We have been a big fan of the Dell Vostro 1520 since it's release a couple of years ago and any of our customers that we supplied with it have been happy campers. So we were sorry to hear that the 1520 (and the 17" screened 1720) are being discontinued in favor of the newly released Vostro 3000 series. The 3500 will be the replacement for the old 1520, with the 3300 and 3700 replacing the 1320 and 1720 variants.
The 3500, which interests us the most, comes with Intel Core i3 and Core i5 options. The Intel Core i3-330M is a lower-middle class dual core CPU for laptops and clocks with 2.16 GHz. The difference to the Core i5-430M is the lacking Turbo Boost overclocking and the slower core speed. Each core is based on the Nehalem (Westemere) micro-architecture. Hyperthreading enables the Dual Core CPU to handle 4 threads at once (for a better usage of the pipeline).
The Intel Core i5-430M is a fast middle class dual core CPU for laptops and clocks (due to the Turbo Mode) from 2.26 to 2.53 GHz. Each core is based on the Nehalem (Westemere) micro-architecture. Hyperthreading enables the Dual Core CPU to handle 4 threads at once (for a better usage of the pipeline). Compared to the faster Core i7-620M, the 430M only has 3 MB Level 3 Cache, missing VT-d, Trusted Execution, and AES features and a lower clock speed.
The new 3300 models seem to tick all the boxes, with built in webcam, 802.11n wireless, Windows 7 in 32 and 64 bit flavours, 3-4 GB Ram as standard, good sized hard discs and good looks (see the picture above). We have ordered our first 3500 with an Intel Core i5-430M processor, 3GB RAM and Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit and will post a review when we have it in the workshop.