CNET First Look
HP Pavilion dm1z (Fall 2011)There have been plenty of 11-inch AMD-powered ultraportables this year, but HP's Pavilion dm1z was the first, and this updated version puts it back in the lead for this crowded category.
-I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the sequel to one of our favorite laptops of 2011. That laptop was the 11-inch HP Pavilion dm1z, and the updated version, which I have right here is also called the HP Pavilion dm1z, although they actually look very different. The biggest difference is probably inside where the original version had this very excellent for low price 11-inch A350 CPU. This version has a brand new A450. It's a little bit faster, although in our benchmark and battery life testing really wasn't that big difference between the version and the original version. I'm really more impressed with how they clean up the outside of it. It's a much sleeker looking system than originally was and it wasn't that bad in the first place. It's got a cool new kind of dark styled interior. It's all matte plastic. They took the all-in-one click pad on the first one and replaced with a more traditional separate touchpad and separate mouse buttons that really works better on a smaller laptop like this. The touchpad is just kind of a textured surface, but right into the wrist rest, but it's very responsive and works great. It's gonna the same kind of big edge to edge island style keyboard as the original dm1z. We still like that a lot and they have cleaned up this kind back section here with the hinges. It used to have big clanky battery that would stick. If you look at it from the side, it's nice clean profile right here and they even got rid this weird awkward door they had over the Ethernet jack, now just sitting here in plain side just like it is on any other laptop. This is still one of those 11-inch ultra portable. So, you're dealing with a 1366 x 768 screen. You're not gonna do ahead of one better than that. One cool new edition though is beats audio, which HP used to have it just its high end laptop. Now, it's in just about everything including obviously this under $450 model right there. The speakers are still pretty small. They are not gonna be that crazy, but you do get the extra EQ software and sound mounting software that Beats supplies. Is this as thin and fancy as the MacBook Air or other super high end 11-inch ultra portable? Well, now, obviously not, but it's also about half the price $450 or less. There will be a slightly more expensive Intel Core i3 version little bit later this year and just as with the original dm1z, this updated version is probably our touch choice if you wanna get a low cost, but high impact 11-inch ultra portable. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the HP Pavilion dm1z.