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CES: HP debuts AMD Fusion in 11-inch Pavilion dm1

At slightly less than 1 inch thick and 3.5 pounds, the Pavilion dm1 is one of the first laptops to use AMD's new Fusion platform.

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LAS VEGAS--Continuing the march toward 11.6-inch laptops, HP is making the new Pavilion dm1 its CES 2011 showpiece. At slightly less than 1 inch thick and 3.5 pounds, the dm1 is one of the first laptops to use AMD's new Fusion platform, which is powered by AMD's new "APU," an accelerated processing unit. AMD's new platform combines a traditional CPU and better-than-integrated graphics (and DirectX 11 support) on a single chip. The actual CPU is AMD's new 1.6GHz dual-core E350, with AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics.

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The dm1 also includes HP's CoolSense technology, which we've seen on a handful of other HP laptops. It's essentially a user-adjustable fan control, for setting your ideal system temperature; this is handy to have, but also the kind of thing most consumers would never bother to tweak.

HP promises more than 10 hours of battery life from the dm1, with options including hard drives up to 750GB in capacity, GPS, and an external Blu-ray drive. Standard is HP ProtectSmart's hard-drive-locking capability, which is the same kind of HDD accelerometer found in many business laptops.

The dm1 is being positioned as a hedge against the declining fortunes of the Netbook market, and in fact, HP describes the the system by saying:

The HP Pavilion dm1 has more muscle than netbooks in a package that's more mobile than most notebooks. It's an all-new breed of compact notebook for students and mobile professionals who want an ideal balance of power, convenience, cool-running comfort, and connectivity.

Having spent a little hands-on time with the system, we liked the large island-style keyboard and big clickpad-style touch pad. Despite the reasonable specs, including a fast 7,200rpm HDD and optional external Blu-ray drive, the body still had a plastic, budget feel--but for less than $500, it certainly seems reasonable. We're interested in benchmarking the system to see how it stacks up against other premium 11-inch laptops, including the MacBook Air.

The HP Pavilion dm1 is expected to be available January 9 in the United States, with a starting price of $449.99. Other base model specs include:

  • 3GB DDR3 RAM
  • 320GB HDD, 7,200rpm
  • 1,366x768-pixel 11.6-inch display
  • Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n
  • HDMI output