Dell has upgraded the specs for the new Vostro V131, the latest version of its standout ultra-thin, ultra-light 13.3” notebook.

The styling is very similar to the Vostro V130 (and the beloved previous generation Vostro V13), but under the hood a number of things have been bumped up – Sandy Bridge Core i3 and i5 processors, USB 3.0 ports, and improved battery life. Getting the specs you want will probably take the price up to about $800, but that’s pretty reasonable for such a lovely bit of hardware. (If you want a 15” screen, don’t overlook the new Dell XPS 15z, which offers the same sleek lightweight styling.)

Why doesn’t everyone get one of these? The hardware specs are the same or better than the heavy, thick, ugly laptops from HP and Toshiba that crowd the shelves at Best Buy, and the prices are very similar. There are starting to be more thin and light laptops on the market (Sony and Lenovo have added their own models recently), so perhaps the big lumbering models will start to disappear.

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