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The time has come: My new notebook has arrived. Finally i decided to take the new Dell Vostro 1510 since it has (A) a sensational price/performance ratio, (B) gets delivered with Windows XP, (C) has the new Dell WXGA+ 1440×900 non-glare display as an configuration option and (D) Dell performed very good at the last service test of one of the leading german computer magazines.

Buy as seen on the internet

The Dell Vostro is small-business notebook and according to a sales-representative sitting in Bratislava, it gets only sold to business customers: That means no return if you don’t like what you got. So i definitly made the jump into the cold water, configured my dream notebook, ordered and now it arrived: my new notebook *g*

Since i didn’t find any review for the Vostro 1510, i’ll now write down my point of view about those few points i had headaches about before the order: The display, the keyboard, the build quality and finally the sound level…

My configuration


DELL Vostro 1510

  • Intel Core Duo T5870 (2,1 MHz)
  • 256 MB nVidia® GeForce™ 8400M GS
  • 15,4″ WXGA+ Display (1440 x 900 px), non-glare
  • 2 GB Ram
  • 320 GB Harddisk
  • Windows XP Professional

The display

In short: Very good decision. Very bright: I had to dim the brightness to work with it without headaches. The brightness is fairly enough to work outside – in the shadows. The bright sun itself is definitly nothing for the Vostro.

Angle of view: fairly good: Horizontally, the colors stay neutral, only the brightness goes down – a small viewing range vertically though:

The resolution of 1440×900 px on 15,4″ is ok if you have to take a widescreen – and definitly better than the usual 1280×800 which are rather useless imho.

The keyboard

One of the points i worried about: How’s the typing on the Vostro 1510? I do programming a lot and a good quality keyboard is a must-have. Since Dell doesn’t have an outlet store near Salzburg, i had to buy it on chance and had to hope. Finally the keyboard is OK – i can type very well with my clumsy, big fingers and have good response from the keys. The layout is very mature and well done – But i noticed two things i don’t like so much:

Adjusting the volume

You may adjust the volume in two ways: Either via the cool looking infrared-sensors over the keyboard or via the alternative mapping just over the cursor keys (Have a look at the next image). Although the infrared sensors are very cool you have to touch them x times to get your desired volume. They don’t support just tapping and then holding the finger on the sensor. Additionally, there’s no mute-key which i personally would like to have.

The mapping of the keys over the cursors should be reversed: I tend to assoziate left with “fewer” and right with “more” – The infrared sensors on top are mapped the right way.

Numberblock as alternative mapping

One part of the keyboard has an alternative mapping reachable via the numlock key. That definitly doesn’t sound bad but i’d make the keys reachable over the fn-key also so i don’t always have to search for the tiny numlock key if i want to type some numbers.

That’s nothing!

Those two things mentioned above don’t manage to disturb the very good impression i have from the keyboard: It’s mapping, function and quality are good – I’m very satisfied.

Build quality

Respect. To be honest, i really didn’t await that much with that price – but i was suprised positively. The Vostro 1510 is very sturdy – i don’t fear breaking it easely. Every piece is very buckling resistant. The display doesn’t need a locking mechanism (like the small apple notebook).

Personally i do like that very much since i have big fingers and sometimes had to fret fiddling notebook with small unlocking keys open. Additionally that’s one moving thus breakable part less. The DVD drive is a slot-in-drive which means also: one moving, breakable part less.

CSI Salzburg: Keep your fingers away!

One drawback: The display cover. Polished it looks very impressing but dare to touch it: You see every fingerprint.

Quality Assurance?

My drawback: My Vostro was delivered with a cut on the lower cage. I personally don’t care and hopefully it won’t concern others, but i thing such a part shouldn’t pass the QA at Dell.

Robust, sturdy, feels good

My conclusion: The Vostro haptic appearance is very good – nothing bends, you don’t have to worry touching and carrying it around although you shouldn’t forget to carry a hanky for the display cover ;-)

Sound level

Right now, i do work in my silent living room (Childs are in bed finally ;-) and i barely mention the Vostro 1510. Depending on the cpu load, the fan jumps to live less ore more often – That’s not very loud, but the inconstant short on- and offs are annoying sometimes. But i’m pleased anyway: As i’m mainly programming and surfing, my web server, mysql and browser hardly ever challenge the cpu (Except you have 5 YouTube videos open at the same time – have a look at the task manager then ;-)

Conclusion: Good buy

Except some minor points i’m very, very happy with the Vostro 1510. Thumbs up and i can only recommend that notebook!

