Mossberg: Dell Vostro Business System Misses Mark

The new Dell Vostro business focused notebook from Dell misses the mark and is just an OK notebook, not really different enough from consumer models to earn the small-business designation is claims, according to Walt Mossberg, the Personal Technology editor with the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Mossberg is noted for his thorough and balanced review of personal technology items. His first reaction to the 15.4 inch notebook, the Vostro 1500, was fairly blunt. "Judged by its hardware and software, the Vostro 1500 is mostly a branding-and-marketing ploy at the moment. Dell concedes the new line is ijust a first stepi in what it swears will be a major initiative to serve very small businesses."

Aside from noting, with approval, that "crapware" was not installed, Mr. Mossberg found little to characterize the Vostro as a computer suitable for business. It booted up fine, ran quickly, and easily connected to his Wi-Fi network. However, there was severe criticism for the computer supposedly targeted at small businesses.

"The Vostros with XP, like my test unit, also lack a modern, secure Web browser. They come with the old, insecure Internet Explorer 6.0 instead of Mozilla?s Firefox or Microsoft?s much safer Internet Explorer 7.0. A small business buying a Vostro with XP would have to immediately replace the browser," Mr. Mossberg wrote.

TMO notes that that most large businesses install a custom [OS] image on every computer they buy. The idea behind a computer aimed at small business is to avoid tedious setup work, deliver a secure system, and get it into the hands of users when there is no large IT department to configure the computer. Dell, according to Mr. Mossberg, seems to have missed the mark by not differentiating this system for small business in significant ways.

Finally, recent reports suggest that while Apple is finding great success in the consumer market, Dell and HP still own the enterprise, with HP having now taken the lead. Mr. Mossbergis review suggests that Dell may losing its way in the enterprise as well.