HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition review: HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition

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Typical Price: $999.00

HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition

(Part #: CNETHP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Good performance and battery life. Decent sound for the size and price range. Backlit keyboard.

The Bad Discrete graphics almost aren't worth it. Screen could be more vibrant.

The Bottom Line HP's Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition manages to bring good performance and battery life into the sub-AU$1000 range. The main sacrifice is the vibrancy of the screen, but at this price it's a small nitpick, and nothing more.

8.0 Overall

The Beats edition of the Pavilion dm4 definitely wants you to know it's Beats branded. Coming in matte black, it has a big red Beats logo on the lid and red keyboard labels, of which the "b" key is once again the Beats logo. When pressed with the Fn key, it turns the Beats audio processing on and off, and considering the size of the laptop, you'll want to leave it on. The sound isn't bad for the price you'll be paying, with the front firing speakers angled slightly downwards, the best sound to be had when there's a flat surface underneath.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 2
  • USB 2.0: 1
  • Optical: DVD±RW
  • Video: VGA, HDMI
  • Ethernet: Gigabit
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n

The screen is clearly where the company has attempted to save costs — a standard 1366x768 TN model with low colour vibrancy, made by AUO. It'll do the job, to be sure — but we've been spoiled by the price point and quality of IPS tablets.

Odd for a consumer laptop is a fingerprint scanner, integrating with HP's SimplePass password keeping software. Everything else is pretty much standard — HP's usually good keyboard is in play, backlit in a somewhat malevolent red. The touchpad is Synaptics powered, and pleasantly eschews a clickpad in favour of two physical buttons.

HP's port labels are not only on the bottom of the laptop, making them useless, but are coloured in an exceptionally hard to read red. Mostly, you can get by without them, but since HP colours its USB 3.0 ports black, like USB 2.0, it'll take a little longer than usual to discern which is which.

The two USB 3.0 ports in question are on the left, whereas a single USB 2.0 is on the right. VGA and HDMI are included for video, and gigabit Ethernet, a headset jack, a DVD&plusm;RW drive, 2.4GHz 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 complete the connectivity options.

Your hard earned cash will get you a Core i5 3210M @ 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, a 640GB mechanical hard drive and AMD Radeon HD 7570M, making the dm4 quite a capable little machine.

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Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

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(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

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