Seventy Seven Replies

  1. 20. August 2008, 04:43
    Comment by lox
    thanks for posting the review Johannes, you are appreciated.

    i need to run XP in order to use my existing CAD software and it looks like Vostro is about the best way to get a sturdy, well-thought out machine with both XP and Vista CD's from the manufacturer.

    cancelled my Inspiron order tonight after I discovered my software won't work with Vista.
    will order my Vostro tomorrow based on that and your review.
  2. 5. September 2008, 04:56
    Comment by Toby
    Well done Johannes - gotta love a good visual reference in a review! I have ordered a 1510 just now and am greatly heartened by your (and others) comments about it. I do however think you all need to stop inundating poor Johannes with all your tech questions - poor bloke wrote a review and all of a sudden he is the master of all!!

    Lots of Love,
    Toby (OZ)
  3. 11. September 2008, 01:52
    Comment by AM
    Ordered one a few days ago and am awaiting delivery from Dell. I couldn't resist when I learned it's available with a 1920x1600 resolution screen AND Win XP. Finally I'll have a laptop with better resolution than the Toshiba Satellite I bought in 2002.

    The only thing that worries me is the sound quality from the speakers. This Vostro will be replacing a Dell Inspiron 6400 that I used to watch quite a few DVDs and listen to music. The Dell salesman told me that the speaker quality is exactly the same between the Inspiron and Vostro lines, that they just used a separate name to distinquish them between the home and business builds. I guess we'll see.
    • 26. February 2009, 01:56
      Comment by Robert
      The sound quality is far poorer then my Inspiron, I find the speakers very tinny, invest in good quality headphones and tweak your WinAmp Equalizer etc until it's acceptable. If the inbuilt speaker audio quality is extremely important to you than I wouldn't recommend this laptop.
  4. 16. September 2008, 00:42
    Comment by AM
    :( Received the Vostro 1510 laptop today, but I'm very disappointed in the speaker sound. It's tinny and laughable in comparison to the quality of the Inspiron 6400, despite the assurances of the Dell salesman that they were the same. I'll be returning it for this reason. Love the display, and in general everything else about the laptop... only con (besides the speaker quality) is that the keyboard is a little "cheap" and warped, but it's barely noticable.
  5. 28. December 2008, 14:18
    Comment by Mahmoud Baniasadi
    I bought a Vostro 1510 . 2,53GHz , 6M Cash, 320+ HDD , 8400 VGA & ...

    I try to install CATIA ( the Mechanical Engineering Software ) but I don't know why it crash and go to BLUE PAGE and then restart windows.


    Thanks - Mahmoud
    Mahmoud_Baniasadi [at] Yahoo.com
  6. 21. January 2009, 13:00
    Comment by Kaushala
    I have just purchased 1510 with out OS. But now I am configuring this in to win XP. After configure USB are showing in Device mamager with Yellow colour Symbol. When installing web cam and Blue tooth its shows no device were found. What is it?. It is a Hardware or software problem?

    Pls help me. I am in big trouble. Do i need to go agent or can we fix it by soft ware.
  7. 26. January 2009, 17:28
    Comment by A Kumar
    Thanks for the review one of the very few unpaid ones on this machine on the net. I plant to buy this next week. Hope I will like it. In india it sells for around 41000 rupees which is a lot of money so it is not cheap for indians at all.
  8. 3. February 2009, 01:47
    Comment by Paul
    Dear everybody here,

    I have been using a Vostro 1510 laptop with A14 BIOS and Vostro pre-installed. I have acquired a Dell XP Pro SP3 CD and wanted to use it to replace the present Vista. There is a Vista backup on Drive D (probably a partition of the harddisk) in case XP wouldn't install well.
    However, running the installation program works until I click on install XP, and then my reply is that there is no harddisk available to install it on.
    Using setup I see that most options having to do with the harddisk can't be selected (for instance on the first setup page I can only use the first lines to change teh date) so I assume that access to the harddisk is passworded.
    Is there any way to crack this so I could install XP????
    And if not, can I somehow reformat drive C with the backup of Vista Ultimate on drive D so I can start once again with a clean slate?
    thanks by forehand!
  9. 17. February 2009, 13:35
    Comment by suman reddy
    To take videos could you suggest me the path that to find in the dell vostro 1510

  10. 26. February 2009, 01:51
    Comment by Robert
    The only issue I have is that the keyboard doesn't have dedicated Home and End keys. I copy and paste a LOT so now need to Ctrl-Shift-Fn -> instead of Ctrl-Shift-End. It's more of an annoyance than a showstopper.
  11. 2. March 2009, 20:34
    Comment by Rafa
    Hello: I am an owner of a Vostro 1510 since april (2008). I can not tell you very much about it because my english is very bad. But my Vostro 1510 is a very good computer. I think that this notebook is a very good purchase option. The only things I regret are that it has not an inbuild modem and that the Dell AC/DC adapter is too much big.
  12. 27. April 2009, 05:52
    Comment by liz
    Hi. I got my Vostro 1510 last month and havent been able to use it much because I got 2 kids. I just doscovered that my Backspace key is stuck and I have to press it hard for it to work. It has started to give me pain on my right wrist.

