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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. 26. May 2008, 11:14
    Comment by Guglielmo
    Hello Johannes,
    firstly many thanks for you review: thsi is one of the first published by a real owner and not by professional testers, so for me it is more valuable.

    I also would change my current laptop HP Nx7410 (Business line notebook) with the new Dell Vostro1510: the main reasons for changing are the screen resolution and type; Actualy I have a glare 1280x800 and this is not the best if you use the laptop for work.

    You configuration is exactly what I would choose, apart the HD size which in my case could be even 250GB: like you mentioned, I also was scared about the build quality; Actually I'm using my HP and I'm very satisfied with the Keyborad quality (very sturdy) and the general robustness feeling, therefore I would ask your opinion about how the Vostro 1510 Build quality compares to some business line notebook competitors like HP, Lenovo etc.

    Many thanks.

    • 26. May 2008, 11:53
      Comment by Johannes
      Hi Guglielmo - I can't compare to lenovo: Just heard that they have an outstanding build quality - But, hey i get 3 to 4 Vostro's for the price of one T61 ;-)

      Compared to an Acer here in my company: I like the keyboard of the acer a little bit more but the build quality of the vostro is better: i can press on different parts of the acer and they may be dented: That's not the case with the vostro 1510.

      I think you have to step back a bit from your lenovo or hp keyboard quality but you pay a third to a forth of the price. The case of the vostro itself is *very* sturdy i think.

      And the 320GB HDD was a special offer of the austrian dell shop:
      Pay for 250 and get 70 for free ;-)
  2. 26. May 2008, 20:20
    Comment by Char
    Thanx a million for your review!
    I'm very interested in buying this laptop (with a little lower configurations, but good enough for usual text processing) and your review was the first user review I could find.

    It will mos def help me with my decision.


  3. 28. May 2008, 07:40
    Comment by Robert from Florida
    Hey Johannes,

    Thanks for posting your review - Well Done!

    I just puchased my 1510 right after checking out this site- configured very similar to yours...
    • 28. May 2008, 07:43
      Comment by Johannes
      Pleased it helped you finding your decission - That's why i wrote it.

      Greets from Salzburg!
      • 3. February 2009, 07:19
        Comment by Quazim
        good review, I have been using VOSTRO 1510 for the last five months with no problem except for the slow loading speed and and I can not manually eject the slot load DVD drive.

        last week, i had the greatest regret of my use of this laptop when the slot loading DVD burner stopped reading DVDs but only reads CD. Has anyone had this same problem with this product? if yes how did u go about repairing it, i think it is a hardware problem. Can the slot loading device be replaced?

        I am no longer happy with this device.

        • 3. February 2009, 07:51
          Comment by Johannes
          Ordered a vostro 1510 for a friend recently: The DVD-drive swallowed his office 2007 CD and didn't spit it out anymore :-( Called dell support - tried some of their suggestions but nothing helped. They sent a technician who arrived the next day, replaced the drive and released the office CD - That's the cause why i order all DELL products with a extended 3 years warranty: The service is excellent.

          If you owned the vostro for five months you still should have full warranty - Just call them and they will send you a technician who replaces the drive if it can't be solved via telephone.
  4. 28. May 2008, 08:14
    Comment by MA
    I got mine yesterday. Seems good value for money to me, but I think it is not as quite as Vostro 1400 but apart from that very good machine.
    Part from noise level which are not distracting and can only be heard when pin drop silence I have no other concern
    • 3. June 2008, 13:48
      Comment by UM
      hello does the touchpad have a scroll on the side and bottom
      • 3. June 2008, 14:20
        Comment by Johannes
        nope, it doesn't.
        • 9. July 2008, 01:28
          Comment by JB
          I just my Vostro 1510 this week. It does have a vertical scroll, but because the screen is so wide I haven't had a need for a horizontal scroll yet. It's probably there too.
          • 9. July 2008, 13:14
            Comment by Johannes
            Hey Thanks! There's no mark on the touchpad so i thought there is no such functionality. So: There's definitly a scroll functionality if you move your finger downwards on the right edge of the pad.
  5. 31. May 2008, 13:21
    Comment by Np
    Looks like I'm going to buy the Vostro 1510 now based on some of info here, thanks :)
  6. 1. June 2008, 08:17
    Comment by nik
    hye johannes, im considering to buy a new laptop. i put this vostro 1510 in my list,since personally i think it is a good laptop.Dell xps m1330 draws my attention too.i would like to ask you, is it true that the structure/body of this laptop(vostro 1510) mainly made up from magnesium-alloy? and how about the glossy lid,is it plastic?

