Dell Vostro vs. Inspiron: Which should you buy?

Dell makes some of the best laptops around, and its product lineup is quite extensive. For many people, navigating the massive catalogue can be confusing, compounded by the fact that there are both consumer- and business-focused PCs on offer. Dell's Inspiron lineup is made up of affordable consumer laptops, complementing the high-end XPS line. In the same vein, Dell's Vostro PCs are affordable business laptops, complementing its premium Latitude series. Let's take a look at how these laptops compare and which one might be better for your needs.

Dell Vostro for business, Inspiron for home

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Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Dell Inspiron and Vostro lineups are actually very similar, but one is targeted at the small business market and the other at the home user. It's not entirely this straightforward, but it doesn't take much examination of the respective products to see that there are common themes in hardware and price.

Inspiron can ultimately boast a lower entry cost, in part thanks to targeting the consumer that often shops on tighter budgets than business buyers. Inspiron PCs include 3000, 5000, and 7000 laptops, all with varying levels of performance and features. Inspiron 3000 laptops, for example, often cost less than $500; the Inspiron 15 3511 is one of our picks for best laptops under $500.

Vostro laptops generally start at the $500 mark and climb up from there. They use the same 3000, 5000, and 7000 tier scheme, with extra features and performance in the higher numbers. Assuming you're happy with the price and specifications, you aren't really making a bad choice if you happen to buy from the PC family that isn't specifically targeting your needs. If you need a laptop with a Core i5 CPU, FHD display, and comfy keyboard for productivity work, an Inspiron will fare well. But you might find a similar Vostro with a couple of extra security features that helps keep your data safe. They're all going to work just as well, especially since Dell makes some of the best laptops around, like the Dell Vostro 5510.

Business-specific perks for Vostro

Vostro 5510

Dell Vostro 5510 (Image credit: Source: Dell)

The hardware is very similar when comparing these laptops, but the reason that enterprise-targeted machines like the Vostro family exist at all is for the additional perks that come from Dell that a normal consumer wouldn't need.

For example, on some of the laptops you can get extra Dell ProSupport Plus coverage, which covers even accidental damage and ensures the buyer retains their hard drive whenever claims are made. This sort of thing could be attractive to a regular consumer, but it's the type of extra care that enterprise customers demand. And that's one of the big benefits of having a dedicated enterprise portfolio, tailoring a support package to go with the hardware.

There are also other benefits, such as Windows Autopilot. This is a set of tools that can be used to deploy multiple machines into the enterprise environment with ease, something you won't get or even need on an Inspiron laptop if you're buying it for personal use.

It even extends to features like Ethernet. It sounds like a pretty common hardware addition, but on consumer laptops across the market, it's becoming increasingly rare. Whereas a Vostro laptop will make it more of a priority since the business user traditionally will connect to an internal network more often over a cable than wirelessly.

So, it isn't an exact science, but the easiest thing to do is consider why you're buying a laptop. If it's for personal use, go with Inspiron. If it's for business, then Vostro is your best bet. Have a look at our roundup of the best Dell laptops to see how these PCs stack up.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

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