Size and weight is a big decision factor when you are trying to find the ideal camera for your needs.
In this section, We are going to illustrate Nikon L31 and Olympus E-PL1 side-by-side from the front, back and top in their relative dimensions. Nikon L31 has external dimensions of 96 x 59 x 29 mm (3.78 x 2.32 x 1.14″) and weighs 160 g (0.35 lb / 5.64 oz) (including batteries). Olympus E-PL1 has external dimensions of 115 x 72 x 42 mm (4.53 x 2.83 x 1.65″) and weighs 334 g (0.74 lb / 11.78 oz) (including batteries).
Below you can see the front view size comparison of Nikon L31 and Olympus E-PL1. Nikon L31 is clearly the smaller of the two cameras. Its body is 19mm narrower, 13mm shorter and 13mm thinner than Olympus E-PL1. As you can tell, actually this is not a fair size comparison since Nikon L31 has a built-in lens but Olympus E-PL1 doesn't. Once you put a lens on E-PL1, its thickness will increase significantly.
Weight is another important factor especially when deciding on a camera that you want to carry with you all day.
Nikon L31 is significantly lighter (174g ) than the Olympus E-PL1 which may become a big advantage especially on long walking trips.
Again, this comparison may not be very useful in real life as we are comparing the weight of a camera with a built-in lens to the body-only weight of an interchangeable lens camera. Once you put a lens on E-PL1, the total kit will weigh much higher.
Unfortunately neither Nikon Coolpix L31 nor Olympus PEN E-PL1 provides any type of weather sealing in their body, so you have to give extra care especially when you are shooting outdoors. If weather sealing is a must-have feature for you, check these sections: Top Compact Cameras with Weather Sealing Top Mirrorless Cameras with Weather Sealing
LCD Screen Size and Features
Nikon L31 and Olympus E-PL1's LCD screens has the same diagonal size of 2.7".
Unfortunately, both cameras has fixed screens so they don't tilt or flip in directions.