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HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition review:

HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition

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Typical Price: $999.00
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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.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

Review Sections

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.


  • 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.

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

  • 352
    HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
  • 353
    Asus K55V (Intel Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
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    Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
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    Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)
  • 386
    Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
  • 541
    HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
  • 763
    Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
  • 766
    Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

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