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Get an HP Pavilion dm1z ultraportable for $419.99

Don't confuse this snazzy laptop for a Netbook: it may be just as compact and portable as one, but it packs way more computing power.

The HP Pavilion dm1z offers the power of a laptop with the design of a Netbook.
The HP Pavilion dm1z offers the power of a laptop with the design of a Netbook. HP

Laptops and coach seats don't mix. I was reminded of this the other day while trying to contort myself in strange and painful ways at 33,000 feet. Never again.

A Netbook would have been a much better fit, but I find most models too small for my taste--and too underpowered as well.

Where's the happy medium? Right here: HP has the Pavilion dm1z ultraportable laptop for $419.99 shipped (after applying coupon code SAVE30HP). That's a total savings of $130.

The dm1z may look like a Netbook, with its 11.6-inch screen, absent optical drive, and overall compactness, but, brother, it ain't no Netbook.

Indeed, HP outfits the system with a dual-core AMD Fusion processor (which includes discrete graphics), 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and a six-cell battery (which, according to CNET, lasted well over 5 hours in a video playback test: "better than the 11-inch MacBook Air and every other 11-inch laptop we've tested in recent memory.")

The dm1z's gorgeous LED-backlit screen delivers 1,366x768-pixel resolution, which is good enough to watch high-def movies--and the Radeon HD 6310M graphics processor has enough muscle to play them smoothly. (I've seen few Netbooks that can play full-screen video without hiccups.)

Bottom line: if you're looking for a portable PC that's compact like a Netbook but powerful like a laptop, I think the Pavilion dm1z is an excellent choice. I've got a review unit sitting right here, and I'm going to be sad to part with it. Maybe with this HP deal, I won't have to.

Bonus deal: Yesterday's Norton AntiVirus deal turned out to be kind of a bust, with the fast sellout, the questions about the licensing, etc. If you're still looking for a good deal on security software, try this: Platinum Micro (via eBay) has McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2011 three-user edition for $9.99 shipped. It includes a one-year license.