    btw thank you for this informative review.
    • 1. June 2008, 08:43
      Comment by Johannes
      Yes, the glossy lid is made of plastic. As written in the review, i do think the body is very sturdy and made of magnesium-alloy. But i'm no chemistrian ;-)
  7. 4. June 2008, 13:35
    Comment by sidneysyder
    thank you very much for your review. this review is very important to me because it is from a real customer. i couldn't find many other reviews.
  8. 5. June 2008, 17:02
    Comment by Jennifer
    Once again, thanks for putting this review up as it's definitely the first from a consumer. I wanted to ask you bout the battery life though...did you get a 6 or 9-cell battery. How long does it last you? I'm wondering if 9-cell is worth the price or not. Thanks!
    • 6. June 2008, 11:03
      Comment by Johannes
      I did take the 6 cell battery since i just need computing power where i stay - and i usually have a power plug there ;-) But i did use it some times outside and the battery has served me approximatly 2:30 hours. I'll take a closer look next time.
  9. 11. June 2008, 04:30
    Comment by John
    Thanks for the review. But just a few questions. I'm still trying to debate whether I should get this, or the Vostro 1500(which to me, is too bulky). Would you consider this laptop just as durable as the 1500? Should I trust Dell with the shipping? How much did it cost just for the shipping itself? How good is this for playing games? And how is the laptop lasting you now, does everything still work? Thanks.
    • 11. June 2008, 07:08
      Comment by Johannes
      I don't have the 1500 - So i can't compare the 1510 to it. The shipping was included in the price and if their main way of selling products is by shipping them via UPS i'd say: trust them or else they would sell nothing ;-)

      There's a video on youtube (Search for "Vostro 1510") from a guy playing a 2007 game - I do no gaming on it (except tetris) since i've a desktop pc just for that.

      And despite the fact that i have the laptop for about 3 Weeks now, still everthing works ;-)
  10. 13. June 2008, 01:33
    Comment by Chad
    Hi Johannes, Great review. Would you recommend this laptop for college students? And how is the keyboard/arrow pads. It looks to scruntched up/ very compact. Is the keyboard too small to use?
    • 13. June 2008, 07:28
      Comment by Johannes
      It's a really low budget but sturdy notebook - I can fully recommend it for students. The keyboard is okay and i managed to play some decent tetris scores with the arrow keys.

      One think although: On long terms, the notebook gets warm and the fan jumps on and off often. So if you need a very cool and quiet notebook, the vostro isn't the one for you.

      Anything but that: Good, nice, recommendable ;-)
  11. 13. June 2008, 11:46
    Comment by chunkysaj
    Hey thanks for the great review.

    I want to get a 1510 with the following specs:
    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T5670 (1.8 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz FSB)
    Memory 2048MB (2x1024) 667MHz DDR2 Dual Channel
    Video Card 256 MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS (64 bit)
    Hard Drive 160GB (5400rpm) SATA Hard Drive
    Optical Devices Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Slot Load Drive
    Wireless Networking Dell™ Wireless 1395 (802.11 b/g)
    Cables 1 Meter Power Cord (3 Wire)

    I want the 65W power adapter rather than the 90W (because it is smaller and I do a lot of travelling). Dell's configuration page says that the 65W power adapter is not compatible with the dedicated graphics card. If I did choose the 65W power adapter and the dedicated graphics card, would I run into issues??

    • 13. June 2008, 12:37
      Comment by Johannes
      I really can't compute the power consumption of the notebook ;-) If DELL says: "Take the 90W Power Supply or else..." i'd definitly take it.
      • 3. July 2008, 11:41
        Comment by Alan

        Just received new Vostro 1510 this week. Tried using a 65 w adapter from my work Dell, machine worked but did give warning messages on startup re battery charging and performance.

        So swapped to the larger 90w. The business Dells normally only need this for docking station usage.