    Do any of you have that problem? Is there a quick and easy solution rather than sending it to Dell?

    • 27. April 2009, 06:35
      Comment by Johannes
      Hi liz - My numeric 5-key was not working properly after about a year of usage. Called DELL support and told them about it - Next business day i received a new keyboard via UPS. Changing the keyboard is no rocket science either.

      Think they would have sent a technician if wouldn't had be able to change it by myself...
  13. 2. May 2009, 03:17
    Comment by Liz
    Hi Johannes,
    I mustered up some courage to pry the Backspace key cover and guess what, I found a 3mm-long piece of dirt underneath. I didn't have any problem putting the cover back. Now it works fine.
  14. 5. May 2009, 16:34
    Comment by bhumitra
    can u attach a 5.1 channel speaker system to vostro 1510???

    1 want to buy speakers but got to know that onl one jack is there in the laptop.

    is there any way that i can use 5.1 channel speakers with my vostro1510 notebook
  15. 10. May 2009, 09:25
    Comment by Paul
    I'm not an expert but it seems clesr that the one jack can only provide ordinary stereo unlee I'm very mistaken.

    I have two questions to ask:
    1. I seem to have understood that the only way to use XP would be to downgrade my laptop to a BIOS-flash below 10, is this correct? If so, is that also true if I want to clean up my laptop by re-installing Vostro? Drive D doesn't seem to allow this, only to repair the installed version of Vista which doesn't resolve speed problems due to remnants of past installations and virus attacks.

    2. My internal battery only loads when the laptop is conneted to 220V but not in use, but when power fails which happens regularly in Romania where I work for longer periods, the battery doesn't take over. The laptop then dies instantly as if there were no battery, even if the screen claims it's 100% charged. Any suggestions?
  16. 16. May 2009, 18:54
    Comment by Elaine
    My vostro 1510 is about 2 months old--I've had trouble with it freezing up. Had to turn if off manually and restart. Called Dell and they walked me thru a fix--now two weeks later it's freezing again. Also had a problem with the cusor jumping back several spaces while typing--thought it was me and the new keyboard. Turns out that it is a known problem and Dell does have a new driver to fix this problem.
    All in all, I think I have a lemon because the freezing problem has returned and I'm going to talk to Dell about a new computer. I've lost my work too many times because I had to just shut it down.
  17. 6. June 2009, 20:03
    Comment by Sarah Ehab
    AM Thinking About Getting the vostro 1510 am a 2nd year college student , i study programming and i do lots of typing ....My Uncle Recommended it for me , but am afraid about the CPU fan noise thing , i do like to work in a quiet mood , so what do u think about its Cpu fan ? is it noisy ?
  18. 20. July 2009, 22:52
    Comment by Paul
    I was still looking for a way to install XP, received the info that in de setop the type of harddisk should be changed from AH.. to sata but my setup didn't give that option.
    So, fool as I am, I decided to upgrade the bios from A13 to the lkatest, A15. And I paid the price: the laptop doesn't recognize the battery anymore so it has slowly ran empty at the times that there was no AC voltage. Returning to the old A13 bios didn't solve the problem, neither did introducing a newly downloaded A13 version. So I flashed the A15 once more and have to live with the fact that my laptop has no more battery function...
  19. 10. August 2009, 15:25
    Comment by damian
    got a vostro 1510 from work 3 months back.
    Was quiet impressed that dell can make such a machine for this money.

    I use it with an ubuntu 9.04 OS apart from a little keyboard bug on the initial install. it works flawless on the 1510.

    A very good buy if you are on a tight budget
  20. 26. August 2009, 08:55
    Comment by maddy
    hi, vielen dank fuer ihre bewertung des vostro 1510.

    ich habe es auch vor sechs monate gekauft und bin sehr zufrieden damit.

    habe aber eine frage, welche speaker sind am besten kompatible mit vostro 1510.

  21. 5. November 2009, 00:19
    Comment by venkatesh

    I have bought new dell laptop vostro 1520 last week when I run songs from the internet or system then I am feel like speakers are noisy is thr any setting needs to be done or any driver needs to be activated.Please help.
    the Graphics card is 256 MB nVidia® GeForce™ 8400M GS
  22. 5. August 2010, 04:09
    Comment by denise
    I have a Vostro 1510 and the keypad became locked and I cannot unlock it (the lock with the "A" in the middle is lit). The manual does not tell me how to change this. Does anyone have the solution?
  23. 3. September 2010, 03:10
    Comment by Mae Bailey
    I had my vostro 1510 for almost two years, and the only problem I am having is with the sound. The sound keeps coming and going. The last time it went it never returned. Any suggestions?
  24. 13. January 2011, 18:17
    Comment by venkatesh
    my dell has not having battery charging&fan not working
  25. 28. October 2011, 19:22
    Comment by Patrick K mwangi
    I need motherboard for the above dell vostro 1510 service tag 75ZQGJ1

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