kg make it relatively small for a device with a 14-inch display.
The hardware of his new Vostro line includes Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs. The model we examined is the top of the line, featuring a 14-inch full HD display, a 512GB Toshiba PCIe NVMe SSD, a quad-core Core i7 CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, an Nvidia Geforce MX250 GPU with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, and a 16GB SSD.
The 39.9Whr battery is powered by a 65W brick power converter with a barrel connector, and both the memory and the onboard storage are easily upgradeable (although only one memory module can be removed, the other one is soldered). Because Power Delivery doesn’t have a TB3 or Type-C option, you can’t dock a device to it for a fully integrated office experience.
Connection and case
Although the dark gray case appears to be extremely understated, it is actually very well crafted and doesn’t feel at all cheap. In this pricing range, stability is also not a problem. There are only a few cross-head screws holding the bottom cover in place. You can access the M.2 2280 SSD and a 2.5-inch hard drive in addition to the RAM modules. Also, the WLAN module is just plugged in and can be changed as a result.
Many connections are available on the Vostro 5490, including a cutting-edge USB-C connector that can be utilized for charging or attaching external monitors. Thunderbolt 3 is not incorporated, though. Because the WLAN module (1X1) and the microSD reader are so slow, Dell may have cut corners there.
The Vostro 5490’s keyboard makes a good first impression. The keys have a satisfying and accurate stroke and are a good size (about 18 x 18 mm). Even lengthy text can be input without issue, however there are undoubtedly better keyboards available. The only little keys are the arrow keys. For dim settings, there is a three-stage white backlight.
Dell doesn’t use a TrackPoint, therefore only the responsive touchpad may be used to move the pointer. The ClickPad did not pose any issues during use, and its size of 105 x 65 mm is still enough. Moreover, gestures using up to four fingers are supported (Microsoft Precision Standard).
The matte IPS display has a Full HD resolution and is supplied by AU Optronics (1920×1080 pixels). The major drawback of many other budget business computers is brightness. Even in bright indoor situations, an average of less than 230 cd/m2 is not much, and you will find yourself wishing for brighter backlighting. In contrast, the black level (0.15) is incredibly low, resulting in a high contrast ratio.
As a result, while the subjective image impression is good, bright regions appear slightly grainy. With our test device, there is no PWM, and screen leaking is not a problem.
Energy use and emissions
The additional graphics card puts a strain on the single fan. The fan remains deactivated during light use and low load, and no other electronic noises are heard either. Yet as soon as you exert some pressure on either the processor or the graphics card (or both), the fan rapidly increases to its loudest setting of 41 dB. (A). Here, Dell could have improved fan control optimization.
The high fan speed makes reasonable when considering the surface temperatures while the system is under stress. Although we measured the laptop’s temperature to be over 45 °C (113 °F) in some locations during the stress test, this is by no means a serious issue. Moreover, the device maintains a noticeable cooling throughout routine work.
Office computers frequently don’t prioritize speaker development, and the Vostro 5490 merely provides average performance in this area. Our testing demonstrates that the device has a very clean treble output, which is beneficial for voice reproduction. The modules are therefore ideal for conferences and meetings.
Dell’s Vostro 5490 is an affordable business laptop. The case and input devices, which are crucial components, are really decent, and the performance is perfect for typical office work. The single fan is a little overworked by the extra heat from the additional dedicated graphics card, but it can still develop its performance well and even allow playing some games after work. It soon rises to the maximum noise level of 41 dB even with minimal load (A).