Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2013, 15-inch screen)
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Toshiba Chromebook 2stars
For its second Chromebook, Toshiba shaved off as much chassis as possible without sacrificing...
Netbooks may have been pushed to the back burner behind the sleek and powerfulhitting the market, but they're still a good option for those of you who just need to send the odd email on the go.
The HP Pavilion DM1-4125EA comes with a dual-core AMD E-450 processor and a generous 4GB of RAM.
It's available now for £350.
Design and build quality
The world may be quickly filling up with super-skinny ultrabooks, but that doesn't mean there isn't still room for a little laptop that retains some bulk but cuts the price.
With a total width of 292mm and a length of 215mm, it's certainly small. You'll have no trouble fitting it into your bag and chucking it over your shoulder. With a thickness of 32mm though, the DM1 is definitely more netbook than it is ultrabook. It's slightly slimmer than, but considerably fatter than the , which narrows to a carrier bag-splitting 8mm.
It weighs only 1.52kg though, which is a whole load lighter than a lot of laptops -- especially the gargantuan -- so you won't feel too weighed down if you're carrying it around with you. It adds a few grams onto other netbooks, but you're unlikely to notice the difference.
The build quality of some netbooks is not always convincing because the chassis is an area that manufacturers cut back on in order to reduce the overall price. Thankfully though, the DM1 feels extremely sturdy. There was very little flex in the lid when we pressed on it and it didn't bend at all when opened up.
The wrist rest and keyboard tray are also free from any flex, which together with the metal banding around the edge makes this machine feel very well put together and suited to a rough life on the road.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard uses isolated keys that are spread across the whole base, meaning that your hands aren't squashed up uncomfortably while typing. The keys are easy to press and the lack of flex from the tray means you can keep on typing for a long time without feeling the tell-tale cramps that come from using a horrible keyboard.
The trackpad is pretty small though and is more similar to the ones you'd find on other netbooks than on ultrabooks. Rather than being a recessed, separate pad, the wrist-rest has been given a dotted texture to indicate where to scroll. We weren't particularly keen on the effect as we often found ourselves accidentally trying to scroll outside of the sensitive area.
It will probably be okay for quickly opening a couple of files or sending the odd email, but if you're planning on spending any decent amount of time on it then we highly recommend you pop in a USB mouse.
The DM1 comes with the Beats Audio branding so we were expecting a decent serving of sound. For such a small device, it's quite loud, and the Beats software does help in boosting the bass. It's an adequate noise for watching a few episodes of a TV show, or for video chatting using the webcam. But if you want to really enjoy the deep, meaningful and poetic artistry that Justin Bieber weaves into his music, get a decent sound system. And medical attention.
Around the edge you'll find a VGA port, an HDMI output, three USB 2.0 slots, an Ethernet port as well as microphone and headphone jacks.
The DM1 comes with an 11.6-inch display. We're fans of 11-inch screens as they're often a great compromise, offering portability and ease of use.