HP Pavilion dm1 (4108AU) review: HP Pavilion dm1 (4108AU)

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good Good build quality. Excellent keyboard and trackpad. Price will suit those looking for something modest and small.

The Bad Ultrabooks trounce it in performance (although are double the price). Screen isn't great.

The Bottom Line The dm1 is attempting to occupy a price point, and hold on to it to the best of its ability. If you don't want the bulk of a 15.6-inch budget machine yet can't afford an ultrabook, don't stoop down to the netbook level: get this instead.

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HP's 11.6-inch Pavilion dm1 isn't a netbook, which is great; but it isn't an ultrabook either.

The AMD-powered laptop is an exercise in "just enough", offering a quite decent experience. It's not really a production machine — you don't want to be doing any heavy graphics, audio or video work on it — but by and large it's perfectly fine for web browsing and consumption tasks. Even 1080p Flash video works fine in YouTube, so long as you play it full screen.

The keyboard and touch pad show that HP mastered the small form factor a long time ago, thanks to its professional netbook experience. The 1366x768 screen isn't great though; a washed out affair with limited vertical viewing angles. HP has also managed to cram in Beats Audio into yet another of its devices, but don't expect miracles — rather just passable sound for the size of the laptop.

It's fully featured, though; three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA out, an SD card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n meaning you should stay well connected.

Application performance

Our review unit (the 4108AU) came with an AMD E-450 1.65GHz CPU paired with a Radeon HD 6320. It easily trounces any netbook, but is by no measures a gaming machine. While it ran our gaming benchmarks, the scores were low enough to be discarded.

It also featured a 320GB hard drive and 2GB RAM. HP makes another version of the dm1, sub-model 4100, which includes a 500GB hard drive and 4GB RAM; however, at the time of writing, it seems to only be listed on its own website, rather than being sold anywhere.

The end user can upgrade their own RAM as a spare slot is free; however, getting the base off is a pain, requiring finger nails to pull the bottom panel down and away from the battery — there's no easy access slot.

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

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Where to Buy

HP Pavilion dm1 (4108AU)

Part Number: CNETHP Pavilion dm1 (4108AU)

Typical Price: $499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.