        So 1510 does prefer 90w.
  12. 13. June 2008, 16:13
    Comment by Pete

    Thank you for writing your informative review. I'm thinking of purchasing a Vostro system and just wanted to ask you a few questions based on your experiences of the laptop.

    1) I intend to use the laptop for a lot of writing.typing. How do you find the keyboard and screen for this use? Is it still bearable after a couple of hours?

    2) What ports are on the Laptop? How many USB etc?

    3) How do you find the screen, i believe you have the upgraded version...one down from the best?

    Thank you

  13. 21. June 2008, 09:18
    Comment by Vicente
    Thanks for the review. I'm now waiting for my own 1510.

    I'd like to see more pictures though, a detail of the chasis would be great.

    Greetings from Chile!
  14. 24. June 2008, 14:59
    Comment by Josh

    Excellent review, thanks very much. I've looked for customer reviews everywhere but this is the first one I’ve come across.

    I'm planning on getting a Vostro 1510/1710, but I was wondering if you could clarify something for me. You say in your review (and indeed in the responses to questions) that there is an issue with the noise level with regards to the fan. I was wondering how frequently these on/off cycles would occur, and how loud the fan would be?

    Thanks, regards -

    • 3. July 2008, 12:44
      Comment by Johannes
      The more cpu power you demand the more often the fan turns on. It turns on infrequently whenever there's to much heat near it's internal temp sensor.
  15. 25. June 2008, 19:25
    Comment by Ed
    Hi Johannes,

    thanks review. Am wondering whether to get the Vostro 1510.

    The only thing that bothers me is whether there is flex in the keyboard. I.e. does it feel solid like the rest of the casing?

    Cheers, Ed.
  16. 29. June 2008, 18:11
    Comment by sekony
    hi and thanks for your review. i intend to buy a notebook and the vostro 1510 is at the top of my list.but i have some worries;How is the sound of the speakers? I also intend to take it with the optional integrated webcam 1.3 M pixel and the optional Wi-fi Wireless-N.How much will they cost? thanks
    • 3. July 2008, 12:41
      Comment by Johannes
      One thing i can assure you: The sound of the speakers is awfull. Lucky that this wasn't a criterium for me... i like headphones and the output over the front audio out is enough for me.

      For prices of the cam and wifi go to the dell homepage and just configure them...
  17. 3. July 2008, 10:49
    Comment by Ann

    i have the same laptop Vostro 1510. it comes with preinstalled vista home. when im about to install xp, it said it cannot find the harddisk. seems that this vostro has the latest SATA on it. how can i solve this problem? how did you install your XP on your Vostro 1510?

    please email me about your feedback.
    • 3. July 2008, 12:38
      Comment by Johannes
      Hi Ann - I did buy the vostro with XP preinstalled. Since i did buy it before June, the 30th, i got a normal xp licence and installation cd too.

      I'd call dell and just ask them where you can get the drivers and what has to be done to get XP installed. Think they will probably help you if you ask politely.
    • 7. July 2008, 13:07
      Comment by Will

      Did you ever find the answer to this question?

      I expect something needs to be changed in the bios.

      • 10. July 2008, 20:48
        Comment by Zac
        I am interested if anybody knows a solution to this problem as well. Google isn't helping (a first!!) and i'm wondering if i'm truely stuck with vista. I want the option to dual boot vista/xp like I do on a 1500 i have. On the 1500 it prevents XP from installing but all you do is change the sata mode in the bios from something like AHA mode ( i don't remember exactly - but i switched it and it could read the hard drive). I'm lost and don't know what to try next because this bios doesn't have the option.
        • 24. July 2008, 04:50
          Comment by Abineet
          U need to create a win xp bootable cd which contains the drivers for intel ichm8 controller . Use Nlite s/w to create the bootable cd
      • 11. July 2008, 19:52
        Comment by Zac
        Did some more homework on this. My laptop shipped with bios version 06 on it. If you download the version below, 10, from dell, and flash the bios while logged onto vista, the bios update has an option to switch the SATA mode. Switch from AHCI to ATA and the hard drive should become visible in the XP install (make sure you use windows SP2 install or you will probably get the blue screen of death during the install).

