The new Dell Vostro V131 picks up where the V130 left off, with a nearly identical design, clad in smooth metal and a choice of Silver or a race-carlike Lucerne Red for an extra $30. The V130 weighs 3.6 pounds and has a 13.3-inch screen. It still feels as sturdy and comfortable as the last time we used one. While the touch pad’s on the small side, the island-style keyboard is very well-built, and there’s plenty of hand and palm room.

But, there’s a big difference under the hood: the new Vostros feature full-voltage second-generation Intel processors, matching what’s available in most mainstream laptops.

The Vostro V131 has a starting price of $499 with a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron ULV 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive, but most people would choose the $599 model instead, which bumps up to a more reasonable second-gen Intel Core i3-2310M CPU. There’s also a Core i5-2410M version at $799. RAM can be expanded up to 6GB on most models, and hard-drive space up to 500GB, with no SSD option.

Bells and whistles include an HD Webcam, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, SRS Premium Voice Pro and chat-optimized digital array mics, and optional add-ons including keyboard backlighting and WiMax, LTE, and 3G broadband connectivity. Available at