HP Pavilion dm1z (fall 2011) review: HP Pavilion dm1z (fall 2011)

In hands-on use, we found the dm1z, like other laptops in its class, is perfectly fine for Web surfing, sending e-mail, watching HD video, and even light gaming. If we had the same level of performance in a 15-inch laptop, it might feel sluggish, but in an 11-inch body, it's much better than the Intel Atom Netbooks that were all the rage a year or so ago. Note, however, that the much more expensive MacBook Air and the Samsung Series 3, both with Intel Core i-series chips, were much faster in our tests.

At least AMD also includes better graphics than you might expect in a low-power ultraportable, built right into the same die as the CPU. Playing Street Fighter IV at a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, we got 18.9 frames per second at medium/high settings. By dialing back some of the options, you should get a very playable experience on slightly older or less graphically intense games.

Juice box
HP Pavilion dm1z Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.58
Sleep (10 percent) 0.70
Idle (25 percent) 8.51
Load (5 percent) 23.54
Raw kWh 32.61
Annual power consumption cost $3.70

Annual power consumption cost
Sony Vaio VPC-YB1S1E/S
$2.92 
HP Pavilion dm1-3005
$3.20 
HP Pavilion dm1z Customizable Notebook PC
$3.70 

While the updated hardware in the HP Pavilion dm1z didn't improve battery life, it's still excellent, clocking 5 hours and 18 minutes, a time virtually unchanged from the original, in our video playback battery drain test. That's better even than the 11-inch MacBook Air, which lasted about 40 minutes less. This is one of the top battery performers in any category.

HP includes an industry-standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty with the system. Upgrading to a two-year plan starts at $89 for mail-in service and a three-year plan with in-home service and accidental damage protection is $164. Support is accessible through a 24-7 toll-free phone line and a well-maintained online knowledge base and driver downloads.

As a sequel to one of our favorite laptops of 2011, the HP dm1z keeps its spot on top of our ultraportable recommendation list, but we still wish the newer processor had resulted in faster performance.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dm1-3005
2,314 
Sony Vaio VPC-YB1S1E/S
2,520 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations
HP Pavilion dm1-4010us (Fall 2011)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.65GHz AMD Fusion E-450 Dual-Core APU; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 384MB (Dedicated) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6320; 320GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

Samsung Series NP300U1A
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.3GHz Intel Core i3-2357M; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Lenovo IdeaPad S205
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz AMD Fusion E-350 Dual-Core APU; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 384MB (Dedicated) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6310; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio VPC-YB1S1E/S
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz AMD Fusion E-350 Dual-Core APU; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 667MHz; 644MB (Dedicated) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6310; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

HP Pavilion dm1-3005 (Spring 2011)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz AMD Fusion E-350 Dual-Core APU; 3,072MB DDR3 SDRAM 667MHz; 384MB (Dedicated) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6310; 320GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

Apple MacBook Air 11.6-inch - Summer 2011
OS X 10.7 Lion; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M; 2GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 256MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 64GB Apple SSD

What you'll pay

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    Quick Specifications See All

    • Weight 3.52 lbs
    • Installed Size 4 GB
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