  18. 4. July 2008, 19:55
    Comment by harshil
    hi johannes i watched ur video on you-tube.
    i am buying a vostro 1510 aswell this will be my first laptop ever,
    i wanted ur advice on my config and
    was worried about some issues mentioned by other vostro owners like
    the fan noise and the installation of xp as Os, screen glare problems.
    And any other flaws according to your views.
    my config is
    1]2.5GHz-6mb L2 cache, 800 FSB
    2]15.4" WXGA+1440x900 display
    3]4GB 667 MHz DDR2 RAM
    4]256 MB NVIDIA Graphic card
    5]6-cell battery lithium
    6]90w AC Adapter
    7]250 SATA Hard Disk
    My purpose for a laptop is GAMES, MOVIES & MUSIC-95% of the time.
    PLS Give me your Advice and view as it would help me in taking a right decesion
    or stop me from making a wrong one.
    Harshil Doshi-India
    • 24. July 2008, 04:52
      Comment by Abineet
      Better buy inspiron or xps series if u are more into music and movies . Vostro is best for gaming . Best value for money
  19. 5. July 2008, 02:24
    Comment by John Curran
    You are very kind to go to such trouble to help others select this PC. I teach English in Japan and my wife, who struggles with with PCs, want to buy a laptop. This looks the right one. She wants XP because she is somewhat familiar with the system. If we order over the internet what should we specify for the most basic unit?
    Many thanks again,
  20. 5. July 2008, 18:58
    Comment by vinit
    what do you recommend i should buy?

    XPS 1510
    T5750 2.0 GHZ 2 MB CACHE
    4 GB RAM
    256 MB NVIDIA 8600 GT


    VISTRO 15
    T9300, 2.5 GHZ 6MB CACHE
    4 GB RAM
    256 MB NVIDIA 8400 GS


  21. 6. July 2008, 14:29
    Comment by Wolf
    I´m about to buy a Dell Vostro 1510 with Windows Vista for my mother. Now when you have tested the laptop for a while, are there any annoying/bad things you have discovered lately, or is it still a "keeper"?
    • 10. July 2008, 09:47
      Comment by Johannes
      Work with it every day - Didn't discover other topics than mentioned in the review.
      • 15. July 2008, 16:51
        Comment by Wolf
        Thanks for the review! My mothers computer is now ordered & will be delivered in a few days. I hope she will like it.
        • 31. July 2008, 11:34
          Comment by Wolf
          We have now had the computer for a week & it works great. No annoying sounds. I can´t hear the harddrive at all & the fan is very quiet. (Maybe because of the cooler integrated graphics).
          I don´t care about fingerprints on the glossy lid. The lid & chassie feels stable. The only bad thing is the crappy speakers. But with headphones the sound is just fine.
  22. 8. July 2008, 14:19
    Comment by Claudio
    Great review. I had read that the cover would get fingerprints on it easily, but thats way over what I expected haha! Nothing that a piece of cloth don't solve, I hope.
    I'm looking forward for my Vostro to arrive!
    Greets from Brazil!
  23. 19. July 2008, 18:44
    Comment by glenn
    hi! Thanks for the very nice review!

    Can you please comment on the screen hinges? Is it stiff? Does the screen wobble?

    Thanks in advance!
  24. 4. August 2008, 02:05
    Comment by Robert
    Johannes and others-- I really appreciate the information that is being posted here-- I am a bit surprised I am not able to find more reviews on the Vostro 1510-- my main objective in purchasing a new laptop is keeping xp pro and to have a web cam and I'm realizing that as of this date (august 3) my option is the vostro 1510-- can anyone tell me if there are others, just to compare before I buy a vostro? Thanks for any information.

    bob from maryland
  25. 20. August 2008, 01:51
    Comment by Julie
    Hi, I am considering purchasing the Vostro 1510 (2GB ram). I do most of my work on my pc, but need a lightweight, power heavy laptop as a backup. I do graphic design, motion graphic design and video editing. It would be nice to have a laptop to bring along to show work to clients, so I don't want it to be too heavy, but I need it to be able to handle my work needs if I have lots of projects going at once. I also own an HP Pavillion zd8000, which for the most part handled work needs (though it only has 1 GB RAM and probably needs a better graphics card), but the darn thing is SOOOOO heavy - I call it my portable PC rather than a laptop.

    Please let me know if from the info I have given, you can tell me whether the 1510 might be sufficient for my needs. I appreciate your review - very informative.
    ~julie (NY)

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