OVMumPMekXQW8/uI7JcaqA== A L L 4 M O B I L E: review HP Pavilion dm1z AMD Dual-Core

review HP Pavilion dm1z AMD Dual-Core

 HP Pavilion dm1z
The HP Pavilion dm1z sits in a precarious position between netbooks and notebooks. 
This 11.6”, attractively designed laptop runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit on AMD’s new Fusion APU (AMD’s term for their integrated CPU and GPU).  The 1.6GHz dual core CPU and AMD Radeon HD 6310M offer significantly better performance than an Intel Atom netbook without the heat and battery life penalty that we saw in last year’s AMD Neo platform. The Fusion and HP 

dm1z are significantly slower than the ULV (ultra-low voltage) Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs used in today’s ultraportable notebooks. Befitting its tweener status, the HP’s price is in between a netbook and ultraportable ($450 to $600 depending on place of purchase and configuration). That price actually edges close to some of the more affordable ultraportables like the Acer TimelineX 1830T with ULV Core i5, but cheaper than the Lenovo IdeaPad U160 with its $749 starting price for the Core i3 machine. Undeniably, the latest dm1z is perfect for those of you who bought an Intel Atom netbook only to discover its speed and perhaps display resolution made the machine nearly useless. But is your money better spent on a faster and more future-proof Intel Core ULV notebook for a few hundred dollars more?
The answer depends on what you want and need from your next ultraportable pal. HP decided to make the dm1z a member of their Pavilion line of notebooks rather than a netbook in the Mini clan. And while the Pavilion dm1z is brighter than the average netbook, HP does set expectations perhaps a bit too high by putting it in their notebook family. In our tests, the HP was perfectly capable of running a web browser with several tabs, MS Office, email and a Twitter client simultaneously without slowing appreciably though CPU utilization was high. Its very capable (by netbook and ultraportable standards) Radeon graphics did a fine job with 720p content but struggled with today’s top 3D shooter games (granted that’s asking a lot from a $500, 11.6” notebook). The fact that it could do both, even with caveats for 3D gaming, puts it above and beyond netbooks but multitasking, 1080p output via HDMI and working with heavy apps puts it behind full size notebooks and ultraportables with more capable CPUs. 

HP Pavilion dm1z 

Design and Ergonomics
The HP Pavilion dm1z is a beautifully designed laptop with a contemporary look, pleasing curved lines and attractive surfaces. The mid-gloss patterned lid and bottom panel look cool and resist fingerprints better than full gloss plastics. The silver inner surfaces are also attractive, though the large silver bezel sticks out and is the only cheap-looking element. Overall, the HP doesn't look a bit like a budget notebook. The notebook has 3 USB 2.0 ports: 2 on the right and 1 on the left. The VGA port is at the right near the back and the HDMI port is on the left near the front. The Ethernet port is at the right rear corner under a plastic door that preserves the notebook's smooth lines and prevents junk from gunking the port.
The 6 cell battery is nicely integrated into the barrel hinge design and the display doesn't touch the keyboard deck thanks to slim rubber bumpers. The dm1z looks difficult to open for upgrades since there are no screws or doors on the bottom. Instead HP goes with a design that's more common on cell phones than laptops: you remove the battery and yank the entire bottom plastic cover off via 2 starter grooves. This is certainly easier (for those who are terrified of screws) but it seems a bit cheap too. Once you pull off the bottom cover you have full access to the 2 RAM slots, hard drive, wireless module and available PCI-e slot. Sweet.

HP Pavilion dm1z
Display and Keyboard
The 11.6" gloss 1366 x 768 LED backlit display is sharp and reasonably bright at 180 nits. It's easy on the eyes indoors but glare and brightness aren't good for outdoor use. Viewing angles aren't impressive, and we found the Pavilion wasn't good for sharing the view with friends. For a laptop in this price range, the display is acceptable.  The display can tilt fairly far back despite the upward curved battery that meets the lower display lip when pushed back 45 degrees or more.
HP Pavilion dm1z
The island style keyboard with chiclet keys is simply wonderful. HP stretches it out edge-to-edge for maximum real estate and the keys are relatively large and well spaced. We were typing full speed after 5 minutes. The trackpad is large for an 11.6" notebook and we like the ever so slightly rough surface that improves traction without adding too much drag. We're not fans of HP's buttonless trackpads, though we live with them daily on our HP TouchSmart TM2 and HP Envy. That said, the driver is fairly good and we weren't bothered too much by jumping cursor syndrome. For those of you who haven't seen this trackpad design, the two buttons live under the same continuous plate as the trackpad area and are separated by thin raised lines that help you discern the button zone from the trackpad zone.
HP Pavilion dm1z

HP Pavilion dm1z
Video Review
Here's our HP dm1z video review where we take a look around the notebook, check out CPU utilization, test YouTube 720p and Hulu full screen playback and play the demanding first person shooter Left 4 Dead 2.

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